SHAH ALAM: Defence Ministry got RM17.7 billion in the 2015 budget, an increase of almost RM1.6 billion compared to last year. The Operational Expenditure for 2015 is RM14.144 billion, an increase of some RM789 million compared to same period last year. The OE breakdown is RM6.796B for emolument and RM7.167B for other purpose (operations and maintenance). The amount allocated is about 1.5 per cent of the GDP.
The Development Expenditure (DE) for 2015 is RM3.618 for compared to RM2.744 billion in 2014. Between 2011 to 2015, the amount of DE will amount to RM15.8 billion while the OE is around RM50 billion.
Unlike last year, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak did not say how the DE money is to be spend but since the AV8, LCS/SGPV (below) and A400M projects are still on going, we can expect much of the RM3.618 billion will be spent on these projects.
In his speech, carried by Bernama (the national news agency) Najib said “to increase the level of safety and public order as well as national security, RM17.7 billion is allocated to the ATM while RM9.1 billion, to the PDRM. A sum of RM804 million is also allocated to Maritime Enforcement Agency Malaysia to strengthen maritime enforcement.
“The Government is committed to reducing the crime rate in the country, one of the NKRAs. For this, the Government will increase the intake of policemen by 11,757 personnel, build 14 Police Headquarters (IPK) and Police Stations including a new block for IPK Perlis as well as strengthen the PDRM police patrol through the purchase of 1,000 units of motorcycles.The Government will also allocate RM121 million for PDRM to implement various programmes under NKRA.
“To increase the readiness of ATM’s personnel and assets, RM7 billion will be allocated to purchase and maintain the defence assets. Apart from this, the welfare of armed forces personnel will also be improved, including health services and housing.
“Meanwhile, to improve maritime safety, APMM will be allocated RM393 million. This is for improving operational efficiency and the purchase of seven new patrol vessels.
Despite the rhetoric on Sabah and Sarawak, not much is being provided in the 2015 budget. Najib in his speech said:
“Sabah has a long and wide coastline. To enhance security in Eastern Sabah Security Zone (ESSZONE) and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM), the Government will allocate RM660 million.
“Two battalions comprising a battalion PGA PDRM and an Army battalion with 1,280 new personnel have been approved. Two new camps will also be built in ESSZONE, namely Kem Batalion 20 PGA in Beluran and Kem ATM in Felda Sahabat, Lahad Datu, Sabah.
“In addition, military and security operation equipment will be further improved, such as procurement of high-capability monitoring radar. The Government will also use a modified oil rig and an auxiliary vessel as Sea Basing in the ESSZONE waters, with an allocation of RM230 million through Petronas CSR programme.
“Furthermore, to enable high-capacity aircraft to land, the Government will upgrade the runway at the airport in Lahad Datu, as well as relocate Squadron Hawk from Butterworth to Labuan, with an allocation of RM50 million.
“The Government will also relocate water villages in Semporna and Sandakan in stages. The Government hopes that through the initiative, the safety of Malaysians in Sabah will be safeguarded and economic activities to rebound.”
The Hawk squadron relocation to Labuan is interesting, though. As RMAF Hawk fleet is down to 19 aircraft (six two seaters and 13 single seaters) one has to wonder whether this means that all of the Mk208s will be based in Labuan and the fast jet training will be left to the MB339CMs and the six Hawk Mk108s. More on this when information is available.
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