This post was update to add the new Australian Defence White Paper
KUALA LUMPUR: Before the Defence Ministry embarked on the project to set up Territorial Army units in every parliamentary constituencies, Malaysian Defence humbly suggests to the Minister study the materials provided courtesy of the UK Ministry of Defence.
Of course, the Minister could always asked the British High Commission to provide them with the document, complete with a translated version (Simon!).
And if the Minister is willing, there is also the new Australian Defence White Paper which was released on May 2 which can be used a reference material.
Malaysian Defence is not suggesting that we copy everything that is recommended by the British or any one else for that matter (we have already done that for the last 50 years ignoring our own tenets) but it makes a good reading and reference material before embarking on the 600K TA project.
Personally, Malaysian Defence does not believe the 600K project is strategically and financially viable and have a rather cynical view about it but I believe that the powers that be have been made aware of the current circumstances within the last few days.
Malaysian Defence understands the need for reserves but certainly before any plans to boost the reserves, we must first strive to boost our regular forces first. Define the regular forces mission; fund them adequately with regard to that mission and ensure that its financially viable for the country first. When we fix the regular forces, only then we can conduct a review of the reserve forces.
On April 13, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced the establishment of one battalion of the Territorial Army in all the 22 parliamentary constituencies in an effort to strengthen the national defence system.
Ahmad Zahid had said that the force would consist of 300 men for each platoon comprising the various ethnic groups and the overall total was expected to reach 600,000 within the next five years.
BTW, the SIPRI Arms Transfer Database listed that in 2008, Russia supplied us with some 80 AS-17 (in both the K-31A and K-31P version) between 2007-2008. It also stated that we ordered 150 of the missiles for the Flanker fleet the same number for the Adder and Alamos we bought. It also stated that six more Flankers are expected to arrive in Malaysia this year. With the reported delays in Russia arms production, we wonder whether it will also effect the deliveries of the missiles and jets.
Other deliveries are mostly for the Kedah class project including 12 Caterpillar engines for the 4 boats built locally. The diesel engines are the only US-made items listed in the 2008 database meaning that we did not receive new missiles from the Americans last year. The database usually only listed major arms and not things like small arms.