More Three Tonne Trucks for The Army

A Handalan II Cargo GS 4X4. BTDM

SHAH ALAM: More three tonnes for for the Army. The Defence Ministry has issued a request for bids for the supply of 150 three-tonne trucks under the Army Mobility III programme. The 21-day tender was published on June 10 and closes on July 1. Not much details were published in the publicly available part of the tender advertisement.

A Handalan II 3-tonne GS Cargo truck being put through the Army off-road driving course at Kem Terendak in January, 2021. BTDM

The tender notice:


The specifications:

There is a requirement for the Malaysian Army to acquire a multi purpose cargo vehicle with payload of at least 3 tonne to equip 1st Line transport requirement and 2nd Line transportation capabilities.

Deftech Handalan II. GS Cargo 4X4

This is the seond tender for three-tonne GS Cargo trucks for the Army, this year. The previous one was held in February this year though it was only 132 vehicles. In 2019, another RFB for 132 three-tonne trucks was issued.
Handalan II
A Handalan II GS 3 tonne truck being towed by a recovery truck during combat training. BTDM

A check on the Eperolehan website showed both RFBs have not been officially decided yet. There were 13 bidders for the 2019 RFB, with the lowest bid at RM47.2 million and the highest at RM51.7 million. Eleven bidders took part in the RFB early this year, the lowest coming at RM33 million and RM63 million the highest. Note for both RFB, 132 vehicles were sought.
A convoy of Handalan trucks being led by a Land Rover FFR. BTDM

I have no idea why the earlier RFBs are not yet decided or whether they are waiting for the latest RFB to make the decision. As you are aware Deftech, the defence subsidiary of DRB-Hicom Bhd, has been supplying the Army and military with Handalan and Handalan three tonne cargo trucks since 1996 with more than 2000 vehicles in service.
A Handalan II Cargo GS 4X4. BTDM

Will they prevailed in this tender and the other two still uresolved RFBs? I guess we have to wait and see then.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Unlikely they would prevail otherwise the 2 earlier tenders would have gone thru. the Govt is playing the waiting game and see if DEFTECH will give a more reasonable price but for how much longer they can wait?
    Whatmore, now that Japan can freely export defence equipment, what’s stopping them (ie Isuzu) from bypassing DEFTECH and bidding themselves?

    Like the other two tenders, its only open for the local companies with the appropriate field codes/kod bidang. Isuzu or even its local company it owns cannot enter the tender as they would not be able to buy the tender documents without the appropriate field codes

  2. I see, only local companies again eh?
    Whose to say Isuzu MY won’t be able to get the proper registration. The only reason DEFTECH got the job was to rebadge Isuzus since by law then Japanese companies cannot sell equipment for military purpose outside of Japan. Their laws have changed since, and there is less need for DEFTECH anymore, whatmore the PM no longer comes from Pekan so there is even lesser incentive to automatically give the job to them.

    Not just Isuzu, there are plenty other makes with 3tonners. So if DEFTECH wants the job they better wakeup and realise there is competition now and they better stop their parasitic attitudes. If Pekan MP were to fall further from grace, don’t expect anymore favouritsm onto them.

    If UMW Toyota cannot get the MOF registration for local tenders how do you think Isuzu MY could do it? FYI Isuzu MY is a company made up by Isuzu Corporation together with DRB-HICOM and Mitsubishi Corporation.

  3. Things have changed. It used to be just the stapled few companies for defence gear but now there are so many new players that sprung up, for good or for worse. They must have gotten the necessary letters in order to even participate in defence tenders so perhaps the barrier of entry have been lowered, maybe.

    Each company would have their reasons to or not to go into the fray, UMW Toyota included, and maybe it is in their business interest not to join or for others, like Volvo Malaysia, a mere 2 heavy duty wrecker trucks is enough to pull them in.

    Either way, the more the merrier and less of the monopoly from the past.

    Nolah, if for one truck many OEMs will be glad to join in the fray but the problem is that they cannot. I have explained this in the past, for example, the RMN uses a variety of Shell Rimula branded lubricants. Shell would gladly sell them to the RMN but due to tender regulations even their distributors cannot do. What is the use of many more suppliers if the end users still have to pay with eyes and ears for a product. It is better than buying than a monopolistic company but there is really no important

  4. @joe

    Looks like OEM that have local registered office, or a JV company but majority owned by OEM is not local enough. I bet if MY Govt want to buy Microsoft Office thru local tender, they have to buy not from Microsoft MY but from Cap Ayam Berhad.

  5. Nimitz,

    Take into account that there are also certain OEMs which prefer not to deal directly with the end user; preferring to have a local rep to handle all the time consuming bureaucratic hassle laden stuff. Quite often (irrespective of local bureaucracy) they are legally forbidden to sell
    directly because of the fact that they have appointed a local agent or representative.

    I’m all for direct deals instead of having to go via a 3rd party (which mostly offer no value added services) and I have been harping on this for years and years now: along with the need for a complete overhaul of our defence policy to undo years of deeply ingrained flawed practises but we have to take note that for “certain” things; it has to be done via a local entity.

    The 2 Volvo heavy prime movers were bought from Volvo Australia; not Volvo Malaysia. When they arrived both were sent to a Volvo Malaysia facility where some initial training/instruction was done (by people from Volvo Australia) but the deal was via Volvo Malaysia.

    The order came through Deftech as it was a VO for the Gempitas

  6. We have to look at the evidence put forth, if things have not changed; the 2019 tender would have gone thru and ATM would have to pay thru eyes & ears to DEFTECH for those 132 trucks, the same goes for this Feb tender of 132 more trucks, and this coming 150 trucks.

    A change has happened, and deals aren’t automatically accepted and shoved down the throats anymore as with the unfulfilled 2019 bid. Maybe its from Mindef, maybe its from ATM, either way the powers that be chose not to go ahead for good reasons.

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