Planning to Fail

PETALING JAYA: With reference to the news article below, it is my contention that Jalan Padang Tembak is walking on air, literally.

How else can one explain the plans to spend more than RM15 billion within the next five years for new arms when the annual budget is only RM11 billion? And it got to RM11 bilion mostly to unplanned requirements. With additional !8 jets (Flankers), six ships and two submarines and an armour regiment, how is it our defence budget is lower than four years ago?

And with 70 per cent of the budget going to salaries and allowances how is the armed forces coping with the ever smaller budget?

The minister said that the additional money was needed to maintain the two submarines and for administrative purposes.

Did something happened to either submarine or the Navy simply forget to ask for the money last year when they were preparing the budget? The minister said yes but its probably that the request was axed for other things. Its either that or the two submarines had been tasked with more duties than originally planned hence the extra maintenance cost.

We all know submarines need to undergo maintenance for one month following three months of service so any additional maintenance cost is really puzzling.

And did the other additional funds were needed to pay for our foray into Afghanistan? Since we will never get to find out more about this we might as well pray that the defence budget for 2011/2012 is around RM15 billion to cater for all additional requirements and operational needs. But with our luck, the budget will be increased but at the same time the salary of soldiers are raised (this is an election year any way) which is good for them but put us back into square one again!

From The Star.

KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry received an additional allocation of RM493.3mil this year, raising the ministry’s budget to a total of RM11bil.

Its minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the supplementary budget was needed to maintain the country’s two Scorpene submarines as well as for administrative purposes.

“The main purpose is to maintain our Scorpene submarines as that expense was not included in the budget,” he told reporters Tuesday.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2186 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. If MoD can do it for the subs, why they can’t ask “out of the blue” extra $$$ for maintenance repair overhaul of trucks,guns etc and put up more border surveillance equipment so as to better seal our borders…

  2. Walking on air they are not. Gulping for air maybe (as in almost drowning from all the struggle to convince the power that be. Even when they’ve understood, the following should be self-explanatory)

    There is a big different between ‘diperakui’ and ‘diluluskan’. Then there is another differences between diluluskan at MINDEF and diluluskan at MoF/Treasury.

  3. While I can understand supplement allocations to cover un anticipated expenses, how is it possible to under budget for maintenance by RM493.3mil? That’s almost 5% of the entire budget! And what exactly does “as well as for administrative purposes” mean? Did someone not get their kickback?

  4. Its like buying MRCA but forgot to buy the munitions that complements the planes. Either MINDEF had screwed up big time or there were more things wrong with the subs that was never anticipated or they had rob the submarine budget for something else and then finding that they need to replace the budget. So many combinations yah but no transparency as to how the moeny is spent.
    Time for the givernment to really walk its talk of transparency

  5. New article in Aviation Week, “Singapore to Buy ASW Aircraft”. Here are some excerpts…

    “Singapore, a small-island nation dependent on sea trade for its livelihood, has decided to explore the option of gaining a more sophisticated anti-submarine warfare (ASW) and maritime patrol capability.

    “The consensus among industry executives is that the impetus for the procurement is the growing number of submarines among Singapore’s neighbours.

  6. Ridiculous is the word that they FORGOT to ask for an allocation to maintain the latest equipment that they acquired and even more interesting that they have to spend more than 15% of the capital acquisition cost on annual maintenance. Something is wrong here but as usual we will never know.

  7. this scenario is not just exclusive to mindef but to all ministry, just to show that election is just at the corner.

    i m really hope big pie of additional fund is for scorpene and not administrative purposes.

  8. I wonder if this budget request has anything to do with the recent incident involving a certain French lawyer… Is “administrative purposes” code for hush money? I hate to be so cynical; I just wish that the government would embrace transparency.

  9. Submarine is very complex weapon platform and maintaining it is no easy task. I have always argue for strong maintenance culture and understanding among the planners and administrators. Just looked at the unreliable British tanks during WW2 which causes untold miseries for the combatants. That is why we need to separate the operators from the planners. Planners (Generals, admirals) set the mission (target) while operators prepare the platform at optimum condition. Combat readiness is everything. There is an urgent need to revamp the system, too many managers I say and not enough technical expertise. That is why acquisition of too many different platforms is part of planning to fail. Simplify the fleet and increase the combat readiness.

  10. Zaidi,

    The term ”commonality” was a term our defence planners ignored due to a past policy of not putting all of one’s eggs in one basket.
    Unlike others, I’m not really bothered whether its the Gowind or Sigma thats gets selected, what is important is that COSYS and other systems are mantained as it will be easier to support, rather than a whole new range of new radars, electronics and a CMS. Boeustaud had previously recommended that COSYS be mantained for the same reason. There is already an Atlas bridge simulator in service at Lumut and it will be ludicrous if we have to get another bridge simulator to support the LCS.

    The COSYS will remained with Kedah class as most likely Thales Tacticos or DCNS Setis will be installed on the new frigates. The Navy want Tacticos as it will be the same system as fitted to the Kasturi. The situation remained fluid at the moment and it will be a race to the finish line which remained hazy.
    As for the Kedah class the industry is abuzz with speculation that it fit the bill for the MMEA requirements for six large OPVs. Nonetheless due to the shortage of hulls it is unlikely that they will farm them out until the frigates are commissioned.

  11. Marhalim,

    Whatever gets selected let just hope that the RMN and tax payers do not get screwed again as they were with the NGOPV – Kedah class. Apart from the AV8 is the army getting anything under the 10th MP or is there probably no cash left?

    What I like about the Kasturi SLEP is that it involves a Mirador elecro-optical sight which is very useful for indentifying surface contacts at night and at long distances. The Lekiu class only has a thermal imager.

    When the Lekius were built EO sights were not common items but now it is. Perhaps they can installed the same sights whenever the ships are dry docked for maintenance as they are not that expensive, comparatively of course.
    Apart from the AV8, the Army is getting more M4s and perhaps the Pinzgauers. Apart from those two items I have not heard anything else, yet.

  12. I thought the people said the army couldn’t maintain the pinzies, yet they are ordering more? I wouldn’t be surprised if they order unimogs next,screw that commonality and maintainability crap…

    No, they want to replace the Pinzis..

  13. @Azlan,

    Bridge simulator in Lumut is for generic navigation training. It is not meant to simulate any particular type of system or even bridge for that matter.

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