SHAH ALAM: Prime Minister DS Anwar Ibrahim on June 17 said he was embarrassed to see RMN ships from the 70 and 80s taking part in LIMA 2023. Anwar was the guest of honour for the fleet review at LIMA 2023 where fourty ships – half of them Malaysian – took part.
From Free Malaysia Today:
Anwar said he had been astonished to see a navy frigate dating from the 1970s on display at the recent LIMA maritime and aerospace expo in Langkawi.
“I want to salute these ships but I don’t know where to put my face. The last frigate (on display at LIMA) was from 1998,” he said, adding that the government had approved allocations when Lim Guan Eng was finance minister (from 2018-2020).
Anwar, I believe, misspoke about the frigate from the 1970s as KD Lekir which took part in LIMA 2023 was launched in 1983. As for the frigate from 1998, again he misspoke as KD Lekiu and KD Jebat, were commissioned in 1999. There were FACs procured in the 1970s that took part in LIMA 2023, of course.
Anwar was speaking at RMAF Butterworth airbase as part of his visit to Penang in the run-up to the state polls. He told the airmen that he:
Had given orders to the service chiefs of the army, navy and air force that purchasing decisions should be made on professional grounds by the respective units.
“Politicians need not meddle. Same for external agents. When it is decided, we discuss with the Treasury on costs and we negotiate directly with the relevant governments,”
Anwar said the direct-deal method employed by the government in military purchases would prevent the occurrence of corrupt commissions.
He recalled a time when some parties pocketed 100 million euros in commissions to acquire a submarine.
“I am prime minister and finance minister, power is in my hands, but what do I know about jet fighters? So best to leave it to the experts who can compare with other types of aircraft,” he said.
PMX also misspoke when he commented on the submarine deal. It was for two new submarines and a training sub. It is unclear however whether the embarrassment will get Anwar to boost the defence budget up to two per cent of the GDP, at least, to allow the procurement of long delayed stuff.
Together with a clear plan to ensure the funds are not whittle away by wastages as he mentioned above. The first clear clue will be answered on how his administration deal with the LMS Batch 2 project.
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