Singapore Spending More on Defence

KUALA LUMPUR: While we wallow in the economic crisis, looks who is spending more on defence.

From AFP.
Singapore Boosts Defense Spending 6 Percent

SINGAPORE – Singapore, battling what likely is its worst-ever recession, plans to increase defense spending by 6.0 percent from a year ago, estimates released Jan. 22 showed.

The government intends to spend 11.45 billion Singapore dollars (7.66 billion US) on defense during the 2009 fiscal year, the estimates showed.

In the budget, the government took the unprecedented move of tapping into its vast financial reserves as part of measures to fight the recession, Finance Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam said during a speech in parliament.

The tiny city-state, which has one of Asia’s most advanced armed forces, spent 10.8 billion dollars for defense in 2008, figures contained in the 2009 budget said.

The money will be used to purchase and maintain military equipment and facilities, and to pay the salaries of national servicemen.

The mission of the armed forces is to enhance peace and security through deterrence and diplomacy, but should these fail, the military will aim to “secure a swift and decisive victory over the aggressor,” a statement on the Ministry of Defence Web site said.

Singapore has a population of more than 4.8 million people, 3.64 million of them citizens and permanent residents who provide the manpower for its conscription-based armed forces.

–Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
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  1. Make sense. The current economic crisis is supposed to be the worst since the one in the 1930s. The economic crisis then resulted in World War 2.

  2. As the govt is preparing a second economic stimulus package, I would like to propose that it should also include funds for the military cum industry but since most of the money would have been gifted to cronies I decided it will be better for us to fix the procurement policy before putting any more money into the black hole.

    Singapore’s defence industry needs the stimulus package as its mostly dependent on the orders from its own military either through procurement or support contracts despite its export success. The industry also employ a large number of Singaporeans which cannot be laid off due to obvious reasons…

  3. Whilst a thousand years ahead of its neighbours, the Singaporean defence industry hasn’t received much export sucess until the recent UK order for the Bronco. From what I’ve been told from industry sources, made in Singapore stuff is extremely pricy, plus the Singaporeans aren’t the easiest of people to deal with. Apart from the reported sale of ‘phone tapping’ gear to Myannmar, and sales of small arms ammo and shells to Latin America and Ultimax 100s to Croatia, Singaporean arms exports have received little publicity. When I was at DSA 93, the people at the CIS stand denied having exported the Ultimax 100 to anyone, despite photos showing the Ultimax 100 in Croatia.

    Even if the economic situation rapidly improves, any large orders for the MAF would put BN in a bad light, given the current political climate. Which means the RMN and RMAF will probably have a long wait for its SuperHornets and muliti purpose supply ships. Whether is alsoeans less funds for live firing exercises remains to be seen….

  4. Marhalim,
    appologies that I don’t know it, but how much money ($ USD) did the Malaysian gov’t spent on Military in 2008?

    Marhalim: based on my record, for 2007-2008 it was around USD5 billion with 70 per cent used for management and salaries, before. For 2008, its down to USD3.5 billion with again almost 70 per cent for management and salaries….

  5. Based on my limited knowledge, i personally believed Malaysian Armed Forces are lacking in many areas both quantity and quality. Defense items now days are really expensive both cost and politically. I also personally believe hat we cant neglect our defences either as it would leave us more vulnerable either psycologically, politically and physically.

    So what will be our choice? The terms assymetrical warfare had been termed and used by a lot of defense planners. Cant really comment on that but my own believe is that for the period 2009 to 2010 at least, we should concentrate more funds on maintaining what we already have for Navy and airforce. Ensures enough parts and supplies to keep our ships, jets and radars in good working orders. The navy and Airforce will be our main deterrent level but if any conflicts turns physical, i donot think they will be able to be the front line as they are not adequately equipped. Unless you are talking about EEZ, then a different story but most of the time it will be settled through peaceful means.

    So if a land confrantation to happen, the army should be the main core. I am not suggesting more tanks etc big budget items but more items such as latest anti tank missiles, MANPADS, small equipments that could make large dent at cheaper cost. The Army already started the Batallion Infantry Standard and i think for the next 2-3 years this should be the focus.

    A latest ATGM may cost USD500k but a whole lot cheaper than a tank. We also should start to look for our 40+ year old 105mm cannon. I believe additional G5 regiments should be look in favour.

    My two cents worth anway

  6. SG’s defense policy is to always try to be ahead of the next competitor by at least 7 years, technologically.

    So, when it comes a time when everyone is shrinking in military spending (like in an economic crisis), SG spends more instead, this will ensure the technological gap gets larger between SG and her neighbors each time they do this.

    This is a classical smart military procurement strategy.

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