Turkey Tank Deal

SHAH ALAM: NOT much information have been revealed following a report by Defense News, Wednesday, that a Malaysian company, Etika Strategi, signed a joint venture with Turkish’s BMC and German’s Rheinmetall AG “to expand into internal and external markets” of armor vehicles manufacturing and marketing.

The report says that BMC is bidding to build the Turkish indigenous MBT, the Altay. And it is likely that the JV company will concentrate on exporting the MBTs after BMC secured the rights to build them.

The report stated that the companies in the JV are “armor industry manufacturers” which is spot on for BMC and Rheinmetall but not an accurate description of Etika Strategi.

Altay MBT
Altay MBT

According to its profile listed by Bloomberg, ” Etika Strategi Sdn. Bhd. is a holding company, which through its subsidiaries, operates automotive, banking and postal services, property, and asset and construction businesses in Malaysia. The company was founded in 1982 and is based in Malaysia.

In a more simpler terms, Etika Strategi controls DRB-Hicom Bhd, which in turn has a subsidiary, DRB-Hicom Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd, or Deftech which manufacture and also maintained armoured vehicles, trucks and other items for the military and other government agencies. It also supplies specialized vehicles and commercial buses.

So technically, Etika Strategi is not an armor industry manufacturer though it controls one. 

Altay MBT
Altay MBT

Etika Strategy is controlled/owned by Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, who is listed as the eight richest Malaysian by Forbes magazine.

So far there is no official word on what will the Turkish-JV entail for Malaysia. But I am told that currently DRB-Hicom or Deftech will not be directly involved in the deal. Perhaps Syed Mokhtar will set up another company to promote or manufacture the products.

Altay MBT
Altay MBT

Whether or not it will involved selling MBTs to Malaysia and the setting up of an armor manufacturing plant in Malaysia is beyond me at the moment.

However it is likely that the signing ceremony for the JV was the reason Defense Minister DS Hishammuddin Hussein was supposed to go to Turkey in the third week of July. It was cancelled following the failed military coup on July 15.

The Defense News story. HT to LoongJohn.

— Malaysian Defence

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