Making sense of our defence spending

By Mohd.Ariff Sabri Bin Hj. Abdul Aziz, MP for Raub, Pahang
Our defence budget since 2011 were as follows:-

2011 : 13.82 billion
2012 : 13.71 billion
2013 : 15.2   billion
2014 : 16.1   billion
What have we got to show? On paper we have the following assets. ‘Assets’ appear to be a favourite term of expression for the military hardware we have.  Yes, let’s take a look into our assets and see whether we can justify our defence spending.
When MH370 was reported missing in the South China Sea, we didn’t send our celebrated submarines there because the military says, the ocean there is too shallow for the subs to operate. In any case, our submarines are designed to search and destroy. We responded by saying, we only wanted the search part- no need to destroy. The military chiefs didn’t respond to that.
We did not send our submarine rescue ship either- the one built by a company known as Target Resources Sdn Bhd. We are paying RM6 million a month to Target Resource’s to be on standby. How come we did not send the SRS? Singapore did.
The fact that we did not, suggest that our own SRS hasn’t got all the specs with full underwater search capabilities. Do we have a remote operated vehicle that comes along with our SRS? Do we have trained divers on the ships- the ones using suits like astronauts? If we don’t have these, then what did we spend on?
Now our Captain Kirk PM says, using calculations “never done before”, it is without doubt we conclude that MH370 ended in the Indian Ocean. Ended means what? It crashed into the Indian Ocean? It stayed suspended in the netherworld suggested by the UMNO VVIP Bomoh?
Despite saying that, Hishammuddin can come along to say the PM did not say the plane crash into the Indian Ocean. Even till now, he is still muddling. Yet there are people who say Hisham has done well. Done well measured by which standards? By the standards of school dropouts?
Then why all the sombre mood? Then why the entire sorrowful rendition? Ended there means what it’s supposed to mean- the plane crashed into the Indian Ocean and there were no survivors.
But since the plane ended into the Indian Ocean- where the ocean is deep enough- isn’t it time to mobilise our submarines? UK has sent its submarine to search for the plane. We must now send ours because the primary responsibility to muster a credible number of credible assets lies with us. The plane is ours and we have Malaysians on that plane.
On paper it’s reported Malaysia has:-
Air power: total 224 units of aircraft with 84 helicopters. How may are mission capable and have full combat systems?
Land power: tanks- 74 units; towed artillery pieces- 20; AFVs-1318.
Navy power: total strength 61; Frigates- 4; Corvettes-4, submarines-2; coastal craft-39; Mines warfare-4.
We have 224 units of aircrafts? Why were these not employed during the Lahad Datu invasion? Why did we resort to chartering Air Asia planes when we were not in a total war?
*This article was first posted in sakmongkol.blogspot.com

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