You are here
Home > MY ATM > Navy Chief Voices Disappointment Over Dismal Defence Budget

Navy Chief Voices Disappointment Over Dismal Defence Budget

LUMUT: Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) chief Admiral Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany has voiced his disappointment over the “gradually dismal” annual allocation for defence expenditure.

He said the reduction in the annual budget for the Malaysian armed forces made it seem as if the government wasn’t serious about the country’s defence.

Reza said armed forces members consistently give their all for the nation and are disheartened by the reduced allocation.

“In years to come, it is our wish that the military’s annual budget allocation is increased from one per cent to 1.5 per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“Only then can we be more effective. This year, the government, in the 2023 Budget, announced that defence allocation was less than one per cent.

“We work hard but it seems like the contribution from the government is not serious.

“I don’t mind which government it is, I have been through many governments (during my service). Maybe Malaysians don’t take this seriously,” he told the media after attending the Conferment Ceremonies of the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) to Perak’s veteran servicemen at the Lumut naval base.

Malaysia’s percentage of military spending compared to its GDP was between 1.1 per cent and 1.5 per cent between 2012 and 2017.

However the percentage reduced to 0.96 per cent in 2018 and 0.89 per cent in 2019, before increasing again to 1.01 per cent in 2020 and 1.06 per cent in 2021.

On the controversy surrounding the late delivery of the RMN’s littoral combat ships (LCS), Reza said it would not affect the progress of the project.

“I hope that whoever governs and leads the country (after the 15th General Election) will continue with the LCS project. The armed forces must be strengthened,” he said.

On Saturday, Reza had said the construction of the LCS is expected to resume early 2023 after the completion of the mobilisation process at the end of this year.

Caretaker Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein had said the first LCS is expected to be completed within two years.

On a claim made by Bongawan assemblyman Dr Daud Yusof, who described the government as not being serious in dealing with state security matters, especially involving the interests of the people in Sabah and Sarawak, Reza said the military has never given up on defending the country.

“He (Daud) is worried. I am worried too. He said the ships have become obsolete, they are obsolete. Other countries are trespassing (into) our country.

“I do what I can with what we have. We are not giving up, but whatever we have, we do. I always say if we don’t have rattan, the root will do. Don’t ask RMN (about this claim), ask the government,” he said.

At the event, a total of 503 veteran servicemen from Perak received the PJM in appreciation of their courage and services.

Reza said the event was special and historic as the National Veterans Council Meeting No. 8 of 2022 has agreed to delegate authority to the High Officials of the Defence Ministry and the armed forces to confer the PJM.

“This initiative was taken because there are still a total of 87,913 eligible veterans who have not yet received the PJM because the award ceremony is quite limited.

“This effort will help to speed up the granting of PJM to all veterans, which is expected to be fully completed soon,” he said.

One recipient, Roslina Abdul Rahman, 58, who received it on behalf of her late husband, Ahmad Ngah Mohd Yusof, said she was truly touched.

“My husband died 40 days ago due to a heart problem. He has been waiting for this day to come but unfortunately, he left us before he could receive the award.

“He made preparations and had bought new shoes, Baju Melayu and songkok but he couldn’t make it to this event,” she said adding that her 63-year-old husband died at the Taiping Hospital.

Roslina added that her husband had served for 21 years, including in Bosnia and South Korea for several months.

%d bloggers like this: