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By Josie Fernandez

Where have the money and weapons gone?

COMMENT "It is clear that unnecessary spending, such as the proposed purchase of more submarines and combat aircraft replacement programme involving billions of ringgit, are relatively less important compared to the urgency to address the budget deficit and weaknesses in public finances." So said Gerakan secretary-general Mah Siew Keong.

It is disappointing that this member party of the BN has failed to go beyond the budget deficit in citing huge defence expenditure.

Figures from the 2011 Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri) annual report show that the world's governments are spending more than ever on the military: US$1,630 billion (RM5,270 billion) a year - and rising. If spent differently, this money would go a long way to resolving the real challenges facing our planet, such as poverty, access to education and health care, climate change, and so on...