Malaysiakini News

MCA shells minister over 'military weakest in SEA' remark

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Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu must learn to keep certain matters confidential, especially when it concerns the nation's security, Senator Ti Lian Ker said.

The MCA publicity spokesperson said such matters must be discussed within the cabinet or related agencies, instead of being made public.

“After months of gruelling boot camp training and placing their lives at risk being the front-liners in defence of our nation, a defence minister should never demoralise his troops.

“That is exactly what Mohamad Sabu did when he informed the Dewan Rakyat that 'in terms of our navy, air force and others in Southeast Asia, we are at the bottom',” Ti said.

He then recalled the incursion in Sabah five years ago, which claimed the lives of 10 security personnel, and warned that the minister's statement could open the floodgates for terrorists or foreign militants to attempt another attack.

Ti also argued that if Mohamad's claim was true, the United Nations (UN) would not have despatched Malaysia's military for peacekeeping missions in trouble zones or war-torn nations.

“According to data from UN Peacekeeping, Malaysia is ranked the eighth highest troop contributor to the UN in Asia, contributing 887 troops to UN missions as of October 2017.

“Since October 1960, when Malaysia deployed its first contingent of 3,500 Malay Special Forces of the then Malayan Armed Forces to the UN Operation in Congo (ONUC), Malaysia has participated in more than 30 peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Cambodia and other countries,” he added.

Ti also quoted the minister's press aide as stating in a New Straits Times report today that there is a need for the armed forces to strengthen its military assets so it remains abreast with the latest technology and current needs.

Describing this as “damage control”, he said: “Isn't this standard with all armed forces worldwide, but they certainly do not go around announcing how feeble their armed forces is.”

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