YOURSAY | ‘Harapan’s defence budget smaller because they’ve plugged the leakages.'
JusticeNow: I don’t think former defence minister Hishammuddin Hussein has ever heard the words ‘open tender’ in his questioning of how the government intends to purchase military assets with a reduced budget.
Neither has he any idea what transparency, integrity, good governance and corruption-free mean. With these values, prices drop by half, the planes actually fly, and all the assets comes equipped with guns, electronics and engines.
Now, when you buy a plane or helicopter or armoured carrier, it comes with free gifts of ammunition, maintenance, training and warranty. No special vehicles, project delivery partners, or companies specialising in offshore dealings.
P Pillai: Having left a depleted Treasury, it is a little shameless for Hishammuddin to keep harping on the lack of funds available to the Harapan government.
Gerard Lourdesamy: Haven't heard of lease and buy options? Many countries in Europe do this in respect of major defence procurements.
The defence cuts are justified because there’s no more collusion with top military brass and dubious self-appointed consultants of the past, who turned corruption into an art form in the Defence Ministry for the past two decades.
Wsoi: No more commission in the hundreds of millions like with the Scorpene submarine deal. So if you shave a few hundred million here, shave a few hundred million there, what you end up with is plenty of extra money for necessary purchases.
How can Hishammuddin not figure this out?
Dingy: The budget was cut for 2019 because of no more leakages in operating expenses. With open tenders, the government saves a lot of money.
The previous regime needed a huge budget with certain percentage reserved for commissions on overpriced government procurements.
I'm Watching You: Hishammuddin, when the BN government spent an extra RM500 million on a consultant to buy a submarine, who then contributed nothing at all, what do you expect?
Even with a thin budget today, we can achieve greater heights – we don't need big budgets as long as people are truthful and focused on their work and not filling their pockets.
This is probably too much for you to understand. What a waste of your good education.
Bring Back Rafidah: Of course, you still can, but military assets with a reduced budget can be obtained – if you don’t normalise the corruption index within the ministry.
What the former defence minister needs to be talking about is what happened to the Sukhois that can’t fly, the two submarines linked to the death of the Mongolian national, and the ministry land sold off.
Pakcik Am: Where are all the planes former prime minister Najib Abdul Razak told US President Donald Trump that Malaysia will purchase? Malaysia has money.
The question is whether the money is being prudently spent. Hishammuddin, the cousin of Najib, may not be the best person to speak of the management of resources.
Jasmine: I have just one question for Hishammuddin – in which of the ministries you had headed would your name be remembered as a bold, pioneering and an achievement-oriented Minister?
Please ask yourself in front of the mirror.
Anonymous 2427941469612457: Hishammuddin, has it ever occurred to you that there are other people who are smarter than you and can do a better job than you did?
Cicak Boy: Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad may have issued a threat to the US, but the biggest threat to security in the South China Sea is China.
Let's remember that they have built up and militarised an entire island, and are already challenging sea and air vessel moments in the area around 'their' island. Additionally, they have already clashed with Philippine and Vietnamese forces.
Albert Ponniah: I don't see a balance statement by a neutral Asean state. The real permanent threat is China's conquering and turning the Spratly Islands into their military port controlling the sea route of not just others, but the surrender of Asean's territories like Malaysia.
The real problem I think is that Asean is in no position to talk straight or stand up to China because it does not tolerate any challenge to whatever they want to do.
CKL: What is happening in the South China Sea is more complicated than meets the eye. From China's point of view, control over that sea is vital for two strategic reasons.
The first is to ensure that its ships can sail through it unmolested. More important is that China can fly its jets to the Straits of Malacca if any foreign power (read: the United States) tries to block Chinese ships from passing.
The US has a de facto naval base in Changi with the intended purpose of blockading the Singapore end of the Straits in times of war or crisis involving China. Ninety percent of China's imported oil flows through the Straits, so China cannot afford to allow the US to blockade it.
The second reason has to do with China's defence. It is a nuclear power, albeit very small compared to the US and Russia.
Any nuclear power worth its salt must ensure that it has a second or retaliatory strike capability, otherwise its enemy could through a first strike wipe out all its land-based missiles.
This means keeping some weapons on submarines and hiding them in very deep water, which is much harder to eliminate compared to land targets.
The only patch of sea that China has got that is deep enough is the South China Sea. That is why its main nuclear submarine base is located in Southern Hainan, just 20km from deep water.
The air bases China has built in the South China Sea are to defend against the closure of the Straits of Malacca, and against US warship and submarines prowling that sea tracking and searching for Chinese nuclear submarines.
For these reasons, China will never relinquish control over the South China Sea. Without that control, China will forever be under the control of the US.
What would the US do if Chinese warships routinely sail 12 nautical miles off Miami or Los Angeles?
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