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Saturday, May 21, 2016

Freedom of Speech not License to Spread Lies

Freedom of speech is freedom to say anything that you believe in without:

1. being libellous.
2. being detrimental to the security and safety of others.
3. being treasonous.

Freedom of speech can be expressed via any available means, such as these cartoonish satire by Zunar.

In this case, Zunar is testing the very limit of freedom of speech against being treasonous.
Make no mistake. Lampooning your nation's political leaders is one thing. But lampooning them against an active enemy to the nation, that is treason.

Zunar's drawing implies that Malaysian Armed Forces were ill-equipped to battle the Sulu terrorists that had tried to attack Lahad Datu and Semporna in their bid to invade Sabah.

For those of you who seldom follows global military affairs, Zunar's political satire seems to be spot on.  However, the truth is far from that matter.

First Cartoon

In this first cartoon, he drew an airplane labelled as Air Asia carrying weapons and men to the Lahad Datu.  This is an attempt to lampoon the military for not having enough military transport aircraft to carry men to the battlefield.  

He had probably watched too many D-Day movies where hundreds and thousands of paratroopers were paradropped onto the fields of Normandy from hundreds of planes.  Those days are long gone.  Not a single country in the world has that capabilities today.  Not even the mighty USA.  During the Gulf War between Saddam Hussein's Iraq versus George Bush Senior, the US Military even hired Malaysia Airlines to transport their troops from Diego Garcia.

BBC File on D-Day Landing Force.  As compared to RMAF, which has a total of 15 C130 and 9 CN235.

US Military preparing to board a civilian aircraft for deployment to Iraq.

In Lahad Datu and Semporna, Malaysian Armed Forces was able to transport about 2 brigade sized force to meet with the intruders.

Combat Supplies
What I'm going to share is a very little known information that had happened during the Lahad Datu intrusion and Malay folklore. 

But before that, let's explore the Malay folklore first.  

There is a legend that says that if a country is to win a war, the first shot of the war declaring the commencement of the war must be fired by the royal cannon.  How far true is this legend is unknown.

Apparently, this was taken seriously by the Armed Forces. 

The Royal Artillery Regiment operates 105mm Oto Melara Howitzer.  At least 1 of these Howitzer is designated as Royal Gun, or known as Laras Berdaulat.  This gun is used for firing Royal Salute during national-level event.  

On 3rd March 2013, the Malaysian Army fired several rounds from this gun in Port Dickson for the Malaysian Army anniversary.  As the event ended around 12pm, the Army Chief gave instruction to the men to have the howitzer brought to Lahad Datu and fire the first 105mm round at the Sulu by midnight.  And at midnight in Lahad Datu, the firing of the Laras Berdaulat signaled the entry of Malaysian Armed Forces into the fray.

Despite the lack of transport planes, Malaysian Armed Forces were still able to send sufficiently large number of artillery pieces, mortars and consumable supplies to Sabah to combat these terrorists.

The Jets
On the lower left of the cartoon, you can see Zunar wrote "Mana F5E? Mana Sukhoi? Mana Hornet? Mana MIG29?", implying we had bought useless jets aircraft. '

The F5E in RMAF are technically RF5EII standards, which are only used for recon purpose.  These are now seldom deployed for combat purpose as the same role had been taken over by Aludra UAV which had proven itself in Lahad Datu aerial survey.

SU30MKM is the country's premier front line jet aircraft, responsible to defend our airspace.  The role that it plays are to intercept and destroy foreign air threat against Malaysian sovereign air space.  It also plays a key role in maritime strike with its naval using Kh31 missiles.  While it can and does have the ability to perform air-to-ground strike, this would be an overkill.

RMAF F/A18D Hornet is tasked for ground precision strike with the assistance from ground assets providing laser designation using ground laser target designator (GLTD).  Contrary to Zunar's implication, the RMAF F/A18D flew from both Kuching AFB and Labuan AFB to launch the air force first live firing of laser designated target precision bomb.

MiG29N Fulcrum role is a first line interceptor.  Optimised for interception, in terms of doctrine is not suitable for ground attack, though Syrian Air Force has proven otherwise. 

For the record, CAS or Combat Air Support during the conflict were largely handled by British-made BAe Hawk, firing Canadian-made CRV7 unguided missiles.

Second Cartoon

As mentioned earlier, the role of F5E today in RMAF is as recon jet.  The controversy relating to the missing jet engine from RMAF base that was only found in Argentina is real.  However, implying that this alone affected the operational capability of RMAF is indeed preposterous.  

An Opposition MP always claimed credit for revelation of this engine theft despite the incident being revealed in the Auditor-General Audit Report.  

For many that were dumbfounded that the theft could have occurred, the size of the engine is only the size of a small desk and can be kept inside a Kancil; the engine is a dated engine and is already considered obsolete.  

In fact, some other countries have lost engines for larger jets.

KD Tunku Abdul Rahman and KD Tun Abdul Razak are the two Scorpene class submarines bought for RMN.  Despite both submarines sailed all the way back to Malaysia from France, despite the fact that Penang CM Lim Guan Eng have dived into the Andaman Sea in KD Tun Abdul Razak, there are still many that implied the submarines could not dive.  

I do not know from where did Zunar get the idea the submarines do not have torpedoes.  Both submarines carry Black Shark heavy torpedoes which is one of the most powerful torpedoes in the class.  During a test fire of the torpedo by the Navy in 2014, the target was totally obliterated.

I do not have problem that Zunar wants to imply how our nation's political leaders are.  That is between him and the political leaders he always drew.  But when you malign the military that have defended this country since before inception, I will criticize you.  

btw, since he loves to lampoon the leaders from the ruling party, weird isn't it that he never lampoons opposition leaders despite their many scandals today, from the Balak scandal to Tunnel scandal? 


  1. Its sad to see how many of our people ridicule the very people that sacrifice their life to protect our country.
    Buy new asset = Waste of money
    Upgrade already available asset = Waste of money
    Buy 2nd hand asset = Also waste of money
    These kind of people probably want our armed force to be armed with nothing but spears and shields. At least its not Money wasting. ~Pfft~

    1. Then they'll say that our armed forces are poorly equipped

  2. If there were any Scorpene subs without torpedoes, that would be the Indian navy's. Correct me if im wrong.

    1. As far as publicly is known, Indian Navy submarines should technically have torpedoes. They have been operating submarines far longer than Malaysia (courtesy of Russian-made Kilo class submarines). If the above situation occur, this should be the interim period between the delivery of the submarines to the delivery of the torpedoes, but not because non-purchase of the torpedoes.

  3. Can I share your post in my FB page?
    Thanks. M Nazly Noh

  4. nice man. I'm lost on these military subjects. But I'll try to follow! are you by any chance an enthusiast of military weaponry or aviation? cool blog! :D

  5. oh I just noticed your blog's header. so you're a defense fanatic. Cool man. :D