Search This Blog

Friday, November 17, 2017

Defence Budget 2018 - Target of Sick Politicking

Last year, it was DAP YB for Kampar, Dr. Ko Chung Sen that had politicised defence budget allocation, citing that defence spending does not benefit the nation.  This year, it is DAP YB for Klang, Charles Santiago that had proposed for cuts in defence budget in favour for health budget.

DAP YB Kampar - Dr Ko Chung Sen

DAP YB Klang Charles Santiago

Frankly, I do not understand what DAP MPs has against defence spending.  Is it due to their left-wing leaning politics?  Or is there some ulterior motives?

Lowest Few in the World
Despite having figures in billions, the reality is that Malaysian defence spending is amongst the lowest in the world.

Defence Budget: ASEAN - Various Sources

In Southeast Asia, we ranked 4th highest.  For 2018, this is at paltry sum of 1.28% of 2016 GDP.  This is way below what our neighbour, Singapore spends, and is far below what NATO recommends for their member nations.  NATO recommends defence spending at 2% of the member nation's GDP, and even reprimand member nations which do not meet this figure.

ASEAN Defence Budget
No War No Budget?
Frequently, the argument against defence spending is that there is no war.  Thus, military spending should be toned down.

That was what happened to the US after the Great War (World War 1), and Korean War.  Before both wars, the US military were in the midst of downsizing.

Same thing happened to Britain.  They were in the midst of downsizing their military presence when Argentina invaded the Falklands, triggering the Falkland War.

Let's look no further for our own example.

In 2010, the Government could only afford to spend USD3.58 billion (1.77% of 2009 GDP) on defence.  This was a reduction of USD519.2 million as compared to 2009. This resulted in severe cut-back within the military, including closing down critical intelligence listening posts.  3 years later, Lahad Datu and Semporna were infiltrated by 200 plus foreign terrorists, precipitating the worst security threat against Malaysia since 1965.

Danger to Lives
Lowered defence expenditure also threatened the lives of our military personnel.  June this year, a Hawk 108 had crashed, killing both pilots.  The BOI result had came back recently, confirming that the crash was due to technical issue.  With the MRCA replacement programme had been shelved, this too means replacement of the Hawks will not come so soon.

Major Yasmi Mohd Yusof (call sign Caser), 39, and Major Mohd Hasri Safari (call sign Fixer), 31
BAe Hawk 108, a 2-seater variant of the venerable Hawk
Major Kayamboo's death end of last year
Do we want to see our heroes like this?

Shared Benefits
Arguments against military spending always never consider the fact that nation's security is paramount.  Many do not realise that they can sleep well at night because our military men and women placed their lives on the line at all times.

And it seems that many of these politicians even forget, or conveniently forget when their own relatives suffered in the hands of terrorists or pirates.  For example, 4 Malaysians were kidnapped by Abu Sayyaf Group from Filipino waters were family members to YB Alice Ling, DAP MP for Lanang.
Abu Sayyaf kidnap victims.  They were related to a DAP politician from Sibu.

The military spending in Malaysia is also not solely for military purpose.  One of the key roles for Malaysian Armed Forces is Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Recovery (HADR).  Just very recently, the military were deployed to flood areas nationwide, with large number being deployed to Penang, a state whose Chief Minister is from DAP.

So, if DAP choose to continue to politicise defence spending, choose to claim that defence spending does not benefit the nation, choose to claim that defence spending is not important, then they can forget to take over Putrajaya.

Source for Expenditure (click for links)

  1. Malaysia.
  2. Indonesia.
  3. Singapore.
  4. Thailand.
  5. Vietnam.
  6. Philippines

No comments:

Post a Comment