150 Naik Belon TUDM

150 community leaders and longhouse chiefs from Kanowit, Hulu Rajang and Kapit were flown to Kuala Lumpur from Sibu to meet the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister in a Royal Malaysian Air Force A400M strategic airlifter.

Dayakdaily

Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) President Dr James Jemut Masing led the delegation to brief Najib Razak on the issues affecting the Upper Rajang basin.

We are happy that the country’s top two leaders are giving us their time to meet up (with us),” Dr James added.

As usual, the Opposition and their supporters went to town with allegations of mistreatment of the longhouses chiefs and lack of funds on the PM’s part.

If only they know how special it is for these people to have been able to experience flying on board the RMAF’s A400M.  But why fly in an Air Force plane rather than taking one of eight daily direct flights from Sibu to Kuala Lumpur?

Firstly, it would have been almost impossible to get all of them on board the same flight either on MAS (which has two flights) or AirAsia’s six flights.  The logistics alone would have been an inconvenience to the passengers.  Getting the A400M to fly them to Kuala Lumpur was the better choice.

I would imagine the Prime Minister’s Office would have written in to the RMAF asking if it could charter one or two of its airlifters to fly in these leaders.  It is not uncommon for government departments to charter military aircraft for its departmental use.

When I was still in service, the RMAF’s S-61A4 Nuri helicopters were being used by the Department of Orang Asli Development to ferry Orang Asli on field trips to Kuala Lumpur.  On 25 August 1990, a C-130H that was used to ferry support staff of a Royal visit to Sibu veered off the runway upon landing. A nurse died after unsecured luggage fell on her head.

The Ministry of Health also uses the RMAF helicopters to perform mercy flights for life-threatening cases that need immediate treatment elsewhere.  You could too if you are wiling to pay a charter amount if it is not a life-threatening medical situation as long as the attending doctor says such a flight is necessary but not immediate, you are willing to pay, and the RMAF agrees.

Back to the story of the 150 community leaders, the RMAF probably provided the A400M for the following reasons: it had the seating capacity to carry 150 passengers comfortably and, it was a good opportunity for the RMAF to allow civiians to experience flying in the most sophisticated airlifter in the region.  And if you think the in-flight ration is bad, you actually get more food to eat on board a RMAF medium-haul flights, and the fried chicken is good too!

Some may ask, why don’t the PMO or RMAF charter an AirAsia plane as it normally does for our peacekeepers serving overseas?  Let it be known that the charter of an airliner is done based on deployment schedules.  Chartering an airliner at such short notice would cause delays to many flights as the number of aircraft in any airline is limited, and the priority would be to serve their commercial destinations.

To be able to fly on board the A400M is an experience of a lifetime. Many in the RMAF including senior officers have never gotten the chance to, what more the rest of the Malaysian Armed Forces. So the part where Mr Voon says “Kami tidak senang dengan cara awak melayan Sarawakians” is just a statement made out of ignorance.

The community leaders now have something to talk about for generations – being able to meet the country’s two top leaders and air their concerns, and the experience of fying on board a sophisticated military airlifter.

The Riddle Of The Missing Fighter Bombers

A RMAF A-4PTM (Peculiar-to-Malaysia) Skyhawk

In 1982, 25 A-4C and 63 A-4L Skyhawks which were US Vietnam-era surplus were contracted for purchase costing less than USD 1 million each by the Malaysian government for the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s use.  Of the 88 airframes, 54 were to be converted to single-seater fighter-bombers while 14 were to be converted to two-seater versions for training and conversions.  The rest would be cannibalised for spare parts.

However, the cost for re-engine, new avionics and stretching of some of the airframes made the cost of each airframe balloon FOUR TIMES the purchase price.  The final cost of the programme for these second-hand aircraft was USD320 million (purchase cost was less than USD88 million).

The RMAF Skyhawks were designated the A-4PTM/TA-4PTM (PTM: Peculiar-To-Malaysia). Delivery of 40 airframes began on 23 February 1985, the then-Prime Minister took delivery of ten A-4PTMs and launched No.6 Squadron for the new used aircraft.  The delivery was completed a year later.

23 Feb 1985: The PM received 10 A-4PTM Skyhawks and launched the No.6 Squadron at the Kuantan Airbase

Not many below 50 would remember that 1985 was a year of bad recession in Malaysia.  This was admitted by the then Auditor-General Tan Sri Ahmad Noordin Zakaria who said that apart from the BMF financial scandal (that caused the live of Jalil Ibrahim), the recession also caused budgetary problems and affected the country’s balance pf payments.

1985 was a problematic year, the first recession in the Mahathir years

But that did not stop the government from buying two more aircraft in 1985 namely the Grumman HU-16B Albatross which are seaplanes for use by the Royal Malaysian Air Force.  Coincidentally, Grumman was the contractor that refurbished the A-4PTMs for Malaysia.

Interestingly, the Albatrosses were placed under No.2 Squadron which is a VIP communications squadron.  The USAF’s last flight of the Albatross was in 1973, the last flight of the USN was in 1976 while the USCG last flew the Albatross in 1976.  We bought the pair in 1985 but by 1987 I never saw them fly ever again. 466 were built since 1949 and the last airframe was buit in 1961.  There is no way we had bought two new aircraft.

Malaysia bought two used seaplanes for the RMAF

Only 40 Skyhawks were delivered to Malaysia between – 34 single seater A-4PTMs and six two-seater TA-4PTMs.  The rest remained in the desert and some at the Marana Regional Airport in Arizona.

A-4PTM (M32-40) in the paint shop. Picture by Sean Campbell who is seen standing in the left of this photo

The A-4PTMs and TA-4PTMs started dropping out of the sky as soon as they entered service.  One developed engine trouble in September 1985 while landing and exploded at the Kuantan airbase. The pilot managed to eject.

Three years later, four Skyhawks went down including one piloted by the current Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, General Tan Sri Haji Affendi bin Buang RMAF, while one pilot, Lieutenant Wahi Anuar RMAF remains missing until today after crashing into the South China Sea. I still remember how the annual exercise was put on hold in 1988 because of this incident.

Five more Skyhawks crashed in the following years. Four years after entering service, the RMAF announced that the Skyhawks will be replaced by the BAe Hawks 108/208 in 1994 making the Skyhawks the shortest-lived combat aircraft in the RMAF’s inventory.  Six Skyhawks were retained as aerial tankers using Douglas D-704 external buddy tanks. They were taken completely out of service in 1999.

I wonder whose decision it was for second-hand Skyhawks and Albatrosses to be purchased by Malaysia.  The Minister of Defence from 1981 to 1986 was Mahathir himself, who was replaced by Tun Abdullah Haji Ahmad Badawi in 1986.  Was the RMAF being used as a dumping ground for used goods while people made money out of the RMAF and the lives of its pilots?

In 1984, a year before the delivery of the Skyhawks and purchase of the ancient Albatrosses, Mahathir went to the US and met with President Ronald Reagan at the White House.  In his remark Mahathir said, “I’m particularly happy to note the encouraging signs of economic recovery in the United States, which we consider significant, if not crucial, in assuring a healthy global economy.”

Mahathir added, “In fact, if you were to ask me what is it I would want the United States to do with regard to economic policy, my honest and simple response is for the U.S. economy to get ahead and regain its strength, for the healthier and more vibrant the U.S. economy becomes, the better it will be, not only for the United States and Malaysia but all the developing countries in the world.”

So, it is wrong for Najib Razak to want to help improve the economy of the United States but not wrong for Mahathir to have done the same in 1984.  I wonder whose individual economy also improved with the purchase of those second-hand aircraft?

If you think Hollywood has a scary movie called “IT”, Malaysia’s Opposition has even scarier clowns called “ITS”

If you think it was bad enough that we had paid USD232 million more for 88 Skyhawks that cost less than USD88 million but brought back only 40 which served the RMAF effectively for only nine years, you have not heared the full story.

In 2003, the RMAF decided to sell off the Skyhawks including the 48 airframes that were never brought back to Malaysia.  To their horror, they were asked for a proof of purchase of the 48 that were left there!  While the RMAF had the 40 they received in their inventory, the rest that were paid for never had any receipt produced – that is USD174.72 million worth of airframes that had no proof of purchase.

Even if the 48 were not upgraded, this still means USD48 million worth of defence assets procured using the RAKYAT’s money (to borrow a favourite Pakatan catchphrase) did not come with a receipt saying they are ours.

This also means that the cost of ugrading, which amounted to USD232 million, was only for 40 aircraft.  That makes USD6.8 million the cost for each of the 40 Skyhawks that were sold to us for less than USD1 million each. Amazingly disgusting amount of money paid.  Each upgraded Skyhawk could have given us three F-5Es and the total we paid for upgrading the Skyhawks alone could have gotten us 110 combat-ready Northrop F-5E Tiger IIs (combat-ready F-5Es were selling for USD2.1 million each) which still have operational status worldwide even now.  We were already operating 14 F5-Es and two F-5Fs.

The RF-5E (Reconnaissance) M29-20 that operated with RMAF’s No.12 Squadron in Butterworth

We purchased aircraft that were dangerous for our men and women to fly, for a price tag that defeats logic. What promise did Mahathir make to Ronald Reagan then?

And why are we not owning the remaining 48 Skyhawks that we have bought in 1982?

Defence: Pentingnya Mempertahankan Kedaulatan Negara

Operasi Daulat Mac 2013

Pada hari Selasa bersamaan 12 Februari 2013, sekumpulan 100 orang bersenjata yang diketuai oleh Haji Musa, orang kanan Mohammad Ismail A Kiram, anak keempat kepada Muhammad Fuad A Kiram, seorang yang mengangkat dirinya sendiri sebagai Sultan Sulu, telah mendarat di Kampung Tanduo, Tanjung Labian, di daerah Lahad Datu, Sabah.

Menurut laporan asal, mereka berkumpul di sebuah rumah milik Ahmad Malandi, yang juga dikenali sebagai ‘Mat Bom‘ bukan hanya kerana beliau sering menggunakan bom buatan sendiri untuk menangkap ikan, tetapi juga kerana pernah menyerang sebuah pejabat FELDA di FELDA Sahabat  dalam tahun 1990an dengan menggunakan bom ikan gara-gara tidak berpuas hati dengan pertikaian tanah pusaka dengan FELDA.

Saya pernah menulis bagaimana kumpulan pertama yang terdiri dari lima orang yang memakai jubah diiringi 27 orang memakai separa-celoreng telah medarat terlebih dahulu, diikuti sekitar 70 orang kemudiannya.  Kesemua mereka bersenjatakan M-14 dan AR-15.

Pasukan keselamatan membuat tembakan di sebalik perlindungan semasa Op Daulat

Pasukan keselamatan telah mula bertindak dengan Polis DiRaja Malaysia menggerakkan dua kompeni dari Pasukan Gerakan Am, dan disokong oleh pegawai dan anggota Tentera Darat Malaysia dari 5 Briged Infantri.  Rundingan dijalankan pihak PDRM untuk memujuk mereka meletakkan senjata dan menyerah diri kepada pihak polis.  Malangnya, pada 1 Mac 2013 para pengganas Sulu ini bertindak bertempur dengan pasukan Komando 69 PDRM di Kampung Tanduo, diikuti dengan serang hendap terhadap pegawai dan anggota Cawangan Khas PDRM di Kampung Simunul di Semporna keesokan harinya.  Pada 5 Mac 2013, peringkat ofensif oleh Angkatan Tentera Malaysia dan PDRM telah dilancarkan untuk menghapuskan para pengganas tersebut.

Salah seorang pengganas Sulu yang mampus ditembak oleh pasukan keselamatan Malaysia

Peristiwa berdarah tersebut telah berlalu lebih empat tahun yang lalu dan ramai yang sudah melupakan peristiwa tersebut.  Malah sejak berakhirnya peristiwa tersebut, ada juga pihak-pihak yang berbaik-baik dengan musuh negara yang nyata dengan memberi mereka pengiktirafan politik di negara mereka.  Alasan yang diberikan ialah peristiwa di Kampung Tanduo adalah ‘kisah lama.’ Begitulah celakanya sikap mereka yang durjana ini.

“Kisah di Kampung Tanduo adalah kisah lama,” kata Ahli Parlimen DAP, Teresa Kok

Sungguh malang nasib balu dan ibubapa 10 orang para pegawai dan anggota PDRM dan ATM yang terkorban di Lahad Datu mempertahankan kedaulatan negara.  Pengorbanan anak mereka, suami mereka, bapa kepada anak-anak mereka, diperlekehkan oleh mereka yang tidak berhati perut, hanya kerana kepentingan politik sempit mereka.

Salah seorang perajurit negara yang terkorban di Lahad Datu

Baru-baru ini dilangsungkan perbarisan penganugerahan “Battle Honour Daulat Februari 2013” di Kota Kinabalu.  Selain untuk menganugerahkan unit-unit ATM yang terlibat dalam Op Daulat dengan “Battle Honour,” ianya juga adalah untuk memberitahu kepada rakyat Malaysia, terutamanya di Sabah, bahawa kerajaan tidak memandang ringan tugas mempertahankan kedaulatan negara, dan juga memperingatkan semua bahaya pencerobohan yang dilakukan sama ada untuk peperangan konvensional mahupun peperangan asimetri.

Perbarisan penganugerahan “Battle Honour Daulat Februari 2013” di Padang Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu pada 11 Ogos 2017

Lewat ini kita sering dapati sesetengah pihak yang tidak bertanggung jawab menyerang integriti serta moral pasukan keselamatan dengan menghina dan merendah-rendahkan kebolehan serta aset yang dimiliki pasukan keselamatan.  Mungkin mereka merasakan bahawa di dalam mana-mana peperangan, mereka tidak akan merasa sebarang kesusahan.

Kita ketahui terdapat anggota ATM dan PDRM yang tercedera dalam pertempuran semasa Op Daulat dilangsungkan tetapi tidak ramai yang mengetahui mahupun dapat menilai pengorbanan yang dilakukan oleh pasukan keselamatan kita untuk mempertahankan kedaulatan.  Ini bukannya cerita ‘Combat‘ mahupun ‘Rambo‘ di mana heronya akan mendapat luka-luka kecil tatkala bertempur, tetapi ada yang tidak sempurna anggota dan fungsi tubuh badan setelah terkena tembakan.

Berikut adalah di antara paparan yang mungkin tidak pernah dilihat oleh rakyat Malaysia sebelum ini, tetapi saya rasakan amat perlu ditunjuk supaya kita faham erti pengorbanan pasukan keselamatan kita.

Seorang anggota keselamatan Malaysia yang tercedera ditembak diberi rawatan oleh petugas Kor Kesihatan DiRaja
Seorang anggota pasukan keselamatan kita yang ditembak di dada diberi rawatan oleh petugas Kor Kesihatan DiRaja setelah peluru tersebut menembusi tubuh beliau

Sekiranya anda merasakan hanya para anggota keselamatan kita yang merasa pahit maung pertempuran, anda tersilap. Realitinya amat berbeza sekali.

Apabila hospital medan didirikan oleh Kor Kesihatan DiRaja di kawasan operasi, orang awam yang terdiri dari para penduduk di situ yang telah tercedera ditembak secara rambang oleh pengganas Sulu berduyun-duyun datang untuk mendapatkan rawatan kecemasan.  Di antara mereka termasuk kanak-kanak dan bayi yang menjadi mangsa keganasan pengganas Sulu.  Mereka langsung tidak berperi kemanusiaan terhadap para penduduk timur Sabah sedangkan mereka kata Sabah adalah hak mereka.

Seorang mangsa tembakan rambang pengganas Sulu mendapatkan rawatan setelah Kor Kesihatan DiRaja membuka hospital medan
Seorang kanak-kanak juga menjadi mangsa kekejaman peluru pengganas Sulu
Bayi yang tidak berdosa ini juga tidak terlepas dari keganasan para pengikut Kiram. Bayi ini telah kehilangan banyak darah semasa dibawa ke hospital medan ATM. Status bayi ini tidak diketahui sama ada selamat ataupun tidak

Rentetan daripada insiden di Lahad Datu inilah kerajaan mewujudkan ESSCOM untuk memantapkan kawalan keselamatan di timur Sabah.  Menteri Pertahanan Dato’ Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein berkata inisiatif terbaharu kerajaan ialah dengan menempatkan 7,000 anggota Tentera Darat  dengan perlaksanaan Op Daratan, Op Balasah, Op Khas dan Op Pasir bagi mempertahankan daratan Sabah.  Satu kompeni infantri Tentera Darat juga telah ditempatkan di kawasan Cenderawasih, Lahad Datu untuk memastikan kawasan pantai Lahad Datu terkawal sepenuhnya.

Tambah beliau lagi, inisiatif Trilateral Maritime Patrol (TMP) telah dilancarkan oleh Malaysia bagi memastikan mana-mana anggota militan termasuk Da’esh tidak menjadikan Laut Sulu sebagai laluan tikus untuk menceroboh masuk ke negara ini manakala inisiatif Trilateral Air Patrol (TAP) akan dilaksanakan dalam masa terdekat.

Jangan kita lupa siapa musuh kita.  Jangan kita bersekongkol dengan mereka yang bersahabat dengan musuh yang tidak senang dengan kemerdekaan dan kesenangan yang kita kecapi.  Jangan kita termakan hasutan politik kebencian (politics of hate) yang diamalkan oleh sesetengah pihak yang sanggup berbaik-baik dengan musuh untuk mendapat pengiktirafan mereka.

Musuh dalam selimut: Nurul Izzah bersama dengan Jacel Kiram, anak “Sultan” Kiram yang sehingga kini menganggap Sabah sebahagian dari “kerajaan” Sulu

Jangan kita lupa pengorbanan pasukan keselamatan kita. Jangan jadikan pemergian mereka, dan juga pemergian para penduduk yang menjadi mangsa kekejaman pengganas Sulu sebagai pemergian yang sia-sia.  Berikanlah sokongan tidak berbelah bahagi kepada pasukan keselamatan kita, terutamanya Angkatan Tentera Malaysia, kerana musuh tidak membeza-bezakan di antara tentera dan rakyat Malaysia.

Kita semua adalah musuh mereka.

Berilah sokongan tidak berbelah bahagi kepada Angkatan Tentera Malaysia

Kapal Selam Kerala Kena Tembak Lagi


Bising FELDA akhirnya tertangkap ambil komisyen juak hotel felda ialah Zahid Md Arip Pemimpin Pusat Parti Bunga Raya…kini mula terdedah pula kes kapal selam rupanya Mahathir dan anaknya di belakang sebenarnya
SCORPENE : Perjanjian Pembelian Dibuat Sejak Zaman Mahathir Lagi
Razak Baginda tidak ada sewaktu perjanjian kapal selam diadakan, yang ada adalah Mahathir. 
Ini kerana perjanjian kapal selam itu sebenarnya sudah dirangka dan dimeterai ketika zaman pentadbiran Mahathir Mohamad dulu sebagai Perdana Menteri dan bukannya pada zaman Perdana Menteri sekarang, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
Perkara itu direkodkan dalam hansard sidang Dewan Rakyat pada tahun 2002 lagi. Timbalan Menteri Pertahanan telah memaklumkan Dewan Rakyat mengenai kontraknya apabila perkara itu dibangkitkan di parlimen. 
Mahathir yang kini adalah Pengerusi PPBM jangan buat-buat lupa berkenaan perjanjian membeli kapal selam itu.
Masa itu, Timbalan Menteri berkenaan telah menyatakan dalam dewan yang mulia di Parlimen jumlah yang dibayar kepada syarikat Malaysia bukannya komisen tapi kos perkhidmatan, penyelenggaraan dan latihan.
Kedua-dua mereka Perdana Menteri, Mahathir, dan Timbalan Perdana Menteri pada masa itu Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi sebenarnya tahu apa yang berlaku. 
Bahkan sebelum itu Mahathir sudah meninjau kapal selam dari Perancis ketika Pameran Maritim dan Udara Antarabangsa Langkawi (LIMA’97) 1997. Tiga kapal selam dari tiga negara iaitu Rusia, Perancis dan Turki turut menyertainya untuk ditinjau oleh kerajaan pada masa itu.
Kemudian selepas meninjau kapal selam Perancis di LIMA 97, setahun selepas itu Mahathir menulis surat pada Michel Rocard, Perdana Menteri Perancis berkaitan hal kapal selam. 
Dalam buku bertajuk “Surat Terpilih Dr Mahathir Kepada Pemimpin Dunia”, mukasurat 218, menyatakan pada tahun 1998, Perdana Menteri, Perancis dan Mahathir bertukar-tukar empat pucuk surat.
Dalam kandungan surat itu menyatakan bahawa Malaysian Airlines (MAS) akan mendapat lebih hak mendarat di Paris, dan Malaysia akan mendapatkan dua kapal selam buatan Perancis iaitu jenis Scorpene yang akan dihantar pada 2009. 
“Seramai 145 orang pegawai Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia (TLDM) sedang dilatih di Ecole Formation de Sous Marine di Brest, sejak 2005.
“Dua kapal selam itu akan diletakkan di pangkalan di Sepanggar di Sabah apabila ia sudah beroperasi nanti,” kata surat itu.
Ini bukti jelas, rundingan untuk pembelian kapal selam ini dibuat sejak zaman Mahathir lagi. Dua hari lepas, Mahathir kata dia tidak tahu menahu tentang pembelian kapal selam. Mahathir memang sengaja buat buat lupa dan tidak mahu mengaku. 
Pembohongan Mahathir tidak boleh ditutup. Jangan cuba menipu orang yang mengetahui urusan rundingan kapal selam itu. 
Bekas Pegawai Penyiasat Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia (TUDM) Kapten (B) Abdul Rahmat Omar Tun Haniff pula mendedahkan pembohongan Mahathir itu. 
“Mahathir boleh memperbodohkan pemuda seperti Ketua Armada PPBM) Syed Saddiq, mereka yang lebih matang mengetahui perkara sebenar.
“Lampu hijau bagi pembelian Scorpene diberikan oleh Perdana Menteri dan Menteri Kewangan sejak 1995 lagi” katanya.
Sejak 1995 lagi, sebab itulah pada 1997 pada pameran LIMA 97 ada kapal selam dari Perancis datang ke Langkawi. Kemudian pada 1998, Mahathir dan Perdana Menteri Perancis berutus surat berkaitan pembelian kapal selam itu. 
6 tahun selepas itu, pada 2002, kontrak pembelian kapal selam bernilai RM3.7 billion diluluskan oleh Perdana Menteri pada waktu itu. 
Malah lebih mengejutkan bila bekas pegawai penyiasat ketenteraan, Kapten (B) Abdul Rahmat Tun Haniff mendedahkan anak Mahathir dan Daim terlibat dalam urusan kapal selam ini.
“Penyokong asal program kapal selam Malaysia adalah Mokhzani Mahathir dan Ibrahim Mohd Noor (pada ketika itu CEO syarikat yang baru disenaraikan BERNAS, bertindak bagi pihak Daim Zainuddin)” kata Abdul Rahmat.
Hari ini, Mahathir mahu pertikai kenapa Malaysia beli kapal selam. Tidak patut hendak pertikai lagi bila Arab Saudi sendiri sudah mahu belajar dan berkongsi kepakaran dan latihan kapal selam dengan Malaysia. 
Sesudah gagal gunakan isu 1MDB, DoJ dan lain lain lagi untuk jatuhkan Datuk Seri Najib, Mahathir kena cungkil balik cerita kapal selam untuk dijadikan isu. “Desperate” dah Mahathir ini.
Klik https://www.facebook.com/SudahlahMahathir/

Defence: The Funniest Multiple Launch Rocket Story

Malaysian Incite’s story on a Multi Launch Rocket System offer by China to Malaysia

Malaysian Incite today came up with another piece of hogwash (what’s new) on a supposed defence deal between Malaysia and China.

Up to 12 units of the AR3 multiple launch rocket system (MLRS) will be offered to Malaysia in a purchase programme with a loan period of 50 years,” wrote Malaysian Incite quoting an unnamed source (very credible this) believed by many local defence observers and writers to be a person with the surname of ‘Lam.’

50 YEARS?  This is just to rile up the stupid Opposition supporters who cannot distinguish the difference between the rain-unfriendly ASTRO DTU and the Army’s ASTROS II.  In just 30 years the ASTROS system has undergone so many upgrades and a new system called the ASTROS 2020 is already in development phase.  Do you mean Malaysia will be stuck with an obsolete system for half the system’s life and still has to pay for it?

Firstly, the Malaysian Army already has six batteries of the ASTROS II MLRS acquired in two batches in 2002 and 2007.  The ASTROS II are battle-proven and was first deployed during the Gulf War by the Saudi Arabian forces.  The obvious differences between the ASTROS II and the AR3 system that “China is offering” are the range of the rockets and the Guided Multiple Launch Rocket System (GMLRS) as opposed to the conventionally-targetted MLRS that the Malaysian Army employs.

Secondly, the timing of Malaysian Incite’s article on the MLRS coincides with Singapore’s National Day – and with Malaysian Incite being as bad as Malaysiakini (or is attempting to dethrone Malaysiakini as the bad boy portal), the best thing to do mid-week (which coincidetally happens to be Singapore’s National Day) is to create a sour point in the Malaysia-Singapore relations.

Thirdly, the MLRS is a offensive operations weapons system.  No one buys an MLRS unless someone next door has it first. In Malaysia’s case, Thailand became the first MLRS operator on this end of Asia.  So, we bought the ASTROS II.  Two years after we acquired the second batch, Singapore bought the US M-142 HIMARS.  Therefore, Singapore has no fear to add if Malaysia is given access to China’s AR3 as. if fired from Woodlands, the HIMARS would be able to hit Bangi and Kajang compared to the AR3 hitting Woodlands only if fired from Ayer Keroh.

Fourthly, a new MLRS is not something the Malaysian Army wants right now. It has other worries to address. It is adequately prepared to defend against land aggression and protect its infrastructure and fire units with its air defence systems if needed. As with Singapore, the asymmetrical threat is now the paramount concern, and instead of being concerned about fighting each other, Malaysia and Singapore are working closely (even with other countries) to combat asymmetrical threats.

Fifthly (yes, there is fifthly. It is just superfluous but more formal than fifth), being at the receiving end of a MLRS salvo is like being in a rain of steel and high explosives, saturation fire is the concept.  You don’t need it to be super-duper accurate because when the rockets hit the ground, there is nowhere safe that you can hide.  And what is this about the AR3 having a radar because airspace control issue has been a sore point between Malaysia and Singapore?  The AR3 is not designed to do air defence. It is a land-offensive system! It shoots targets on the surface, not in the air!

The Malaysian Incite tries to be scarily defence-savvy but sounds scarily stupid trying to sound intelligent

Finally, read Malaysian Incite only if you believe that China has the ability to remotely-control the AR3 that Malaysia “will be getting” to fire rockets at Singapore if Malaysia refuses to do so. The Malaysian Incite is definitely THE portal for empty-skulled sorry-excuse-for-human-beings.

I read this I so scare one lor! I scare oledi Singapore sure scare one mah!

If I were the Malaysian Army, and in a decade I want to replace my ASTROS II, I would probably get the ASTROS 2020 with the tactical missiles with a 300 kilometre range, if I really want such a system.  Else, I will look for a system with commonalities for easy operator transition.

And to add, Najib Razak does not go around making enemies with neighbours. We have had a lot of enemy-making for 22 years once upon a time.

Insider Submarine Trading?

Najib Razak’s reply to Wan Azizah on the Scorpene issue in 2008
In 2008, then Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence, in his reply to Wan Azizah confirmed that all terms and approvals of the procurements of the two units of Scorpene submarines and 18 units of fighter jets were made in accordance with Government procurement procedures and could only be executed by the Finance Ministry.

The inking of the deal to purchase the Scorpene submarines was made in June 2002 when a now-amnesiac Prime Minister was also the Finance Minister then.

In yesterday’s posting I mentioned about Ibrahim mohd Noor being Daim Zainuddin’s proxy and ran Perimekar Sdn Bhd with Mohzani Mahathir out of a bungalow at Jalan Lembah Ledang off Jalan Duta in Kuala Lumpur.  The fact is that very few people know that Ibrahim had an office there, which also happened to be the base for the creation of Ibrahim’s venture into media and advertising via Blue Inc Sdn Bhd.

Being close to Daim gave him the advantage of ‘privileged knowledge’ and knew when Mahathir finally agreed to to the submarine program.  He teamed up with Mokhzani Mahathir and used Perimekar as the vehicle for this venture. A nucleus team was formed and started on the proposal.  They went to a few reputable German shipbuilders like HDW and Blohm & Voss.

However, at the end of 2001, Daim and Mahathir had a fall out.  Lim Kit Siang, Mahathir’s now best friend, was very observant of this event and commented that the Mahathir-Daim fall-out is not over policy differences on whether to end the policy of bail-outs and buy- outs.

Rather, he claimed, it was “over differences as to who should be the beneficiaries of such government bail-outs and buy-outs at a time when the government must pick and choose the beneficiaries as public resources are stretched to the limit and are incapable of saving all crony companies and individuals.”

Of course, Lim Kit Siang being an old man although not yet as old as Mahathir, suffers from selective amnesia and seems to have forgiven Mahathir for all his sins to the people of Malaysia – as long as the position that gives power is within his grasp.

As a result of the fall out, Ibrahim had to give up Perimekar and his quest to supply the Royal Malaysian Navy with its submarines, and Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) took this up.

At the time, Boustead was planning to take over Amin Shah’s Business Focus Group, in particular the PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd.  Amin Shah, a known Daim crony, privatised the Royal Malaysian Navy’s dockyard during Daim’s tenure as the Finance Minister and injected it into a company he took over, Penang Shipyard Co.

At the time, PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd already had the contract to supply six out of 27 new-generation patrol vessels  for the RMN, which happened to be a deal between PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd’s joint-venture with German shipbuilder Blohm & Voss.

It seemed convenient for Perimekar then to also have another deal with a German shipbuilder especially Blohm & Voss.

After Ibrahim was out of the picture and Abdul Razak Baginda’s wife was in Perimekar, the latter shopped around for a suitable submarine.  The DCNS and Thales at the time had a product which was the Scorpene submarine, considered a superior diesel-electric attack submarine at the time and was constructing for the Chilean Navy.

In early 2002, the Malaysian Defence Industry Council was hosted at PSC Naval Dockyard Sdn Bhd in Lumut, and Amin Shah tried to peddle two used Dutch submarines to Najib Razak who was then the Defence Minister.  The submarines, the Tijgerhaai (Tigershark) and Zwaardvis (Swordfish) were ambitiously bought by Amin Shah.  However, Najib Razak was not interested in having two rustbuckets for the RMN.

The Scorpene had incorporated systems that are in use with the French Navy’s nuclear attack submarines, also built by DCNS and Thales.  The proposal also included the very potent Blackshark II torpedoes and MBDA SM39 Exocet anti-ship missiles.

Abdul Razak Baginda also managed to package together the elite turnkey submarine training with the DCI-NAVFCO at Brest.  Coupled with extensive exercise exposure of the RMN officers and men with their French counterparts in the submarine force at Brest gave the RMN men an exposure to the French Navy’s role and operations as well as tactics used in NATO.

Once the deal was inked in June 2002, Razak never went to Cherbourg again.

And Altantuya? She only existed a few years after the deal was inked. Even a renowned Najib Razak-hater wrote in his book that Abdul Razak Baginda first met in 2004, a good two years after the Scorpene deal was done.


It is interesting to note that the RMN had sent its first batch of officers for submarine training with the Royal Australian Navy in 1992.  They earned their submariners’ dolphin a year later.

And guess which Minister of Defence it was then who mooted the idea of having a submarine force?

The then-Defence Minister replying to a question by Lim Kit Siang in Parliament
So was the plan for Perimekar laid out like a carpet a while before the then Prime Minister gave the go ahead to work out a submarine program for the RMN?

It is impossible for the Prime Minister or Finance Minister then to not know about the purchase of the submarines.  This is not like buying sweets at a Mamak shop.  They cost billions of Ringgits that would still need the approval of the Finance Ministry.

So is Mahathir not afraid of the hereafter peddling one lie after another?

Borrowing the words of a certain Opposition office-holder:

“Allah Knows!”

 

Scorpene: Who Is Who And What Is What?

Tokong Lim Guan Eng torpedoed Pakatan’s claim in December 2011 when the submarine he was inside DIVED into the depths of the Strait of Melaka. He was on board for 90 minutes (pic courtesy of BigDog)
Now that I have your attention on the Scorpene issue that U-Turn Mahathir has conveniently forgotten (like the PKFZ issue and others), let me take you down memory lane to tell you more about the whole issue. There will be a few corrections pertaining to the timeline as per the previous posting.

Everyone who talks about the Scorpene deal talks about Abdul Razak Baginda and a company called Perimekar Sdn Bhd that supposedly had gotten millions of Ringgits in kickbacks pertaining to the submarine deal.

The original proponents of the Malaysian submarine program were Mokhzani Mahathir and Ibrahim Mohd Noor (who was then then CEO of newly-listed BERNAS, acting on behalf of Daim Zainuddin). They proposed the German Type 212 (an Air-Independent Propulsion version of the Type 209 design) through a company called…wait for it…Perimekar Sdn Bhd, then operating drom a bungalow in Jalan Lembah Ledang off Jalan Semantan in Kuala Lumpur.

However, in 1999 the then-Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN), Admiral Tan Sri Abu Bakar Jamal convinced the then Prime Minister (guess who) at the Avillion Layang-Layang Resort for a submarine program purchasing a very capable submarine.

The Prime Minister bought the idea when Admiral Abu Bakar said, to the effect of, “Imagine we (the RMN) could operate in stealth as far as the Sea of Japan and the North Indian Ocean, without anyone finding out.” The green light was given then.

Sometime in September 2001, the ownership of Perimekar Sdn Bhd was transferred to the Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) through Boustead Bhd’s special purpose vehicle called Ombak Laut Sdn Bhd. The Board of Directors of Perimekar Sdn Bhd then were Rear Admiral (Rtd) Hussin Tamby and Mazlina Makhzan, Abdul Razak Baginda’s wife.

The company, together with officials from the RMN sifted through more than 17,000 pages (28 volumes) of technical documents of the Scorpene. After this point, as mentioned in my previous posting, the Secretary-General of Treasury took over the final commercial negotiations. MINDEF, Perimekar et al no longer had any role to play.

The deal to purchase two Scorpene-type submarines from DCNS and Thales was inked in June 2002, when the then-Prime Minister was also the Finance Ministry who would have given the final approval for the procurement. It was signed by all the relevant parties at the Ballroom of the Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

The Ministry of Finance was represented by the Secretary-General of Treasury Tan Sri Samsuddin Hitam while LTAT was represented by Dato’ Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.

The consideration for the deal was partly in kind – export of palm oil to France. The final consideration of the deal came from a condition laid by the Ministry of Transport which the French agreed to the day before the deal was inked – for Malaysia Airlines to get the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th landing rights at the Charles de Gaulle (CDG) in Paris.

So, now you know the story behind the Scorpene. Now you know why it is impossible for anyone involved to forget the deal that was made 15 years ago.

Anyone who does forget should not be in politics as it could be a sign of a deterioration of the brain function. And these persons should remember Allah before he finally forgets Who Allah Is.