Where Should The Allegiance of the Armed Forces Lie

Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans

I received this copied in a Veterans’ WhatsApp group. I omitted some parts of the message as it was just gibberish talk:

_Copied from write up by Mej **** ***** TUDM (Rtd)_

Good afternoon to all. The fight for a free Malaysia must go on!
Let us get one thing clear – the country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal.

We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national. Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.

Clean elections
Clean government
Right to dissent
Save our economy


Fine words they are, but for someone with some legal training to write as such shows how much understanding the author has of the Federal Constitution.

Let us address this “call”:

Point 1:

“Good afternoon to all. The fight for a free Malaysia must go on!
Let us get one thing clear – the country and the government are separate entities. Governments come and go, the country is eternal.

We owe our allegiance to the country, not to the government. Therefore, saying bad things about a bad government is not being anti-national. Most important of all, voting against a bad government is not being anti-national. A bad government does not deserve loyalty. Disloyalty to the government is not disloyalty to the country; in fact, voting out a bad government is being loyal to the country.”

The country and the government cannot be separated, neither can a state be separated from its state government.  Yes, governments come and go, but a government is still a government.  Officers and men of the civil service, the Armed Forces, the Police owe their allegiance to the King and Country.  The King rules the Country, as do the Sultans their respective state, through a government that was picked by the people. Be they the Federal Government or the State Government, they administer the country and the states on behalf of the King and Sultans, as well as the Governors.  This is prescribed by Article 39 of the Federal Constitution where the Executive Authority of the Federation is vested in the Yang DiPertuan Agong by him, or by the Cabinet, or by any Minister authorised by the Cabinet.

In the case of the Armed Forces, the King exercises his power through the Minister of Defence.  Which is why the officers and men of the Armed Forces are required to salute the Minister of Defence who represents the King’s executive power over the Armed Forces, and the Prime Minister who is the King’s Chief Executive, representing the King.

Article 41 states that the King is the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces and therefore those representing the King as prescribed by Article 39 are performing their duties on behalf of the King.

Therefore, it is imperative that the Armed Forces, as well as the civil service and the Police, remain loyal to the government of the day as the government of the day represents the King – be it bad or otherwise. Whether or nor a member of the Armed Forces, or the civil service, or the Police subscribes to the government of the day politically is a secondary matter.  The oath that was taken was to be loyal to the King and Country; therefore loyalty shall be given to the government of the day.

The Minister who represents the King in matters of defence is also made the Chairman of the Armed Forces Council which is responsible for the command, the discipline and the administration of the Armed Forces, except for matters relating to their operational use.  This is prescribed in Article 137 of the Federal Constitution.

And it is the Parliament that passed an Act to amend and consolidate the law relating to the establishment, government and discipline of the Armed Forces is made which is called the Armed Forces Act, 1972.

It is also the Armed Forces Act, 1972 that gave the powers to the Armed Forces Council to enable Brigadier-General Datuk Fadzlette Othman Merican Idris Merican be promoted to Major-General while she is being seconded to a Federal Government Department.  Section 5C of the Armed Forces Act, 1972 determines that she remains a member of the regular forces but her remuneration shall be paid by that Federal Government Department.

By the same token, even the ordinary people who are citiens of Malaysia must realise that the Federal Government represents the King, the state governments represent the resective state’s Ruler.  These are governments chosen by the people but was appointed by the Rulers to administer the country and states on their behalf.  The only way to change these governments is by a democratic process called ELECTIONS (unless you have not heard of that word before).

Point 2:

“Clean elections”

Since 1955, Pulau Pinang, Perak, Kedah, Kelantan, Terengganu, Selangor and Sabah have all seen a change in government.  If the elections were not clean, would it have been possible for the Opposition to have won cash cows such as Pulau Pinang and Selangor?

Point 3:

“Clean government”

I must admit there are bad hats in the government, be it the Federal government or the states government.  This is why we have seen people like Harun Idris, Mokhtar Hashim, Khir Toyo, Lim Guan Eng charged in court for corruption. All but Lim Guan Eng have served jail time.  Guan Eng, who said that he is not afraid to go to prison, has been delaying his corruption trial using technical issues.

Many more state excos have also been arraigned in a court for corruption.  This is not possible without agencies such as the Auditor-General’s Office and the Malaysian Anti Corruption Commission which act as checks and balances to ensure that the Federal as well as states governments are run efficiently and cleanly.

Of course there are those who have yet to face the music. For example those responsible for the Maminco scandal in 1985 that saw a loss of RM1.6 billion (about RM2.56 billion in today’s terms); the Perwaja scandal in 1982 that saw a loss of about RM10 billion (RM18.73 billion in today’s terms); the BMF scandal of 1983 that had caused a loss of RM2.5 billion (RM4.5 billion today); the 1986 Deposit-Taking Cooperative Scandal that caused a loss of RM1.5 billion (about RM2.58 billion today); the RM30 billion loss by Bank Negara Malaysis through foreign exchange gambling in 1994 (RM45.25 billion today); the Malaysia Airlines scandal of 1994 with the loss of RM9.4 billion (RM14.18 billion today); the PKFZ scandal of 1999 with a loss of RM12.5 billion (RM13.5 billion in today’s terms).

The above all happened during the tenure of a certain former Prime Minister.  The grand total of losses is RM67.5 billion (or RM101.3 billion in today’s terms).  The amount shown does not include the bailouts reported in various books, Opposition leaders’ blogs and so on.

I do hope that the cry for a clean government will also call for the arraignment for the Prime Minister during whose tenure the financial scandals happened.  Had the RM101.3 billion been put to good use during those 22 years, Sabah and Sarawak would have had SIX toll-free Pan Borneo Highways, or 1,013 80-bedded Government hospitals all over the country!

Instead, it enriched the few and killed one person.

Point 4:

“Right to Dissent”

I have not seen any Opposition-leaning media being taken off print or air, unlike during a certain 22-year period of my life.  Malaysiakini et al are still spinning their version of what they call “balanced news” (read: news the way we want you to see it).  The way these media operate reminds me of a character in Netflix’s limited series called “Godless” called A.T Grigg, a newspaper owner-editor who writes news the way he sees it, not how it truly happens.

The ISA was repealed six years ago by this present administration. Although replaced with SOSMA and POTA, it doesn’t give powers to the authorities to hold anyone without trial as the ISA did. And the ISA was being used a lot against political dissenters especially in the late 1990s during the tenure of a certain former Prime Minister.

This administration also introduced the Peaceful Assembly Act, 2012 that has allowed more freedom to assemble peacefully, unlike during those days of a certain former Prime Minister where at the slightest hint of a political dissent, you get whisked away to the University of Kamunting.

Has the author of the message been arrested yet?  Of course not.  Even when he actually committed sedition against Malaysia by encouraging Sarawak to secede from Malaysia.

How is it that a legal-trained person does not know that his act is seditious escapes me

Now, how is that seditious?  If you look at Section 2 of the Sedition Act, 1948 it tells you the following:

Section 2 defines how an act is seditious. He has committed a seditious act by definition of Section 3(1)(a)

This former Armed Forces officer also committed a crime of sedition under Section 3 (1) (b) of the same Act for encouraging Sarawak to leave Malaysia:

Section 3 (1) (b) of the Sedition Act, 1948

And you thought that the Federal Constitution protects freedom of speech?  Yes, it does.  But as with all other liberties, they are subjected to restrictions.  Article 10(1) guarantees that every citizen has the right to freedom of speech and expression, but at the beginning of the Article it also says the following:

You cannot just say anything you like although you have the freedom of speech and expression

To dissent is okay. To dissent seditiously, or criminally, or dangerously, or incitingly, is not okay.

Any legal-trained person ought to know this, right? What more a former officer of the Armed Forces!

Point 5:

“Save Our Economy”

In April 2017, the World Bank forecasted that Malaysia’s GDP would be at 4.3 percent.  This was revised in June 2017 to 4.9 percent due to an acceleration in domestic economic activities (people in Malaysia are actually spending more) by 5.7 percent year-on-year.  The GDP growth was revised again in October 2017 to 5.2 percent.

Let me quote several reports here by the World Bank.

World Bank Group lead economist Richard Record said at a media briefing on the update that Malaysia’s robust GDP growth in the first half of 2017 was largely underpinned by strong private-sector expenditure, with additional impetus from an improvement in external demand.

“Private consumption expanded firmly this year, supported by favourable income growth amid stable labour market conditions, and improved consumer confidence. Private investment also sustained rapid growth rates during the period, reflecting mainly continued capital spending in the manufacturing and services sectors,” said Richard Record.

“On the external front, gross exports rebounded strongly from the subdued growth experienced in 2016, supported by double-digit growth in commodity and manufactured exports,” he added.

Economic watchdogs are generally bullish on the Malaysian economy’s performance, buttressed by strong expansion in private consumption and private investment. In the latest update on its World Economic Outlook, the International Monetary Fund has upped its GDP growth projection for Malaysia in 2017 to 4.8 percent from 4.5 percent previously.

Apart from that, the Asian Development Bank has also upgraded its 2017 growth outlook for Malaysia to 4.7% from 4.4%, and indicated that the two-year slowdown in economic growth is likely to have bottomed out last year.

Richard Record also predicted Malaysia’s economy for 2018 and 2019.

“We are forecasting Malaysia’s GDP to grow by 5 percent next year (2018) and 4.8 percent in 2019. Our prediction reflects how we are seeing the country’s macroeconomic fundamentals’ performance and the baseline scenario,” he said.

Online economics portal ‘Focus Economics’ also said the following:

“Economic momentum remained robust in Q3 as confirmed by more complete data. Export growth expanded by a double-digit pace in September, underscoring thriving external demand for Malaysian goods. Household spending was buoyed by a low unemployment rate in September and by higher wages, which were propped up by a thriving manufacturing sector, the key driver of industrial production growth in the quarter. The 2018 budget passed on 27 October is focused on fiscal consolidation and is expected to narrow the fiscal deficit from 3.0 percent in 2017 to 2.8 percent in 2018. Despite the tightening, the budget has consumer-friendly components that will increase disposable income. These include lower income tax rates, especially for middle-income earners; higher public wages; and increased assistance spending.”

By contrast, Brunei’s fiscal deficit had hit 16 percent in 2016.

Of course, with the oil prices continue to stay below the USD70 per barrel level, Malaysia as well as other countries will continue to experience some sluggishness in the economy. However, good fiscal policies have allowed us to grow unlike a neighbour of ours that is often quoted as being a model economy.  That country’s growth have been at 2 percent in 2016, and 2.5 percent this year.

The outlook for the construction sector has taken a sharp turn for the worse, with poll respondents tipping a contraction of 4.2 per cent. The previous survey, released in June, had respondents forecasting 0.2 per cent growth in the sector.

The outlook for the accommodation and food services sector in this model country has also worsened – it is now expected to shrink 1.5 per cent, from previous estimates of a 1 per cent expansion.

Economists polled expect overall economic growth of 2.5 per cent next year for this model country, the same pace as this year.

Perhaps the author of the message we are discussing here should go down South and help revive the economy of that model country.


So, there have you.  I really do not know what the fuss is about.  All I can deduce is that the author of the message is all hot air – you can feel it blowing on your face, but there is no real substance there.  This is the same as BERSIH, and the recycling of petty but stale issues by the Opposition just so that they can remain relevant, and justify for the allowances they receive from the pockets of the rakyat.

You can express your dissatisfaction, but always do so constructively. Especially if you are a member of the Malaysian Armed Forces and Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans.

Defence: RMAF’s Walks Slowly But With Big Strides

RMAF Airbus A400M (M54-04) on finals at the Labuan airbase during exercise PARADISE 2017

The A400M: How Has It Fared?

When the Royal Malaysian Air Force purchased the Airbus Defence and Space A400M Atlas, many thought it was to replace the Lockheed C-130H-30 that had entered service in 1976.  15 C-130Hs were delivered to the RMAF with 14 still flying.

However, the RMAF announced further upgrades to its C-130H fleet to keep them operational.  The A400M’s role, although similar to that of the C-130H, enhances the RMAF’s airlift capability.  Not only can the A400M carry 17 tonnes more payload compared to the C-130H, it can fly 200 knots faster and land on rough or soft landing strips like the C-130H.

Its glass cockpit/side-stick  coupled with three-axis fly-by-wire (FBW) with flight envelope protection configuration makes the A400M user-friendly and is based on the A380 but modified to suit military operations requirements.  The flight envelope protection allows the A400M to perform bank angles up to 120 degrees!

The cockpit of the RMAF A400M (M54-04) is large and is very comfortable

Not only could the A400M support the Malaysian Armed Forces’s tactical and strategic capabilities, it could also be utilised for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) operations in the region.  To date, the RMAF’s A400Ms have performed two HADR roles: delivering 17 tonnes of aid to embattled Marawi in July 2017 and 12 tonnes of aid to the Rohingya refugees in south Bangladesh in September 2017.

RMAF A400M (M54-04) is being loaded with HADR cargo bound for Marawi

The remarkable thing especially about the Marawi mission was the A400M’s ability to fly to Cagayan del Oro and back without refuelling (an approximately 5,400 kilometers return trip); this, together with its speed cuts down total turnaround time.

The A400M is equipped with the defensive aid sub-system and an in-flight refueling capability.  The inflight-refueling package allows the A400M to refuel helicopters at 105 knots indicated airspeed (KIAS) and fighters at up to 300 knots, hence safer for the refuelling of both helicopters and fighters.  Flight tests have also revealed that at Alpha Max (with the Alpha Floor protection disabled, the A400M reached 98 KIAS before  the FBW low-speed protection function eased the nose down. There was no wing roll-off or loss of control. Recovery was almost immediate when the nose was lowered and thrust added, underscoring the fact that the A400M is indeed a very safe and capable aircraft.

Maritime Patrol Aircraft – Budgeted For

The Beechcraft Super King Air 200T MPA has been in service with RMAF for 23 years

For almost two decades the role of maritime patrol was assigned to several C-130Hs that were converted to C-130MPs.  Four Beechcraft Super King Air B200T aircraft were inducted into the RMAF maritime patrol fleet to complement the C-130MPs.  However, the high operational costs versus mission requirements of the C-130MPs saw the latter taking over the role completely.

Even before the loss of an airframe, there were already talks of replacing the B200Ts.  Leonardo brought its ATR-72MP aircraft to LIMA ’17.  Apart from the hardpoints and MPA modules on board, the ATR-72MP is just a normal commercially-available aircraft, powerplants and all.  Leonardo’s concept is to provide a platform using what is available in large numbers in the market to keep the costs down.

The Leonardo ATR-72MP, seen here at LIMA 17, also comes with an electronic surveillance and C4I platform. The airframe is that of the ATR-72-600 (photo courtesy of Janes Defence)

Airbus Defence and Space flew a CN295 almost around the world to promote it as a multirole platform.  The CN295, albeit a SAR version that was on its way to its new home in Brazil, made a stop in Malaysia and was presented to operators such as the RMAF, the MMEA, as well as the Royal Malaysian Police Air Wing.

Stretched three metres longer than the CN235 that the RMAF is currently operating, everything about the CN295 is very similar to the CN235, which makes crew conversion fairly easy to make.  It comes with a more powerful plant that features better efficiency, longer loiter capability at station and comes with six external hardpoints for ASW weapons.

When the announcement of the budget for the procurement of four MPAs in 2018 was made, the immediate follow-through was that four of the RMAF’s remaining seven CN235s will be fitted with the MP systems from the B200Ts, a sure sign that either additional CN235s will be acquired for the MPA role, or the CN295s would be acquired instead.

The commonality between the C295 and the CN235 also potentially leads to  even lower operating costs, given the versatile cabin configuration that allows fast switching of mission types, high manouvrability, better low-level flying capabilities given the high-wing configuration and a wide rear ramp, the C295 makes the best option for maritime patrol and surveillance as well as anti-submarine warfare missions in Malaysia.

The C295 is powered by twin PW127G turboprop engines driving Hamilton Sundstrand Type 568F-5 six bladed propellers which provide outstanding hot and high performance, low fuel consumption, and an endurance exceeding 11 hours.  Flying at a maximum speed of 480 km/h which is slower than the  B200T’s 540 km/h, but has a range of 5,600 kilometers compared to the  B200T’s 3,100 kilometer range.

The RMAF’s need for a reliable platform that would be able to perform largely anti-shipping missions and has a reasonable but economical loiter endurance with some strike capability if required makes the CN295 a better choice of MPA. It also makes strategic and economical sense for Malaysia as it allows operators to narrow down its aircraft types and suppliers, making logistical and technical support easier.

The Airbus C-295 of the Força Aérea Brasiliera arrived at the Subang airbase on Friday 7 July 2017

UAV, MRCA and LIFT

Although the procurement of the badly needed MRCA to replace the MiG-29Ns have not been announced, the RMAF is making up for the void by ensuring high serviceability rate of its frontliners.  Observers would note that the serviceability percentage has increased tremendously despite the cut in the defence budget.

Perhaps the RMAF should think of an interim fighter or Lead-In Fighter Trainer  (LIFT) that gives the bang for bucks.  The Korea Aerospace Industries’s TA-50 LIFT comes into mind.  Each unit of the more advanced FA-50 costs half or three times less than a top-of-the-line fighter would but it carries enough sting to hurt the enemy.

RoKAF Black Eagle’s KAI T-50B zooms above Langkawi during LIMA 17

Losing only but not much in terms of range to the BAe Systems Mk 108/208 that the RMAF currently deploys in Labuan to cover both the eastern South China and Sulu seas, the TA-50’s ability to reach supersonic speeds (Mach 1.5 compared to the Hawk’s Mach 0.84) and excellent thrust-to-weight ratio (0.96 to the Hawk’s 0.65) means that the TA-50 would make a better aircraft placed on Alert 5 to intercept straying foreign aircraft. Its superb ability to deliver air-to-ground as well as anti-shipping ordnances makes it a suitable platform to support anti-incursion/counter-insurgency operations in the ESSCOM area.

The RMAF is also interested to develop its Unmanned Aerial Vehicle capability in both tactical and strategic aspects.  RMAF Chief General Tan Sri Dato Seri Affandi bin Buang TUDM said that the RMAF is conducting a detailed study to identify the UAV capable of meeting the current needs of the country apart from being equipped with technologies which could be shared with various parties in the country.

The Chief of RMAF (second from left) speaking to reporters during Exercise PARADISE 4/2017 at the Kota Belud Air Range

Besides security surveillance, UAV can also be used for other purposes such as weather information and others,” he said. “If the RMAF is able to acquire sophisticated UAVs we would be able to enhance our operations in the Peninsular, Sabah, Sarawak and also in support of the MPAs patrolling the South China Sea as well as the Sulu Sea.

Hopefully the RMAF would acquire UAVs with extended on-station endurance with some hardpoints for strike capability.

Epilogue

Although the RMAF is still in want of frontline airframes, it is seen to improve its serviceability percentage, a task that seemed daunting in times of global econmic uncertainty, but certainly achievable.  The plan to purchase capable Maritime Patrol Aircraft as per the 2018 Budget, and planned addition of sophisticated UAVs, will certainly enhance its control over the airspace.

It is hoped that the government could look into equipping the RMAF with interim strike capability, especially in the South China and Sulu seas, by adding a squadron or two of the KAI TA-50, if not a squadron each of the TA-50 and its frontline version, the FA-50, hopefully by 2020, before preparing its budget for the procurement of actual frontline MRCAs that are badly needed, not only as replacements of the recently-retired MiG-29N, but also as a contingency to replace the F/A-18D which is already in its 20th year of service with the RMAF.

The RMAF may seem to walk slowly, but it is definitely walking with big strides.

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.