Defence: Prime Directives 

The 19th Malaysian Chief of Defence Forces YM General Tan Sri Raja Mohamed Affandi bin Raja Mohamed Noor who took over command from his predecessor on the 16th December 2016 today delivered his Prime Directives.

He did so to 2,100 men and women of the Malaysian Armed Forces at the Kuantan Airbase on the 23rd January 2017.


He outlined four pillars that would ensure  the Malaysian Armed Forces remain a credible force in the eyes of friends and foes alike.

  1. We Are One basically requires all three services of the MAF to cooperate as an entity and that being different from one another should not be an obstacle towards achieving a unified objective.
  2. Professionalism Moulds Excellence is where every member of the MAF should strive towards enhancing their knowledge and skills as the goals of the MAF can only be achieved through having an edge in knowledge and skills.
  3. Potent Force requires efficient management of assets as well as human resources development through  which integrity would provide for effectiveness and efficiency of the organisation.
  4. We Strive To Do Good is about maintaining the image of the MAF through core values and code of ethics of the MAF. These values are based on spiritual strength, bravery and esprit de corps.

General Raja Mohamed Affandi’s message was broadcasted to all formation headquarters, divisions, brigades, bases and units around Malaysia via video conferencing.

In attendance were the Chief of the Malaysian Army, Chief of the Royal Malaysian Navy as well as the Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force.

He later greeted men and women of the MAF while having light refreshments with them after the parade.

Defence:Excellence Despite Impediments

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Despite the reduction in the defence budget the Royal Malaysian Air Force shall continue to deliver all operational and mission requirements in 2017.  The Chief of the Royal Malaysian Air Force, General Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Roslan bin Saad TUDM reassured to reporters at a press conference after the 2016 RMAF Excellence Awards Ceremony at the Subang Airbase this morning.

“The Commanders and I have sat down and planned to ensure that the RMAF will meet the requirements as well as find ways to continue developing its human capital as well as maximising assets interoperability in line with its One Service, One Vision, One Mission concept,” he added. “It is true that we are concerned about the reduction in budget allocation but that should not stop us from delivering what is required of us. Training of skills that could be developed through the use of technologies such as simulators will be implemented according to the requirements.

It is learnt that the RMAF had succeeded in increasing its interoperability by successfully operating western-developed munitions using its Sukhoi Su-30MKM Flankers as firing platforms during the recently-concluded Exercise Paradise 3/2016.  Details of the types of munitions used has not been made public thus far.

Defence analysts also observed that the RMAF’s BAe Hawk 108/208 aircraft based in Labuan have made successful interceptions of foreign military aircraft in support of the operations by its mainstay fighter assets.

Earlier General Tan Sri Roslan presented the ‘Best Airman of the Year’ awards to three non-commissioned officers and a warrant officer for displaying excellence in performing their daily tasks, maintenance of high standard of discipline, adherence to orders and leadership qualities observed.

Two flying squadrons also received the ‘Squadron of the Year’ award for the efficient management of their respective squadrons as well as able to provide quality service in the aspect of flight operations, while two aircraft fleets – the BAe Hawk 108/208 and the Lockheed C-130H received the ‘Special Achievement Award’ based on the shared values of the squadrons operating these aircraft that have produced an effetive outcome in terms of operational readiness.

General Tan Sri Roslan, who will be retiring at the end of the year, also said that the RMAF under the leadership of his successor shall continue to strive for excellence as it has done in similarly difficult times in the past.

Also present were the Deputy Chief of the RMAF Lt General Dato’ Sri Hj Affendi bin Buang TUDM, Air Operations Commander Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Ackbal bin Hj Abdul Samad TUDM, Air Support Commander Lt Gen Dato’ Sri Hj Abdul Mutalib bin Datuk Hj Ab Wahab TUDM as well as other senior officers and the rank and file of the RMAF.

 

Defence: Friendship Expanded Through Exercise Aman Youyi 3/2016

A major disaster strikes and the damage to infrastructure massive. Despite an overwhelming situation, friendly countries extend assistance through their military to rescue and treat injured survivors as well as provide humanitarian relief aid.

That was the scenario displayed during the opening ceremony of Exercise Aman Youyi 3/2016, conducted jointly by the Malaysian Armed Forces and the People’s Liberation Army of China at the Paya Indah Wetlands in Dengkil, Selangor.

The exercise uses humanitarian assistance and disaster relief as theme is conducted through Staff Exercise (STAFFEX) with the aim to establish a Standard Operating Procedure and enhance interoperability in the event of a disaster.

This exercise is another major development and an extension to the exercise by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib bin Tun Abdul Razak to further enhance the 42-year old friendship between Malaysia and China last month.

Officiating the ceremony was Chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces, General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri (Dr) Haji Zulkifeli bin Mohd Zin and Chief of Joint Staff PLA, General Fang Fenghui.

In his speech General Haji Zulkifeli said that humanitarian assistance and disaster relief was adopted as the backdrop of the exercise because the Asia-Pacific region suffered approximately 160 disasters in 2015 resulting in 16,000 deaths and a loss of about USD45.1 billion.

Therefore the synchronisation of collective multinational measures will determine the efficiency and success of humanitarian assistance.

Also in attendance were the Chinese Ambassador to Malaysia His Excellency Dr Huang Huikang, and Team Leader for the Royal Thai Armed Forces observers Major General Thitichai Tiantong.

A total of 410 personnel are involved in this exercise namely 215 from Malaysia and 195 from China, with 10 observers from the Royal Thai Armed Forces.

Pertahanan: Terhempas Atau Pendaratan Kecemasan?

Helikopter Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri milik TUDM yang telah melakukan pendaratan cemas di SMK Balung, Tawau
Helikopter Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri milik TUDM yang telah melakukan pendaratan cemas di SMK Balung, Tawau

Hari ini saya diajukan beberapa soalan dari berbagai pihak mengenai kejadian yang melibatkan sebuah pesawat helikopter Sikorsky S-61A4 Nuri milik TUDM di Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Balung, Tawau.  Untuk memudahkan penulisan, izinkan saya menulis dalam bentuk soalan-soalan yang telah diajukan kepada saya:

SOALAN 1: Media telah menggunakan perkataan “terhempas” namun pihak TUDM menggunakan istilah “mendarat cemas.”  Boleh Kapten terangkan perbezaan kedua-dua istilah tersebut?

Istilah “terhempas” menggambarkan suatu situasi diluar kawalan.  Sebagai contoh, pesawat mengalami kegagalan sepenuhnya fungsi alat kawalan yang mengakibatkan sesuatu pesawat itu terus jatuh diluar kawalan (uncontrolled descent).

Contoh-contoh dalam negeri yang terbaik termasuk kejadian helikopter terhempas yang mengorbankan Allahyarham Datuk Seri Jamaluddin Jarjis pada tahun 2015, dan kejadian helikopter terhempas di Sri Damansara pada tahun 1997.

Akibat kejadian “terhempas” kebiasaannya akan mengakibatkan kemusnahan total kepada kerangka pesawat, disertai kehilangan jiwa dan/atau kecederaan parah kepada majoriti penumpang.

Mendarat cemas” ataupun “pendaratan kecemasan” ialah suatu tindakan yang dilakukan sebagai respon kepada sesuatu kejadian kecemasan, contohnya respon juruterbang kepada kegagalan fungsi enjin pesawat. Dalam kejadian semalam pada pengamatan saya, juruterbang telah bertindak untuk cuba mendaratkan pesawat di suatu tempat lapang di antara dua blok sekolah menggunakan kaedah “auto-rotation” namun telah tidak cukup masa untuk mencapai kawasan tersebut.  Siasatan oleh pihak TUDM akan memberi lebih pencerahan mengenai kejadian ini.

SOALAN 2: Pada pendapat Kapten, apa punca kejadian? Adakah ia boleh dielak?

Semua kejadian boleh dielak. Namun kita tiak boleh menjangkakan sesuatu yang bakal berlaku walaupun semua langkah telah diambil untuk mengelak sebarang kejadian yang tidak diingini.  Contoh terbaik: Lewis Hamilton terpaksa keluar dari perlumbaan F1 di litar Sepang baru-baru ini walaupun sedang mendahului para pesaing lain akibat kerosakan enjin walaupun penyelenggaraannya amat baik.  Hanya siasatan terperinci dapat memberi gambaran punca kerosakan kepada pesawat Nuri tersebut dan juga kereta yang dipandu Lewis Hamilton tempoh hari.

SOALAN 3: Masalah teknikal dikatakan antara punca kejadian. Adakah wujud faktor tersebut atau Nuri itu sendiri tidak boleh diselenggarakan lagi kerana usianya yang sudah lanjut?

TUDM, sayap udara TLDM dan Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat mempunya rejim penyelenggaraan pesawat yang amat baik. Usia lanjut sesebuah pesawat itu tidak banyak memainkan peranan sekiranya penyelenggaraan adalah baik.

SOALAN 4: Adakah pesawat Nuri kita terlalu tua dan tidak sesuai lagi untuk latihan memandangkan komponen dan besi pesawat sudah uzur dan haus seperti didakwa sesetengah pihak?

Masih banyak varian Sikorsky S-61 yang masih digunakan di seluruh dunia termasuk juga yang digunakan oleh State Department Amerika Syarikat.  Malah ianya juga salah satu helikopter yang digunakan untuk mengangkut Presiden Amerika Syarikat.  Tentera Udara DiRaja New Zealand masih menerbangkan pesawat Hercules C-130 mereka yang sudah berumur 51 tahun. Usia pesawat bukan merupakan faktor.

SOALAN 5: Apakah sudah sampai masa Nuri digantikan bagi megelakkan insiden yang sama berlaku? Jika tidak, adakah Nuri masih lagi perlu digunakan?

Nuri adalah pesawat yang masih diperlukan.  Aset-aset Nuri TUDM juga kini diserapkan ke dalam Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat untuk tujuan “air mobility.” TUDM menggantikan pesawat Nuri bukan kerana usia atau masalah penyelenggaraan tetapi adalah kesesuaian peranan yang dimainkan oleh TUDM seperti Combat Search and Rescue, Special Forces Insertion and Extraction yang memerlukan helikopter berperanan khusus.  Pesawat Nuri juga telah melalui beberapa proses penambahbaikan kerangka dan avionics untuk menentukan ianya selaras dengan keperluan masa kini.  Ini termasuk peningkatan upaya gearbox, bilah kipas utama dan bilah kipas ekor dan pautan data digital. Malah peningkatan upaya pesawat Nuri dengan memperkenalkan “glass cockpit” atau kawalan digital sepenuhnya yang sesuai digunakan dengan teropong kegunaan malam (night-vision goggles) telah dilakukan untuk sesetengah pesawat Nuri.

Ini menunjukkan pesawat Nuri masih lagi relevan, terutama untuk tujuan pengangkutan saiz sederhana atau penghantaran platun infantri ke medan.

SOALAN 6: Apa nasihat, cadangan, pandangan Kapten kepada TUDM demi masa depan aset seperti Nuri dan keselamatan pengguna helikopter tersebut?

Kementerian Pertahanan perlu menentukan “end-user” mendapat bajet yang diperlukan untuk menentukan perolehan, pengoperasian dan penyelenggaraan aset-aset bukan sahaja TUDM, malah untuk Angkatan Tentera Malaysia amnya, dapat diteruskan dengan baik dan memenuhi doktrin Angkatan Tentera Malaysia.

Pesawat Sikorsky S-61A4 yang telah diserap oleh Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat
Pesawat Sikorsky S-61A4 yang telah diserap oleh Pasukan Udara Tentera Darat

Diplomatic Insanity

The latest incident involving a Warrant Officer of the Malaysian Armed Forces attached to the Malaysian High Commission in New Zealand who was arrested on 9th May for attempted burglary and sexual assault is one that is both simple but complex in nature, but comes with a simple solution.

The crime may not be as bad as the crimes committed by Arjen Rudd, the South African diplomat in the blockbuster movie “Lethal Weapon 2” (played by Joss Ackland) nor is it as bad as an incident involving the Ambassador of Myanmar to Sri Lanka, but the crimes committed by this Warrant Officer warrants a serious action. In all the instances above, the clause “Diplomatic Immunity” was invoked.

Contrary to popular belief, Article 37 of the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations says that as long as you are a member of the Embassy staff, you are entitled to the immunities prescribed in Articles 29 thru 36; and this includes spouse, children, maids, servants working there, plus minus one or two articles for non-staff. The Warrant Officer is a diplomatic agent, and under Article 29 he is inviolable: he cannot be prosecuted for any crime committed in the Receiving State which, in this case, is New Zealand.

As in the case of the Myanmar Ambassador to Sri Lanka, the Ambassador in 1979 suspected his wife of having an affair, shot her. Then, on the grounds of the Embassy, he built a funeral pyre and cremated his wife in full view of the police, media and the public AND STILL REMAINED AN AMBASSADOR! This is how strong Article 29 is.

The Warrant Officer was brought back to Malaysia on the 22nd of May after the Malaysian High Commission invoked the man’s diplomatic immunity. On the 29th May, the Malaysian Armed Forces convened a. Board of Inquiry into the incident, and none of us would have known of this until someone in New Zealand kicked up so much fuss to not notice!

Is it right, however, to not send him back to New Zealand to face charges?

The Government of Malaysia should use Article 32 para 1 of the Convention to waive his diplomat status and express this waiver as prescribed in Para 2 of the same Article. Then send this guy back to. New Zealand to dance to the tune he had asked for, while the Foreign Ministry work on repairing the damage done.

We cannot ignore nor condone blatant criminal acts by our civil servants or by any individual of the public, especially when in other countries. We should not jeopardise Malaysia’s reputation abroad just for the sake of one criminal.

Therefore, I call upon Anifah Aman to do the right thing: crucify the Warrant Officer and stop this diplomatic insanity!

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