The Langkawi Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition 2017 will be more exciting than the previous editions because there is a marked increase in floor space as a result of the re-introduction of the Maritime Segment at the Resorts World, Langkawi.
There will be the array of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) that will be on display such as the United States Air Force MQ-1 Predator, United States Navy MQ-8 Fire Scout, Thales Fulmar Mini-UAV, SAAB AUV 62AT, and the TBN UAV from Ukraine.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) will be debuting the newly-received offshore patrol vessel ‘KM Pekan’ donated by the Japanese government.
LIMA ’17 has confirmed 555 exhibitors from 36 countries and is expecting over 180,000 trade and public visitors from all over the world. LIMA ’17 will be held from 21 to 25 March 2017 in Langkawi. This year will mark the 14th edition in its 27 year history and is expected to be the best and biggest one to date.
Irkut Corporation of Russia will be featuring the Russian Air Force’s aerobatic team ‘Russian Knights’ in their spanking new Sukhoi Su-30SM. This would be the return of the Russian Knights’ to LIMA and their first tour outside the Russian Federation in the Su-30SMs.
Irkut will also be featuring its scout/attack helicopter, the Kamov Ka-25 “Alligator.”
Irkut Corporation will be featuring aircraft models of the entire Irkut product line will be presented at the UAC stand: the Su-30SME fighter, the Yak-130 and Yak-152 training aircraft, and the new MC-21 commercial liner.
Irkut Corporation comes under the Russian pavillion which is under the charge of JSC Rosoboronexport, which is a part of the Rostec State Corporation. Rosoboronexport is in-charge of the united Russian stand at LIMA’17 showcasing over 500 products from 20 enterprises of the defence industry complex of the Russian Federation.
LIMA’ 17 also serves as the perfect platform to encourage further co-operation between Malaysia and regional & global allies in both the maritime and aerospace industries, specifically on asset acquisition as Armed Forces around the world are modernizing their asset bases. For example, the Chiefs of Navy Roundtable Talk at LIMA’17 this year will bring together 12 Chiefs of Navy and 24 representatives to discuss about “Naval Capability Based Acquisition Reform”. Subsequently, the LIMA’17 Air Chiefs Conference will also be taking a similar approach this year, and the attending Chiefs of Air Force and other senior air delegations will be tackling the “Air Force Capability Based Acquisition Reform”.
Another first for LIMA 17 will be the involvement of youths from across the country. The Ministry of Youth and Sports, together with the Ministry of Defence have invited over 500 young individuals from Briged Sukarelawan Khidmat Negara (BSKN), Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM), Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM) Perlis, Parlimen Belia Malaysia, iM4U, Gabungan Pelajar Melayu Semenanjung (GPMS), Majlis Belia Malaysia (MBM) and our Reserve Officer Training Unit (PALAPES). They will be attending a Comprehensive Educational Tour throughout LIMA ’17 and attend engagement sessions with leaders in the defence sector. On the final day, a Transformasi Nasional 2050 (TN50) Townhall Dialogue on defence to encourage the youth to play a larger role and capture their aspirations about the future of Malaysia’s security.
Other than the Russian Knights, the Black Eagles, the aerobatic team of the Republic of Korea Air Force will be making a first-time appearance this LIMA. The Black Eagles’ performance involves 9 KAI – T50B jet aircrafts. LIMA 2017 will also see the TNI-AU’s Jupiter as part of the aerobatic demonstrations on show. Our very own Royal Malaysian Air Force’s SU-30 MKM and F/A 18D jets, the Rafale from France, the Gripen 39C/D from Thailand and 2 Supersonic B-1 Bombers from the United States Air Force will also perform flypasts during the exhibition.
Two nights ago I sat at a dinner table with four other strangers. One gentleman from the North is five years older than I am while the rest were in their 40s. What the gentleman in his 50s and I spoke about was of the way the various races interacted in the early 1970s fresh after the most devastating racial clashes in the history of Malaysia.
Those were the times when we all looked at each other as family rather than by race or religion. We went to school together and played together.
Interestingly, the gentleman is a Senior Pastor, his wife, while the rest at the table were Muslims. Apart from my wife and I, one was from Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor, the other was from PAS.
There were people of other faiths as well such as Sikh, Hindu, and the Buddhist. Church representatives and members from Sabah and Sarawak, too, were there. What surprised me was the presence of representatives from PERKASA, MAPIM and ISMA including Ibrahim Ali.
The Senior Pastor pointed out how children nowadays go to separate school and do not speak the same language. To bring about unity, children must grow up together and speak the same language. The Senior Pastor is Chinese. He still enjoys the company of his former school mates who are mostly Malay whenever he goes back to his hometown.
We were at the 2nd National Peace and Harmony Dinner organised by the Christians for Peace and Harmony in Malaysia CPHM) that was a full-house affair.
I wrote about unity not too long ago (Lighting The Wrong Path – 6 September 2016) and touched on the importance of children growing up together, speaking the same language, and the importance of understanding the Federal Constitution. While I gave the nation at least three generation before we could see some form of unity, the Senior Pastor was very sceptical. Schools have become places to divide our children according to their ethnicity – something that was rare in my days although existed. For as long as we do not unite our children, we will continue to be diversified and divided.
Chairman of the CPHM, Reverend Wong Kim Jong in his speech called for a better understanding of all faiths and races, and better unity among Malaysians.
He even went on to propose a National Mediation Council be formed to settle misunderstandings and disputes between religions and races.
In his keynote address to the CPHM, Prime Minister Najib Razak quoted a verse from the Bible:
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God” – Matthew 5:9
He said in order for Malaysia to achieve its target of becoming a top 20 nation by 2050, as envisioned under the 2050 Transformation Plan (TN50), Malaysians must become true believers of their respective faiths as he answer to becoming a great nation lies in the teachings of every religion which promotes harmony and peace.
“To become a top 20 nation by 2050, we need social harmony and one of the ways to achieve it is through faith. Go back to your own faith and the answers are all there. You must be a true believer no matter what your religion is, whether you’re a Christian, a Muslim or a Buddhist,” he added.
Quoting a Malay proverb “Tak kenal maka tak cinta” that was said by Ibrahim Ali during a previous meeting between PERKASA and CPHM, Najib said that there is a need for the people to understand one other in order for them to appreciate and love.
“I would also like to emphasise on humility, or the importance of being humble. It means we must admit and accept our differences,” pointed Najib.
The Prime Minister also related how the forefathers discussed the social contract in the prelude to Merdeka and had ensured that although Islam is the religion of the Federation, the rights of those who practice other religions are protected in the Federal Constitution.
Therefore, understanding the spirit of the Federal Constitution is also very important to understand, appreciate and love.
I wrote at length about why the sanctity of Islam is regarded as being more sensitive in the Peninsular compared to in Sabah and Sarawak and had given the historical background to it. I even wrote about the proposed amendments to the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, 1965 and how it would not affect the non-Muslims.
And Muslims especially in the Peninsular have a lot to learn from and emulate values shown by the congregation of both the Masjid An-Naim and the Parish of Good Shepherd that co-exist beautifully on Jalan Pasar Lutong in Miri, as well as that of the committee of the Masjid Saidina Abu Bakar As-Siddiq in Bangsar that held a Chinese New Year open house for all at its premise.
This is what is meant by understanding the Federal Constitution in order to gain respect, appreciation and love through the respect for others.
Of course there will be those who will continue to flog the issue as long as they can all laugh at the end of it when the very fabric of society is torn apart, such as the person below:
If the person above is a Christian, she is probably a Christian because it is trendy not to light up joss sticks for dead relatives or parents. A true believer would believe in the Bible and especially Romans 13 that calls for the respect for the auhorities as they have been placed there by God.
The above verse is the same as in the Quran (An-Nisaa’ 59) that calls for obedience to authority.
Those who do not subscribe to the above are NOT peacemakers. And for Christians, they are not the children of God, but of His antithesis.
As said in the Bible:
“If anyone thinks he is religious and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s religion is worthless.” – James 1:26
So you can choose whether to be a peacemaker, and if you’re a Christian be a child of God, or, you can be the child of the antithesis of God as people like the above.