LANGKAWI- It is not that easy to purchase an asset especially when it involves the Multi Role Combat Aircraft (MRCA) programme, said Malaysia Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
“Under my watch, I want to make sure that every purchase is benefiting our nation, and I also want Malaysians to support when we make the decision,” he said at the 14th Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA’17) press conference, today.
Answering the tricky issue about the MRCA programme that had been postponed almost 10 years, Hishammuddin said the cost of the aircraft – Euro Fighter Typhoon or Dassault Rafale – is very expensive.
“In the technical excess, the Malaysian Royal Air Force (MRAF) will decide whether it is best for us to buy it or not and the Ministry of Finance (MOF) will have to decide.
“The Ministry of Defence will decide on how it can benefit the Malaysian industry and we are also looking at the possibility to build our air force and looking at the transformation of the Navy,” he said.
Hishammuddin added, the challenge here is not just about buying an asset, we had bought many assets in the past and it is enough.
Meanwhile, he praised the South Korean and the Indonesian aerobatics team for their stunning shows at Langkawi Island.
He said, their cooperation is what Malaysia wanted to show to the world.
“South Korea and Indonesia are working together and that is something I am very proud of. What they do pose a challenge to the other teams.
“Even the Russian team wanted to work with Malaysian team. All these are very good and this is what we want to show to the world. It is not about the geopolitics, not about hate, and also not about divide,” he said.
In other development, Hishammuddin also advised Russia to work hard and come in quickly, because now there are other alternatives for the South East Asian countries.
“Malaysian market is not big enough. Let me give the Sukhoi as an example. There are only three nations – Malaysia, Vietnam and Indonesia -using it, and that is not an advantage.
“In Asia today, buying Russian assets are not cheap and it is going to be difficult to deal with Indonesia and Vietnam defence industries in the future.
“That is the reality. The landscape can change and business cannot be as usual because South East Asia now has advantages. We have other options and looking at other alternatives like what we have done with China and the MRCA with the British and France,” he said. – Malaysia World News