KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence White Paper (DWP) that was tabled by the Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu at the Dewan Rakyat (Parliament) today (Dec.2) received a mixed reaction amongst the Members of Parliament (MPs).
After the presentation, the Speaker Tan Sri Ariff Md. Yusof welcomed the MPs to debate the DWP’s proposal.
The former Minister of Defence, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein who is also the MP for Sembrong said, the DWP did not outline the detailed mechanisms for the government to secure the defence assets as it is only stated in the wish list.
“The assets will take five to eight years before it reaches the government and this will affect the people’s confidence on Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) as there is lack of continuity,” said Hishammuddin at the Dewan Rakyat today.
Hishammuddin added, the DWP should outline the plan and the proactive steps to be taken to counter and prepare for any security threats faced by Malaysia and not just set the Committee for Defence Investments that will be chaired by the Prime Minister.
“Talking about the defence security at Sulu Sea, it is obvious that our assets are not sufficient but if there is a joint force between Indonesia, Phillippines and Malaysia to combat the kidnappers, terrorists and the pirates then the problems could be addressed in years to come,” said Hishammuddin.
The Sembrong MP also stated that a major part of the DWP was planned during Barisan Nasional (BN) government, for example, the maritime patrol ships and aircrafts but the presentation does not reflect what has been done before.
The DWP is a document that sets forth the government’s direction in protecting Malaysia’s interests and defending its sovereignty and territorial integrity
Government commitments and priorities are outlined for a period of 10 years from 2021 to 2030 spanning the 12th and 13th Malaysia Plan
Based on the National Defence Framework the DWP is formulating a long term strategy to ensure Malaysia continues to be a secure, sovereign and prosperous nation.
Meanwhile, Jelutong MP, RSN Rayer said, Hishammuddin should not undermine the DWP as it was prepared by senior military and government officers. The comments will only lower the spirit of the officials from the Ministry of Defence (Mindef).
Rayer also said the detailed information should not be exposed for discussion in the Parliament as it is the national defence’s secret.
Bukit Bendera MP, Wong Hon Wai hopes the government will not compete with neighbouring countries in purchasing assets instead acquire what is very necessary to protect the sea, air and land.
“The Committee for Defence Investments should verify the assets’ maintenance and logistics aspects,” he added. – Malaysia World News