Saturday, September 28, 2013

A finely calibrated show of force: Malaysian Armed Forces 80th anniversary parade

Swift and decisive: The entry of PT-91M Pendekar main battle tanks into parade centre, crowned by low flying TUDM warplanes, made quite a spectacle as turrets swiveled in salute, tank engines roared and warplanes screamed overhead in a choreographed show of force. The ATM Ke-80 parade was telecast live by Malaysian TV (note the overhead camera on the boom).

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Ground rules for photographing Malaysia's biggest show of military might were simple enough: 1) Stay behind the white line. 2) Don't block the people behind you.

Watched over by unsmiling Military Police from Kor Polis Tentera Diraja (KPTD), that vantage point put one within touching distance of the sharp end of the Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (ATM, Malaysian Armed Forces) as Malaysia's war machine went into show of strength mode.

The parade to celebrate the ATM's 80th anniversary was held on 21 September 2013 in Dataran Merdeka (Independence Square) in the heart of the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur.

The last time the Malaysian military showcased its capabilities was the parade to mark the Tentera Darat's (Malaysian Army) 80th anniversary in Port Dickson on 2 March and the amphibious landing demo on 3 March. In the week immediately following the TD parade and capability demo, ATM forces went into action against Sulu militants in Sabah in a ATM-PDRM (Polis DiRaja Malaysia, Royal Malaysian Police) joint operation codenamed Operasi Daulat (Operation Sovereignty).

Last weekend's capability display appeared calibrated to assure Malaysia's domestic and foreign audience that the Malaysian military is well armed and capable of protecting the Federation's vital interests.

It is interesting to note that the tagline for Hari ATM Ke-80, ATM Perkasa, Kedaulatan Terpelihara, contained a play on the Malay word for "sovereignty". And lest foreign observers miss the message, the tagline appeared in English on the parade's main stage - A Formidable MAF, Sovereignty Safeguarded.

Firepower on show: Paratroopers from Pasukan Atugerak Cepat (PAC, Rapid Deployment Force) parade with heavy weapons. Front to rear: RPG-7 anti-tank rocket launcher, Carl Gustav 84mm recoilless rifle and Anza SAM. Anza means Lance. The addition of Pakistani Anza surface-to-air missiles to PAC's armoury gives the unit an organic low level air defence capability. Having missileers as part of the unit strengthens unit cohesion as the ground forces and LLAD trup would be more familiar with one another. As usual, PAC paras chanting as they marched put on a spirited show.

Tank killers: Heavy anti-tank guided missile teams embarked on Adnan armoured fighting vehicles with Baktar-Shikan anti-tank guided missile launchers in ready-to-fire position. The platform carrying the missile is retractable. Note the unsmiling KPTD MP, ever watchful on the sidelines of the parade.

Two full dress rehearsals and calibrated disclosures of ATM firepower such as TUDM's seldom-seen Russian ordnance and fast attack vehicles were all it took to raise eyebrows.

Malaysian spectators who were there to watch the ATM parade loved it and the muscle-flexing did not go unnoticed among netizens, creating a stir in cyberspace that outlasted the 2.5 hours it took for the parade to unfold with mock attacks capped by 12 marching contingents and five waves of Mobile Column elements. Speaking of outlast, the rhythmic beat of the ATM March (click here) and the Malaysian Army March (click here) played over and over, were strangely addictive and lingered in one's head long after the event. :-)

There were minor hiccups. These include the apparent lack of coordination between the deployed 35mm Oerlikon battery and the parade (the guns were supposed to fire blank rounds at some point during the parade), noticeable gaps between the commentary and the appearance of flypast elements, the less-than-symmetrical bomb burst by four Su-30MKM fighter jets and the Alvis Stormer which nearly stalled during the drive past (It didn't and the crowd cheered when it trundled along). But what do you expect with just two rehearsals?

On balance, takeaways from the event point to an ATM that has matured in the past two decades or so when it shed its counter insurgency orientation to move towards a conventional warfighting posture.

Looking at the ATM's growth trajectory in the past decades, one can expect an even more potent Malaysian military in years to come.

Air denial: Malaysian artillery gunners oblige this blog's request to showcase all three of the ATM's MANPADS in one picture. Seen here from left to right are the FN-6 Flying Crossbow from China, Anza from Pakistan and Russia's Igla ("Needle") man-portable air defence system. The ATM also possesses the twin-Igla Djigit launcher. Acquisition of sizeable numbers of MANPADS puts low flying warplanes and troop-carrying helicopters at risk in areas where Malaysian ground forces are trained, organised, armed and supported to conduct air denial missions. PAC paras riding Honda XR 250 scrambler bikes are taught to employ SAMbush tactics where potential landing sites are ringed by fast moving teams armed with Anza MANPADS.


Anonymous said...

Good is SAF weapons inventory as compared to our MAF counterpart David?

EK Yap said...

Dear David.

The "might", "sovereignty' of the MAF is about defence of the " Kris" and the Malay Rights. Umno, Perkasa, the defence of Malay Rights, Malay nationalism, Mahatir's economic nationalism and malay nationalism are all part and parcel of that crazy mix.

Johor has raised the water issue again this week following on the Parade. Whether or not Federal Ministers take heed in view of the settlement of outstanding issues between the countries is another, but lets not doubt for a moment that someone somewhere is pulling the puppet strings in JB on this issue.

I would bet that the "crooked" bridge" issue would come to the forefront again in some form again.

So hopefully this Malay Nationalism plays domestically alone and does not translate into foreign relations or a mutually beneficial strategic relationship.

On a distinct note , the Tank Ambushes in the Lebanon War were probably more effective than the Sambush of helicopters. As you have pointed out these sambushes would only be effective against transport targets, but the nature of air mobility would mean any number of sites and a limited no of SAMS. That is unless the site is strategic in nature and a potential target for SOF raids.


JohorMali said...

You are being overtly unfair to say that "might" of the MAF is solely for the defence of the Malay Rights, Malay Nationalism, Mahathir's economic nationalism or anything Malay!. If that maybe is the case, the "might" is only looking after 25% of this nation's wealth. and the remainder can easily be plundered by any marauding forces.

I thought that the water issue has been settled. The recent calll by Ir Hasni was just a mere plead by one who knows that the watertight agreement is not in Johor's way. (this agreement ends in 2061). There were other agreements that ended in 2011, when Singapore could not agree on the new terms for renewal.

About the crooked bridge, everyone knows how nostalgic Goh Chok Tong felt about the causeway and not about a condusive passage for sampans, boats barges, yatches or small warships to move from west Johor to the east unimpeded by any structure along the straits.

Anonymous said...

EK Yap aka Locke (do you see yourself as a Peter Wiggin from the Ender series who used the same pen name as his sign off?),

The Malays (and the rest of the natives) are definitely crazy. Who else would openly give citizenship and full rights to economic immigrants, allowing them to prosper as citizens and control 70% of the economy, dominate the professional sector, despite being only 35% of the population. What more, these citizens were allowed to keep their cultural identity intact (unlike say Thailand or Indonesia where the assimilation was enforced) and without the nationalization/appropriation of their wealth (unlike say Uganda under Idi Amin and Zimbabwe in recent history).

My point here is simple - Malaysia's prosperity over the last 56 years was a joint contribution - the non bumis gave the country the entrepreneurship, the technical expertise and drive to develop. The bumis (as a majority of the population) gave the country stability through their willingness to share the country with their new brethren.

If you think what the bumis did was something easy - think of how the "native" Singaporeans are now reacting to an influx of more dynamic and aggressive immigrants.

In an ideal world, there would not have any distinction between Bumis and non Bumis. But Indonesia in 1998 and tells us that the ideal is probably not realistic - and most likely could have bloody consequences. Any country where the minority race controls a lion share of the economy is susceptible to social breakdown when times are tough.

Anonymous said...

how does the TNI fit into this matrix ?

Anonymous said...

Militarily, a bridge to replace the causeway enhances Malaysia's security because it can be blown whereas a causeway can be easily patched.

Anon 12:51 AM, it was not Malays or Malaysians, but the British who presided over Chinese and Indian immigration and the current distribution of wealth. Independent Malaysians have only presided over Indonesian and Bangladeshi immigration. Second, the non-Malay bumiputera in Malaysia are in practice just as disadvantaged non-bumiputera. dynamic. I personally feel the best way to help the bumiputera is to abandon bumiputera policies. Third, most immigrants to Singapore are not more dynamic, they are unskilled and low cost labour who are depressing wages and encouraging the continuance of low-productivity economic functions. They outweigh the small number of immigrants who genuinely advance the economy. In both our countries, professionals are leaving and unskilled workers are immigrating in numbers.

Anonymous said...

Sorry for the typos.

Anonymous said...

Dear all,

Firstly my comments on Malay Nationalism and the MAF are not new as the MAF remains largely a predominantly Malay organisation and political bed rock of domestic support for UMNO.

I would like to apologise for my rushed writings. What I meant to say was that it was my wish was that the assertive malay nationalism does not wander into the international arena and "affect" a mutually beneficial strategic relationship between the two countries.

The disproportionate weight of the constituency sizes, the UMNO strategic vote banks in rural Malay areas, and the uncertain Malay vote bank in the urban areas are all political constituencies that NAJIB will have to buy back for his continued political survival in UMNO.

What is being thrown about here is the "share" as defined in the NEP of shares in listed companies. As to how that 30% share is calculated is subject to much debate, but leaving that aside the NEP as it stands as implemented through an assertive Malay Nationalism has led to corruption for the MAF and the Economy as a whole. There has to be some form of affirmative action but the NEP is an affirmative action for some Malays to get rich at the expense of the country as a whole which is at the end of the day Malay majority

PSC, Malaysia OPV progaramme, Aluyutana and the Submarines remain as always the tip of the ice berg.

The FELDA privatisation, National Feed Stock scandal, all tell me how far it goes that a system designed to benefit a community has BENEFITED the elites amongst all leaving still more Malays behind, but maybe that is the beauty of race based nationalism, I shall feel pride in a Rich Malay being corrupt and stealing money from the government even though I am a poor malay as long as some basic desires are exceeded.


ah seng said...

lets war with msia and get their land (piece of cake). now is the time! majulah singapura!

JohorMali said...

I think the real problem of some commentators of this blog is that they tend to meander away from what En David Boey try to present in his blog,

If everybody were to be as near to En David's level headed observation of his neighbouring country's weaponary, (ie without any prjejudgmental or condescending views) it will help in people to people relationship in the long run .

Both country have about the same political system but not the same ideology, and it is of no business for any country to impose its ideology unto others. You have your way and I have mine . And its not about the best man wins, or the strong thrives. Its all about compassion among mankind.

Anonymous said...

Anon 1.55 pm (29 Sept),

1) I am referring to one of the conditions imposed by the British during the negotiations for Malaya's independence in early 50's - Malay leaders were asked to accept Chinese and Indian immigrants (bulk of whom came into the country in the early 1900s to open up tin mines and rubber estates) as full citizens of Malaysia. Remember when the British tried to impose this in the form of Malayan Union right after world war 2, it was rejected outright by the Malay community. Without such an agreement, independence would most likely have been delayed.

2)Non malay bumis being disadvantaged like the non-bumis - I would dispute this to some degree in relation to bumis from East Malaysia. The amount of natural resources (with exception of petroleum) that is under the direct control of Sabah and Sarawak, as per the agreement in the formation of Malaysia, is tremendous. Whether their elected leaders use it for their own personal enrichment of the development of the community - that is a subject to a separate debate.

3)I would agree that the bumiputra policy needs to be amended to ensure that it is needs based and directed to those who honestly want to improve themselves.

4)On your third point, I don't think it is the unskilled immigrants that are bothering the average Singaporeans (or at least the Singaporean professionals that I deal with on a daily basis). These are not the people who are taking up PMET jobs, HDB apartments and places in good schools.

Anonymous said...

David, apologies for hijacking your blog.

Locke -

"corruption of the MAF"

Name one MAF leadership (serving or retired) that lives a life of luxury either while serving or in retirement. Do not confuse MAF leadership with Malaysian politicians. The MAF leadership are professionals who are proud of their service. They are not in it for the wealth nor power. Most retired MAF leadership lead a very modest life living off their pension (as a reference, a retired MAF Colonel would get around RM 4,500 p.m. - approximately SGD 1,700 p.m. in pensions. Clearly much lower than an executive starting salary in Singapore) and some supplementary income in the form of board of director fees if they are serving as a board member in one of the companies owned by the Armed Forces retirement fund.

"MAF remains largely a predominantly Malay organisation..."

It is a predominantly Bumiputra organisation - East Malaysians also contribute significantly.

Bumiputras have become a majority of the MAF rank and file primarily because of 4 main factors:

1) wide disparity in pay and benefits between the MAF and the private sector (a gap that has continuously widened since the 1970s). If you are in the rank and file, and after 20 years of service and is fortunate enough to leave the service as a Warrant Officer I (i.e. the most senior NCO position), your pension is only RM 3,100 p.m. - not even the starting salary of an executive in Malaysia.

2) The need to uproot your family on average every 3 years to ALL parts of Malaysia, including areas where educational facilities are limited.

3) Regular operational deployment either to the border areas or on overseas assignment (currently UN duties and Ops Fajar)

While there is anaccusation of discrimination in promotion opportunities, I do not know enough of it but I would say the MAF has gone all out over the last 5 years to attract the non bumis to the rank and file. Unfortunately, as observed during the 80 years celebration, the response has been very limited.

"...and political bed rock of domestic support for UMNO."

Do not assume and broad brush. Active serving members of the MAF are politically neutral. This is one of the things that the MAF is proud off - its non interference in civilian affairs. After leaving the service is another matter - I would say the split is half/half - half BN and half opposition (mainly PAS).

Finally - your remark that the system "benefited only the elite malays". This is a remark that is often made by detractors of the NEP, often to distract from what is the NEP's most significant achievement - the creation of a large Bumi middle class which has been the source of stability and growth to the country. In 1970, only 1 in 25 bumi families had a member with tertiary education - now it is 1 in 3. In terms of professionals (docs, engineers, lawyers, accountants), pre NEP Bumis used to constitute less 5%, now the number is closer to 40%.

Additionally - don't you think the behaviour of these so called malay tycoons that is part of this elite(supposedly the main beneficiary of the NEP) to be odd?

You rarely hear them splurging on their wealth like the streotypical tycoon. Some like Syed Mokthar seems to be more interested in giving it away through his philantropic foundation. Some seems to be constantly involved in national service projects.

In my view, their behaviour is consistent to that of people who acting as stewards of the wealth as opposed to owners of the wealth. Things might not be what it seems.

Anonymous said...

Pity SAF retired the Carl Gustav 84mm while many other armies keep this highly effective weapon. SAF Matadors not as versatile as 84s.
The 700 m range of the airburst 84 mm round is particularly effective against ground troops.
The RPG 7 is also extremely cheap & nasty weapon when used especially against ground troops.

MAF shoulder fired SAMs make it an extremely dangerous environment for helis to operate.

StephensSimKH said...


A lot of pro and anti Bumi discussion here, a minefield I wish to avoid.

Just commenting on pictures posted and hypothetical issues if in event, Malaysia was a threat issue for Singapore (which it is not. No offense to anyone intended)

1) those PT91 tanks are good enough to inflict damage. Was the size and weight of the Bionix a good choice? Fortunately malaysia is not a war mongering nation and has bought bare minimum due in part to budget issue.

2) as in Lebanon, simple anti tank rockets in numbers can impede and inflict significant damage to armour thrust particularly (in Malaysia's case) in close terrain. ACTIVE armour is the way to go. However, even a minor complication inflicted by these primitive rockets can have significant issue with bottlenecks along main artery(s) for advance.How good is our traffic management?

3) SAMS whilst probably not a threat to high end air assets will significantly impede heliborne air operations. Are countermeasures up to date to neutralize this threat? Selecting 3 different types of similar manpads could make it more complex for countermeasures.

4) No pic of motorcycles but never understood their use in recon field. So noisy. OTOH as a means of quick and efficient transportation (thinking back to Japan 1942), certainly very useful particularly through plantations.

Anonymous said...

Not for me to comment on Malaysian politics but always curious why Singapore decided to court Mainland Chinese and Mainland Indians instead of the ranks of disenfranchised Tamil Indians in Malaysia (see HINDRAF), who are practically kin.

To me, Singapore clearly plays it's own racial ratios along with elitist bias which may be detriment to those who may appreciate opportunity the most.

Also always in the back burner the whole issue of Malays in the Singapore army. yes some positions have seemingly opened up but how much of this is wayang? After all, a swallow does not a summer make.

Before we speak of failings of our neighbours, I think it better we reflect on our own shortcomings.

RambutanBoy said...

The problem with Malaysian conventional military is it lacks critical mass. Size of Malaysian armed forces is not large by any means.

This is in itself a good thing as it shows how peaceful Malaysians are.

But as 'lethal' as some of these weapons may appear, they will soon be overrun by any enemy who employs greater numbers (let alone quality)

Still, if Malaysia cedes territory and goes guerilla, they can make any unwelcome visitors stay quite painful. Plenty of jungle to hide in.

PT91 looks like it can do some damage but employment in close terrain may be an issue. In open terrain, paltry numbers will be picked off by aircraft quickly.

Trouble with these show of force is it is for general public consumption. More discerning military observers will know that these numbers put up in parade represent a significant percentage of total force and thereby draw self evident conclusions.

Paper Tigers roar loudest.*

*with all due respect to the fine fighting capabilities of the average Malaysian soldier.

Anonymous said...


Malaysia is not stupid.

Size of army is carefully calibrated not to antagonize possible paranoid neighbor but sufficient to provide deterent effect.

These systems although primitive will be a nuisance to line of communications if MAF sucks enemy into Malaysian territory to slowly pick it off.

Malaysia doesn't care about outside audience, of course this is for internal consumption. After all, it is a celebration for 80 year annivesary. Please lah.

RambutanBoy said...

@anonymous 2:46pm

But size of army not calibrated to meet some other neighbours who have far larger armies one of which is rebuilding with some impressive western systems in similar vein to Paranoid neighbour.

I suspect, the message is aimed at them instead but that neighbour will have noted Malaysia's inherent conventional limitations already.

Anonymous said...

September 30, 2013 at 12:49 AM

I have heard defences of the bumiputera policy but have never heard someone brazenly describe Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, from Proton to Deftech and whom Tenaga buys power from at a loss, as a philantrophist. The government just awarded this asshole a contract to supply electricity without a fixed price. He just pressured Najib to drop Honda cars for the civil service in favour of a Proton model that does not yet exist. Worst of all, he assembling the Army's Pars 8x8 from kits from Turkey, at a final price 5 times higher than what FNSS is charging for the complete vehicles. Any honest Malaysian would want him dead.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3.08 PM, Sept 30,

1) On Syed Moktar's philantrophy

Go and visit
and see how extensive his philantrophic works are.

Don't believe what you are reading? Take a drive up to Kedah and visit the RM 550 Million privately funded campus of Al Bukhary International University where a majority of the students are poor students on full scholarship.

The fact that you've not heard of it is a reflection of Syed Mokthar's character - he does not do all these activities for bragging rights or social status unlike most Asian tycoons.

2) On his IPP contract with Tenaga

Funny you choose to single him out on this while not mentioning YTL, Genting and Usaha Tegas, who are owned by non bumi tycoons and who gets a lion share of the IPP contracts.

The originator of this business model is not him - it was the YTL group, whose contract is viewed by most analyst as the most lucrative and lopsided among all IPP contracts.

3) Proton cars for Civil Service

Get your facts right - Proton does not want the business. It refused for many years to produce a Perdana replacement model. There's insufficient market (even when you account for government orders) to justify creating a separate production line and spare parts.

Due to pressures from certain quarters who are sentimentally tied to the national car project, the compromise is for Proton to assemble and re-badge Honda Accords for government use.

4) Cost of PARS AV8

Deftech, at behest of MAF, is buying from FNSS not just the basic vehicle (and rights to licensed production) but also the design and intellectual property - meaning Deftech is free to produce more of the vehicles in the future for MAF and even work on upgrades without having to go through FNSS. Malaysia does not want a repeat of the Sibmas saga whereby MAF was stuck with vehicles with no manufacturer's support after the Belgian manufacturer went bust.

Additionally the cost MAF's AV8 is also inclusive of the customized weapons (e.g. South African Ingwe Missiles, cannons), sensors and defensive suite as specified by the MAF. These are not your plain APCs like the Condors, its the MAF's first wheeled IFV.

The unit price of the AV8 should go down further in future orders.

Your cost comparison reminds me of a certain Malaysian opposition politician who likes to harp on defence acquisition matters on basis of cost & google research but without actually bothering to speak to the MAF for the details or clarification.

This politician said the TUDM's EC725 was way more expensive but what was bought by other airforces. What the politician failed to take into consideration was the fact that TUDM's EC725 are fitted for Combat SAR - basically the ability to deploy and extract personnel in hostile territory (useful capability not just in SAR situations eh). The helis he was comparing against were fitted for basic transportation.

The other comparison this politician made was on Malaysia's upcoming littoral combatants programme. Again the comment is on cost and without any clarification made with the MAF. This time the politician's comparison is the cost of US Navy's LCS programme. In making such comparision, this politician fail to grasp the difference in the proposed operational doctrine for the LCS in TLDM and the US Navy.

The US Navy LCS is designed to operate with the assumption that there's air dominance provided by US Navy's carrier fleet and sub surface protection provided by the attack submarines and ASW helos.

TLDM's LCS will not have the benefit of either - it is being designed as a small multi purpose frigate that is able operate and survive indepently in disputed areas such as Spratly or Ambalat.

In my view, the only group of people that wants Syed Mokthar "dead" are the likes of you - people who can only see good things in their own kind and only bad things in others.

Anonymous said...

1) You're right that few have heard of Mokhtar's philantrophic works, he is more well known for
the billions he has made from government contracts, to include defence contracts, from Proton which benefits from the government's refusal to lower car import tariffs as promised in the election and from monopolies in essential goods.

2) I called out only Mokhtar's IPP because you brought up Mokhtar. You cited YTL, Genting and Usaha Tegas as fleecing Tenaga and Malaysian taxpayers as well. Are you saying that what they do makes Mokhtar's IPP right? Im view of Mokhtar's businesses above, I see no reason to deny that Mokhtar used political patronage to obtain his share of the IPP loot.

3) Proton indeed refused to produce the Perdana for many years because it could not sell. No wonder because Perdanas are the most unreliable model in Proton's stable and in the civil service's fleet. Now that the political climate has turned against Najib, Mokhtar and Proton's patron Mahathir have taken the chance to force Najib to accept that Proton will start supplying a completely non-existent and unproven model within six months.

4) Oh, we will see if Malaysia indeed buys further Pars 8x8 in the future or makes use of the technology "transferred". Or if no benefit will come out of the exorbitant cost paid.

I didn't bring up the EC725. But since you claimed that TUDM's model has CSAR equipment, I invite anyone to visit a TUDM open house and see themselves that nothing in the way of CSAR equipment was fitted to TUDM's model. No self protection suite, no refueling probe, not even simple IR suppression on the huge exposed exhausts.

I know you don't like Tony Pua but I didn't bring him up, you did. Tony Pua ventured a broad comparison of the LCS to several nation's corvettes and patrol vessels two years ago. You seem to forget that Malaysia only this year revealed partial specifications of the nature of equipment to be fitted to the LCS.

Also ask yourself how your neighbour Thailand bought a frigate with superior radar and longer ranged missiles for cheaper than the per unit cost of the Malaysian LCS.

5) You said the likes of me want Mokhtar and anyone who similarly profits dead. By my count, I stand with 53% of Malaysians. You appear more interested in serving Mokhtar than in serving your country, which you have not yet learned to do.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous.

I would apologise for the inaccuracy in my comments. " corruption" in the MAF was harsh as most of the issues I have realised on examination have been with "procurement" and the corruption therein. The navy PV scandals , PSC etc etc which I am sure you are aware of. The "Alutayana" and the "Scorpene" submarines are I believe just one example as well as construction of soldiers facilities which leak and or collapse and I also believe bullet proof helmets which are not well bullet proof .

You are right , MCA , MIC have been allowed at the pie. Lim Liong Sik and the Klang scandal etc etc , they have certainly not done the Chinese nor Indian s proud. But if Malaysia is a Malay country and it certainly is, the fact that there is much corruption within Umno and that there are some benefits to Chinese leaders does not remove the fact that its resources and wealth are being squandered and squandered largely in the name of Nationalism.

I would add that most opposition both malay and chinese whom I have spoken to agree that the MAF and the civil service are a bedrock of the Umno Vote.
That is not to say they are not "loyal" to Malaysia or that they cannot differentiate between party and state but that they are natural UMNO constituents.

I would like to add that the Rear Admiral who bravely joined the opposition and won the seat in Kedah representing the Lumut Naval base , well hats of to him, and he has certainly spoken up on the corruption of which he is well aware.

Yes the creation of the middle class is a reflection of the success of UMNO, but that middle class is also finding issues like corruption as intolerable as the Chinese and that is something which unites them.

Some form of affirmative action would have been necessary, but the form with which it was driven by mahatir and his ego and his attempts to keep Malaysia on a failed model ?


Anonymous said...


Many thanks for replying to this discussion in a civilised manner.

The reason why I wrote back on what you commented is that I felt you were making sweeping accusatory statements which I thought was both unfair and unhelpful to advance the general debate on how to make Malaysia better a place (apologies again to David for hijacking his blog!). I also thought you were attempting to paint the issue (or issues) in a very partisan manner (i.e. one side is always right, the other side is always wrong).

Thank you for understanding where I was coming from.

I have no issues with your actual views and opinions (not the manner it was originally expressed), they are yours to express and we are actually in agreement on some of them.

Anonymous said...

Anon September 29, 2013 at 11:24 PM

2) I would say East Malaysian bumiputera are marginalized by those from Semenanjung. For example, Sabah is the poorest state in Malaysia despite being rich in resources. The degree to which elections are not free and fair is perhaps greatest in Sarawak. The federal government does not pay its full dues for resources under the Malaysia Agreement while state governments abuse its provisions by barring entry of politicians to limit political competition. The Sabah RCI recently heard of the misuse of Special Branch for partisan purposes.

"4)On your third point, I don't think it is the unskilled immigrants that are bothering the average Singaporeans (or at least the Singaporean professionals that I deal with on a daily basis). These are not the people who are taking up PMET jobs, HDB apartments and places in good schools."

I would say Singaporeans are worried about foreign PMET directly competing with them for jobs, raising housing costs and lowering their wages. But they are also affected by cheaper labour because they disincentivize employers from moving to higher value-added jobs and activities, and from increasing the productivity of existing ones. The fact that the question of whether firms have an "addiction to cheap labour" made the headlines in the local press suggest this is a very serious issue in the struggle to increase productivity.

The gravest threat to Singaporeans comes from both PMET and work pass immigrant groups naturalizing as new citizens and forming a pro-immigration vote bank. The pace of naturalization is outpacing the rate at which old native citizens pass away.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 9.41 pm,

1) "You're right that few have heard of Mokhtar's philantrophic work"

Here you are admitting you do not know everything about the person. Yet you feel it is your right to publicly call this person an "asshole", imply that he is corrupt and take it one step further that he should be killed.

2) "I called out only Mokhtar's IPP because you brought up Mokhtar."

And I brought up the other tycoons because your original statement seems to imply (well at least to me) that he was the only one who benefited plus in your original statement this was the main reason why he was an "asshole" that deserves to be killed. By same logic all these other guys are also "assholes" that deserves to be killed.

For the record I do not think the IPP contract for all these guys were right but having spoken to some of the EPU members who were involved in the original discussion at that point in time (in mid 90s)- they were in uncharted territory - it was the first time Malaysia was awarding such contracts and their most pressing objective was to maintain investor confidence to prevent any more nationwide blackouts from happening.

3) On Syed Mokthar and Mahathir forcing Najib to accept non-existent Proton for civil servants

Sorry I have no first hand knowledge of this (but honestly, if I am Mahathir and want to take advantage of Najib's weakness, would I really use my political ammo on something like what cars to supply the government?) . All I know is that from Proton side, this was not they wanted.

4)On EC725 - thank you for your point. I will make it a point to go the next TUDM open day to check it out myself. I was not aware it has been displayed to the general public as part of a static display as I thought it was still in the process of being inducted (first delivery was only in Dec 2012).

5) On Tony Pua - I am not saying I don't like him. My point is this - it would have been great for him, as one of the leading opposition politician to first get the Defense Minister and the MAF's view point before launching a public assault on the purchases that damages the MAF more than the politicians involved.

5) "You appear more interested in serving Mokhtar than in serving your country, which you have not yet learned to do"

Another sweeping statement at someone whom you do not know off.

Btw you do not stand with the 51% of Malaysians - the Malaysians I know on both sides of the divide, they don't wish each other dead.

Anonymous said...

2) As you "do not think the IPP contract were right" then you must accept my original point that Mokhtar has enriched himself through the contracts.

3) You will have to say more than merely that the government car deal was "not what Proton wanted". It sounds like Proton is acting as a middleman to rebadge a Honda model and put it on the road in six months- and doing so unwillingly.

If you were Mahathir and trying to weaken Najib, why wouldn't you do so by demonstrating that Najib is powerless to resist you even as to what car the government buys, and especially by challenging Najib's pre-election promise to lower car import tariffs and thereby weaken Proton?

4) Are you therefore accepting that the LCS was overpriced?

"it would have been great for him, as one of the leading opposition politician to first get the Defense Minister and the MAF's view point before launching a public assault on the purchases that damages the MAF more than the politicians involved."

It would be great if the Minister of Defence had allowed the Navy to publicise its requirements so that the allegations could be quelled and an open tender could be held with a comparative evaluation by the Navy.

It would be great if Mindef had listened to the Navy on what it really needed to carry out its mission. It was later revealed that the Navy did not want SETIS as the combat system and did not want Mica as the SAM.

5) Don't take it from me that any Malaysians want Mokhtar dead- not for his race but for his crimes. You know what happens on a regular basis when Malaysians catch a petty thief. What more someone who has taken billions of taxpayer money.

Anonymous said...

People do philantrophy but pocket money is called wayang kulit.

Don't be so naive.

Anonymous said...

'the less-than-symmetrical bomb burst by four Su-30MKM fighter jets'

Hi David,

I believe one of the Sukhois do have some problem because at that morning they overflew over my home en route to airspace over Dataran Merdeka.I live in Bukit Damansara which is very nearby to the Dataran.

Believe me, one of the jet flew quite erratically and to my untrained eyes almost collide with the other jets.

It is unfortunate that I did not bother to record this with a camera.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anon 9.15 am (1st Oct)

I originally drafted a different set of response but feel we are just getting into a pissing contest with no end (which really is an abuse of David's blog).

To end this, I would like to take a step back and state directly to you on the points that I wanted to convey to you when I first commented on your short posting on September 30, 2013 at 3:08 PM.

I basically wanted to convey 3 things to you:

1) I think it is not right for you to harshly besmirch a person (or an entity) in a public forum based on conjectures and opinions alone.

2)I also think your initial posting did not try to distinguish facts and opinions.

3)I also think you were selective in your use of examples.

These three things made me assume (my bad - I should nt have) that you are a person who can only see one side of the argument and is dismissive on any other views or possible explanation.

All the above it just my opinion.
Whether you really care about it or not it's really your prerogative.

If you want to take this as a sign that I concede to you, then by all means please do so.