Sunday, July 27, 2008


The formalization of a border security force dedicated to manning our country’s borders is apt and timely. I am alluding to the recent establishment of a Border Brigade which was reported in the New Straits Times recently. The Brigade with its Headquarters in Perlis, has five border battalions strung astride the Malaysia-Thai border.

Prior to this, the battalions were manned by mobilized soldiers from the army reserve force, commonly known as territorial units. Being mobilized soldiers, they are governed by a different set of regulations and terms of service, which are not attractive, when compared to their regular counterparts. Hopefully, with the regularization of the border security forces, the soldiers are now on ‘equal footing’ with the regular forces, in every aspect of their career.

Manning of static border posts are not normally liked by the regular forces. It is boring and restricts the initiative of soldiers, and without any activity over a long period of time, complacency will eventually creep in. These are some of the fears that commanders are confronted with, when ordered to do static operational duties. I am quite sure, this fear will also ‘haunt’ commanders of this new border security force, besides other motivational issues affecting soldiers permanently deployed in border areas.

With the establishment of the border security force, regular battalions are now relieved of such duties, and are therefore able to concentrate more on their core function i.e. to train to master the art of a modern war, which is getting more complex.

In light of this new development in the Army’s force structure, I would hasten to suggest that Army also look at a similar force structure, to relieve regular forces manning all islands in Sabah, and along our coastal areas. This deployment which was aimed primarily at curbing the intrusion of illegal immigrants, should not have been the responsibility of army units.


maurice said...

I think it would be better in the short term, the numerous islands of Sabah remain under the control of HQ Joint Force Command (Markas Angkatan Tentera Bersama).Give the new HQ the opportunity to develop and practice their operational procedures involving Army, Navy and Air Force units operating there.I think the HQ is still on the learning curve.

The Chief of Defence Force probably want to review it once the HQ has attained the required operational efficiency together with the necessary assets for serious joint forces tasks/missions.

maurice said...

I want to congratulate the Army for creating the Border Brigade HQ.The 5 mobilized battalions will now have its own dedicated Commander and Staff to look after their training, equipment, manpower and welfare of the mobilized soldiers and their families.Long overdue really.All this while they have been treated as second-class battalions under the previous chain of command.Now all the mobilized battalions will receive equal attention by their Commander and Staff.

As the management of border security is increasingly becoming more complex and challenging, the Commander has to develop appropriate strategies, tactics, equipment,logistics and training in order to cope with present and future tasks.Our best wishes to him and his staff for the tasks ahead.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Maurice,

I am not quite sure what are the roles and responsibilities of the JFC. I am quite sure, the deployment on islands is a part of JMF's roles. I thought, it would be wasteful to employ such a force for the aforesaid purpose.

Anyway, thanks for your comments.

Anonymous said...


If u brouse through Article 137 of The Federal Constitution u would be able to understand why the supreme law of the land, knowingly, intentionally or voluntarily allows our General to have liberty to decide matters invovling "operation of the Armed Forces". It is for the Armed Forces to implement this Article of the Constitution without fear or favour or hesitation.

The Armed Forces defended the nation in the name of Yang diPertuan Agong as its Supreme Commander (five star mind u). The words are crystal clear, we must understand why YDP Agong was not made The Supreme commander of The Police.This is to uphold the seperation of power between this two government agencies. The Federal Constitution has intentionally divide or differentiate between the Armed Forces and Police.So, in the eye of our Federal Constitution The top most service is The Armed Forces then only followed by the rest.The words "DiRaja" used by Police denote their position which is equivalent to Kastam diRaja and the rest. Soon........may be we have RELA diRaja, if The Armed Forces does not stress hard their supremacy and allow their jurisdiction to be trample by the Police.

Back to the topics deliberated by u, i would absoultely support the formation of the Border Brigade HQ . At least we would be able to see several of our juniors be promoted to General rank.Look at the Police they have two star heading every state and a full Colonel heading a small balai. On the same premise why cant the Army
have the same number of Generals like what the police is having, after all the General was given the liberty by the Constitution to plan and implement "operational matters".

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Walimuar,

Over the years, you and I know that the Armed Forces has been made to appear 'subservient' to the police. We ought to blame this on our military leadership.
I did mentioned to you earlier that I wasn't in total agreement to taking over all PFF post manning the coastal areas back in 1997 or thereabout. I did speak about this in a seminar, where I mentioned that we should not adopt the 'kita boleh' attitude. However, the order to me was to take over all the post and deploy our troops. It was utter confusion at the beginning. You can imagine the confusion of having to deploy an artillery unit to do static duties. I do not want to comment the status of Op Pasir today, for I think it is a total waste of army assest.

maurice said...

Can't be helped that the military in the past had to play second fiddle to the Police in internal security issues.It was a prerequisite in our fight against communism.

The present police organization is due to the good work of Tun Haniff who saw fit to reorganize the PDRM immediately after the Emergency.

The MAF now has an opportunity to reshape itself for future warfare which is becoming increasingly sophisticated.The MAF has no domestic competitor in the field of external defence.It is entirely up to the military leadership to chart its own destiny; to come up with the right war-winning strategies, organizations, weapon systems, equipment,training and logistics.However, good military plans will go nowhere without government suport.