Saturday, November 1, 2008


I was struck by a report that I read in BBC News website dated Oct 31,2008, on the resignation of a British SAS Commander in Afghanistan, in protest over what he calls 'chronic underinvestment' in troops equipment. The equipment referred to by him is the British Army's Snatch Land Rover vehicle used extensively by British troops in Afghanistan, that are not designed to withstand roadside bombs.

He accused the ministers (presumably the Minister of Defence) for not heeding to his warnings about the safety of the vehicles which had caused the death from roadside bombs of four soldiers, including one female soldier recently.

I was struck because this report may have some relevance to the decision of the government to defer the purchase of new helicopters to replace the aging Nuri helicopters. Neither has anyone, be they ministers or military commanders that have spoken out to assume full responsibility, should anything untoward happens to the Nuri helicopters. I am not at all surprise that nobody would dare assume such responsibility, not even the pilots and crew that flies the Nuri helicopters. Of course, it will be too late for the pilots and crew to assume responsibility after something untoward has happened.

I am somewhat disappointed that the professionals i.e. in this instant the Chief of Air Force should have
been bold enough to demand that the government must do something now to replace the aging Nuri helicopters, within the financial affordability of the government. Keeping mute over this vital issue is not what the Armed Forces aspects of a commander, particularly one that affect the lives of troops.

The example shown by the British SAS Commander is to be learned by all commanders. And I am not implying here that the Chief of Air Force resigns over this issue, but for him to judge and think of the alternatives available to him.

It may not necessarily be 12 new Eurocopter helicopters, but maybe less of another model. And within the financial affordability of the government, the Air Force may want to change the specifications of the helicopter; maybe giving priority to search and rescue roles first and with option for modification to other roles at a later stage.

If the Air Force sees a dying need to change the Nuri helicopters (which I think is in urgent need), why not just do it, rather than wait.

Posted at 10.30am on Nov 1,2008


Anonymous said...

Dato, why bother to inquire or opined on whatever helis that the Government want to purchase after all it is not their kin who is going to crash with the helicopters.It is not the sons or dughters of Tan Sris,Tun or the least the Ministers who chose the copters.It is the sons and daughters of people like u and me who is going to die for this country and not them.So ,they dont bother as long as they make money.

If any Generals or RMAF chief makes a dissenting statement of the purchase then it be suicidle for them.It is better for them to tow the line "cium tangan busuk banyak banyak" is better, may be they get a slice of the cake.

Buying helicopters for RMAF now is just like buying second hand cars.What u have to do is go to "LIMA SHOW" and test the copters for a few minute then buy,this is what being explained to the raayat by the person in charge of defence .Unlike those days where RMAF send their team of test Pilots for evaluation test,suitability test,technical capabilities test,support services,spares availabality etc and a special team will be appointed to come back with detail reports before the decision to purchase a particular model is made.Even with that stringent evaluation we have lost a few hundred Airmen in Air crashes,what more if there is no proper evaluation then the rate of crashes will definitely increases.

Now the procedures are so simple just like buying a secondhand proton saga no hassle ,no fuss just spend 2 billion ringgit and buy the Eurocopters.So we can imagine what is going to happen to our airmen.

Another issues that crosses my mind is that why now so many government agencies (non military) need to buy so many helicopters.Agencies like Police,Bomba,PLUS etc are having helicopters of their own.Are they
trying to built their own Air Forces? Soon may be RELA also will acquire helicopters because the police have one.For BOMBA, I seldom see any bush fire like what happen in Australia to justify them to own those helis from Russia.Why cant we have one single agencies like RMAF to cater all this helicopter services for the government.Then it be very economical,efficient,maximum utilisation,rather then being individually managed by various Government agencies at the expense of the taxpayers money.

By doing that we could have a multi role RMAF with sufficient helicopters to cater all event during peace time and war time.

As a conclusion therefore it is for the people of Malaysia to decide what is best for this country and not by some individual with a hidden agenda to fatten their pockets.

captazhar said...

Dear walimuar,

You took the words right out of my mouth.

There is really nothing anyone in this country can ask the politicians nor the government servants anymore. Even questions raised in Parliment do not get answers. And outside, the answer is either a late night polis raid and a free stay in Kamunting or maybe even some c4 if you get too close to the truth.

Anonymous said...

God almighty is where my may frustration shall be voiced, with an appeal of forgiveness to those who committed the wrong to the people of Malaysia and may "hidayah" smitten them for repent.Insyallah.

If not then PRU 13 may be the answer to all the sins committed.

ELI said...

It seems that almost everyone in high positions to day are no longer professionals but 'hanya cari makan'. They forget that, 'Allah yang menentukan semua rezeki'.