Tuesday, February 3, 2009


In my article titled ‘Wheeled or track self-propelled howitzer for the Malaysian Army’ that was posted on January 30,2009, I am very much encouraged by the response that I received, either in the blog itself and the many phone calls from military officers (retired and serving officers) relating to the article. I am delighted too that my article had generated considerable argument among fellow military officers, that I now begin to feel that my ‘presence’ in the Army is still in their midst.

From the responses that I get, it appears that there is a general consensus that the wheeled self-propelled howitzer is preferred over the track self-propelled howitzer. I am told that the preference for a wheeled self-propelled howitzer has been made known by Army some years ago, but there appears to be others who felt that the track self-propelled howitzer is equally competitive to the former. On what basis is the track better than the wheeled can only be answered by those in the service today.

But my concern is that any decision to procure either the wheeled or track self-propelled howitzer must be based of the realities of how the army is to be structured in the future, the nature of its employment and how the army envisage the future battle is going to be. The battle of today relies on speed of deployment, excellent communications, reliable and effective system of logistics support and last but not the least, good and speedy intelligence.

Assuming that both the wheeled and track self-propelled howitzer does meet the above ‘criterion’, than the factor of costs will finally come to play, most importantly the costs to maintain the fleet.

The fear has always been the army’s failure to get what it actually wants, and its past experience in large procurement exercises falls short of what is desirous.

I did mention in my earlier articles that this ugly words called ‘projek wahyu’ overrides all decisions and places the army at the mercy of those without a clue of what is actually required by the army. This ‘projek wahyu’ has to stop, and let the army decide what it wants. I believe the army has a highly competent and professional committee to evaluate and decide its procurement needs.

And my final advice to the Chief is to strictly confine his decision to the findings of the above committee, and not to be swayed by ‘external influences’. Please remain professional and always have the nation, service and your man at heart.

Posted at 5.35pm Feb 3, 2009


maurice said...

The political leadership should learn what is required to put the nation in proper defence preparedness.

They should take the trouble to read military books and learn the bitter lessons why some countries have failed to prepare their military forces for military conflicts.

It would be a mistake to rely on the military leadership alone to look after itself and expect them to win wars when the chips are down.

One area of defence procurement which is badly neglected is ground air defence against air attacks.

To my mind this is the most urgent military requirement which the political and military leadership should pay attention to.

We have seen how some countries in the past have been brought down on their knees militarily in matter of days due to inadequate air defence systems being placed on the ground against a military force with superior air power.

We have valuable economic assets, essential industries, beautiful population centres, vital security and military installations which need to be protected from air attacks by modern military aircrafts which can lob precision guided missiles at 20-60 km away and at 20,000-40,000 feet flying altitude from the intended target.

These are formidable threats which have to be deterred by having a well organized and proper ground air defence system put in place soonest.Deterrence helps to keep the peace.

ArshadRaji said...

Dear Maurice,

I only hope the Army bosses reads your comments. Most do not really care or are they too concern with golf?

eli said...

Dear Dato'

It is interesting to see the decision of the MAF. Rumours have been circulating that it is going to be another 'direct nego' for whelled self-propelled howitzer from Asia...just hope this is not true.

Luke said...

Dear Dato

As you may known, i have been posting a lot of comments, as i have a great love for military affairs. I would say the minister of defense should be of someone who had serve in the army or at least the wataniah.

For instance, Sir Winston Churchill, who was also a War Minister and prime minister during WW2, serve in the boer war and join military school.