I have been informed that the Phase 4 of the Gemas Army Camp Project is in its preparatory stage for implementation, and the launch of it will complete the entire Gemas Project that has taken more than 15 years to complete. Once completed, the Gemas Camp now named after our previous King, is reportedly to be the largest army camp in the country covering almost 38,000 acres with a total population of more than 8,000 soldiers and their families.
One of the project listed in Phase 4 is the construction of the Army War Game Training Center that is long overdue, and has been the talk in the army for more than 20 years now. While I was in service, I had the opportunity of listen to a number of product presentation by various foreign companies involved in the design and production of the Army War Game Simulator, but for some unknown reason, no deal has been struck.
The War Game Simulator is now being used extensively as a training tool by most modern armies, and our army has been late in acquiring the facility. However, I am told that there is now a serious bidding by local agents for the product to be acquired by army, and all are products developed by foreign companies. My concern is why is the army so enthusiastic in bringing in a foreign product, but is hesitant in offering local IT and engineering companies to undertake the development of the product? Are there no local expertise in developing a War Game Simulator, which is certainly not a ‘rocket science type of technology’.
I believe this country has enough expertise to even venture into rockets and missile development, and to most scientist, they say that developing a War Game Simulator is as simple as A,B and C. And surprisingly, I am told that the country already has the expert knowledge to developed more sophisticated simulators like the MIG 29 aircraft simulator presently in use by the RMAF in Kuantan base, that apparently was developed by a team of Malaysian scientist back in 1994 in Canada.
One need to realized that the continuous purchase of foreign equipments for the Armed Forces is no longer a favoured option, more so if the purchase does not come with a transfer of technology, or at least an option for the maintenance of the equipment. It is only good for local agents who will make a bit of money, but at the end of the day, there is little in terms of a technology transfer, let alone be able to satisfactorily maintain the equipment. In other words, it is purely a one off purchase where upon the purchase being signed, the local agents will be running off to the bank smiling.
As I have said above, this country already has the expert knowledge to design and develop War Game Simulators for use by the army, if indeed army is serious about developing an indigenous designed product. What is critical in developing a War Game Simulator (and I suppose army knows this) are the data to be used in the system. Data has to be realistic and conforms to doctrines and tactics used by the army, and such data can be categorized as restricted information.
Can we not see our stupidity, if we were to provide all our restricted data to a foreign company, when we purchase the product from them. What better way to protect our data, if we were to design and develop the product locally, and at the same time encourage the growth of our defence industry that specialized in the design and development of simulators for use by our Armed Forces, besides a huge saving of our foreign exchange.
CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION