Thursday, April 15, 2010

MALAYSIAN DEFENCE INDUSTRY – A NEW BEGINNING

I read that Mindef has formed the Malaysian Defence, Security and Enforcement Council (MDSEC) whose primary function is to ‘co-ordinate the production of items related to defence, security and enforcement with the view to enhance the standard of the industries in the affected field’. It is also to ‘strengthen understanding between the government and private companies which produced defence and security products and hence avoid competition’. This announcement was made by Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi recently.

Although I am not privy to the full terms of reference of MDSEC, this certainly is a new development which I believe will bode well for the future of the Malaysian Defence Industry. Its realization though late, can be a source of encouragement and motivation for the private sector to indulge itself with the industry as there is now a well regulated national body to co-ordinate the activities of the defence industry sector.

I am sure there will be regulatory policies emanating from the council, and utmost to the private sector is an understanding as to what will be the government’s contribution to the industry, in particular with regards to funding for research and development, grants or loans to subsequently produce and manufacture readied and well tested products, and an assurance that locally manufactured products has the priority for purchase over imported products. As we all know, costs is the most inhibiting factor if one were to indulge in the defence industry sector, and without an assurance from the government that the end product will be firmly secured for local market first, no right minded investor would want to get themselves involved with the defence industry sector.

We all know too well that the Malaysian Defence Industry is very much in its ‘infancy’ compared to some countries of the ASEAN region. Of course, the Republic of Singapore is ahead, and now has a well developed and burgeoning defence industry despite being a relatively young nation. One has only to understand how Singapore reached the zenith of its defence production and manufacturing capabilities which was clearly the result of well crafted government policies. There was also the political will and commitment of the government and its leaders that invigorated the private sector to accept challenges in the production and manufacture of sophisticated defence products. There are many things that we can learn from the Singapore experience, and it is also for this reason that I would concur with a recent proposal put forward by the Defence Minister for the creation of a sort of regional ‘Defence Industry Council’ (if I may use such a term).

Malaysia has for far too long been dependent upon the purchase of foreign manufactured defence products and after 50 odd years of independence, the country is still unable to produce even a single indigenously designed pistol, let alone talk about producing rocket, missiles, tanks etc… etc. Why has this been so? And why has the government been lethargic, slow and lacking in concern to recognize the importance of developing an indigenous defence industry that is capable of meeting some of the nation’s defence requirement? Even if there has been a local defence industry, why have our own people been so cocky and quick to reject a locally manufactured product, for an imported one? This has been a perennial problem faced by our local defence manufacturer, and for as long as such skewed mentality prevails among our own people, our defence industry will forever remain uninspiring to an investor.

Let us hope that with the creation of MDCSE, it shall signal a new beginning for the local defence industry and for it to emerge an important and niche industry that contributes towards meeting the nation’s defence needs, as well as fulfilling the nation’s aspiration of becoming a develop nation by year 2020.

CRUSADE AGAINST CORRUPTION

12 comments:

2Lt Peh Hoo Guan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
abdulhalimshah said...

Dato' Arshad,
Many of our ills and woes where local defence industry is still in a fledgeling state and could never take off to what is seen in our neighbour across the causeway is the lack of will and commitment from the people leading our Defence policy.
And furthermore vested interests and corruption is the nail that is hammered into the coffin of our procurement system. We rather buy from others because it is easier to line one's pockets from the kickbacks.

2Lt Peh Hoo Guan said...

Dato,

Our public universities including 4 of our research universities produce thousands of graduates whose are also the young officers commissioned from Reserve Officer Training Unit (ROTU) or known as PALAPES Programme. They are from different academic backgrounds and different services.

For sure, the main conception of most people is that, ROTU produced officer are not competent enough even to lead a platoon of soldier into the battlefield. Yeah I admit that.

But what very special about this bunch of gentlemen n ladies produced by ROTU are, despite having to study for their bachelor's degree, they also had to go through millitary trainings, most of the weekends, and sem breaks. For those who survived and managed to finish their tudies and pass out, they are considered to be tough enough to managed their time for their trainings and studies and managed to excel in both field.

Nevermind if everybody said that PALAPES produced officer are a bunch of cock-up platoon leaders or etc.

But what I would like to say is, these ROTU officers despite being exposed to millitary weaponry and equipments through out their training, thay also came from different academic background with different expertise and specialised knowledge which can be very useful for the development of our own millitary and defence sector.

Why not just absorb them into the defence industries or defence research and development??? Why waste all the fund to train them for their whole 3 yrs while in the future career, they can't utillise everything that they had gone through during their 3 years of stint.

Compared to civilians with the same qualifications to those ROTU officers, ROTU officers have more concern of national defence and deep interest of millitary (If not, why did they joined up ROTU during their studies while they can concentrate their own effort on studying only).

While they might not be the right persons to defend the frontline, they might be the best person who provide the best brain for the Research and development in the field of defence science, technologies and industries and then transform our own Armed Forces.

taming said...

During Najib's tanure of office as Defence Minister there was already the "Malaysian Defence Council".
I am sure Najib didn't hijack it with him to PM's office in PUTRAJAYA because as PM, he already has the National Aerospace Council to chair!

MDSEC, a high sounding name is nothing if there is NO WILL at all levels to ensure the success of our national defence industry. See what had happened to SMEO and the Styer rifle episode, the AIROD, ATSC and failed aerospace industry and many more.

2020 is hardly 9 years to go. If we were to analyse what Malaysian Defence Council had achieved for national defence industry during the last 9 years we can safely judge that we are getting to nowhere by 2020!

There are plenty of personal interests but simply NO WILL!

komando said...

HOW CAN THEY EVER BE SERIOUS IN ANYTHING ?

The world is growing and we are shrinking!

PHD - that is the biggest stumbling block...

Whatever good is done, if it is the wrong people doing it, it will never see the daylights!

We can only expect to produce MERIAM BULUH !

This talk and more talk is just for "Syiok Sendiri" syndrome of the Minister...lets see what he can make out of more talk and more cakap sahaja!

FMZam said...

As much as I want to believe that this is a new beginning but then it is more a believe of it being just another of the many many new beginnings that have sunk into oblivion. With every new Defence Minister, along came a new beginning only to end dormant at the anal of military's black hole.

Always starting with such big name, impacting good first impression, extensive propaganda, grand promotion and of course the political road shows. All because apolitical military is led by political leader, not because the military have not the will but when the will of military is political.

Clausewitz is right, war is the extension of political will. It is just that in our politic, we don't have the will for war, but for the money. And when we start to blame anyone for making our military the sloth military, blame no other but ourselves because there have never been others that had ruled this country from the start, other than us the Malays.

EAGLE said...

Dato',
So sorry that the new creation so called by the minister is another joke that can fit into Zunar's Cartoon collection.
Taming is right in his comments and just to add that the aerospace industry is just to make some people rich without real contribution and I know you are aware of it sir.
Great!!! what was said by komando "to produce meriam buloh". Thanks komando for making me laugh (sakit perut la gua)
T.S Eliot "what we call the beginning is always the end and what we call the end is always the begining" Simply put the Defence Minister is kong kalikong and his adviser must be clueless or kang kong on the subject matter. Or simply put the report card of the current industry are all in the red!!!
Defense Industry is about managing resources that the government has to equate between the economic benefits and security. It has to evaluate everything from monopoly, oligopoly, Keynes and you name it and above all the surge capacity that the industry can produce or ask the acid question whether Defense Industry is the top priority of the country element of national power or is it relevant now under the present circumstances that we don't even know what really is our Defense Policy and what is guiding the Defense Minister and his generals or else as Komando said just "syok sendiri" and conduct a day light robbery of the taxpayers money!!!
So before the Defense Minister proceed further and to avoid being ridiculed by the public just like the missing jet engine and many more of his, so sorry to say that this guy is really "syok sendiri" or he has too many incompetents around him that is drowning the Armed Forces. Please wake up from his sleep!!!
So be it or is it that "Malaysian Defence Industry - A New Beginning of the making of A New Crony"!!! Or just another "mimpi Ngeri" for the future generation to suffer. Hai entah lah Dato'... Alahai Menteri ku apa kah agenda mu!.....

F said...

Dato,

Unless there is no political intefering and favouritism, this MSDEC will achieve nothing and will be all hype. Never mind about big ticket items like tanks, rockets or even small arms. The local players can't even produce quality helmets, webbing and boots. In 2008 it was revealed that helmets that failed to meet the require ballistic protection still ended up being issued and the company still got paid. Even the insignia and metal badges made by local companies for the ATM are made from cheap materials and are badly produced.

I think the biggest cockup, apart from Amin Shah mismanaging the NGOPV project is SME Ordnance and the Steyr AUG fiasco. After buying prodution rights from Steyr, the whole project fell through. It is for this reason that the M-4 deal was announced. The machinery and cold forging tools that were bought for millions to make the Steyr is now rusting in the open.

komando said...

As long as we have greedy PIGS still running this country we are all doomed!

Whatever clever brains and smart brains we have will do no good!

There is no POLITICAL WILL!
All that comes out from the smelly mouths of the so called leaders is "RETHORICS"!

We have had enough years of experience and training and what more enough of brains to even make an Atomic BOMB!

But we only Talk COCK! All we did was talk and more talk!

Who is to be blamed?

BAD & Poor leaders with self interest, if we produce our own there won't be any opportunity to get a 30% profit for "OWN POCKET"
kind of operation!

So we must buy from agents, through agents, we pay for none of their services, yet agents become over night million dollar man.

So who is behind all this CRAP stories ....none other then all of you know who...30% for Party Funds Cronies!

UMNO - a very dirty word!

Hope Mindef reads this and Dato' Pak Chad does not get into trouble...

ART....

FMZam said...

We have been bullshitted by our generals all these while when we heard them said our military is capable of defending our country whereas we don't have the capability to produce own military hardwares, whereas we are so dependant on foreign purchases and that in true sense our defence capability is very very limited, in fact our capability relies on our ability to be supplied and resupplied from outside our country in a war situation, that's it. The true picture of a wartime Malaysia is that our logistics would start from a faraway foreign land because we are purchase-dependant not production independant.

Now when they talk about the need for a defence industry it's an indication the time is up for our political and military leaders to start supplementing their claim of our defence capability with physical proof - the capability to sustain a war with greater independency of our own production, rather than greater dependency on foreign production.

To understand why a small country like us must need a defence industry, think why many small nations in the world have the capability in building tanks, guns, warships, fighter aircrafts, comms system, electronic warfare systems, and even nuclear weapons. Those small nations are the real proof of a country who can claim to their people that they have the capability to defence their country, and yet they never boast like our generals and politicians to say it out loud.

So will our politicians and generals stop boasting and start cracking with building the Malaysian Armed Forces for all these while we have never really built anything yet other than castle in the sky. And 9 years away we are supposed to reach the dream of becoming a developed nation?

komando said...

FMZ - the field marshall has spoken..the council will discuss on this matter for the next 100 years.

As I have said many moons ago we can only produce "Meriam Buluh"...period!

We can't even produce a simple para flare?

What more guns and missiles!

I have also talk about self sustainability many many moons before, even before retiring!

But the Super Bright Generals could never comprehend my ideals and ideas, lest they will say I am trying to be a perfectionists!

When all hell breaks lose: We will have our soldiers all shooting with their mouths...boom boom boom....kind of like the CADET Days in Sebatang Karah and RMC, and even in PULADA!

All the Super Generals will tell the Super Ministers are is "Well in the Well".

I Can't say much or else I am going to face OSA after this, many more shortfalls and shortages, this is just the "TIP OF THE ICEBERG" as quoted by a very famous serving "4 STAR GENERAL"
....which have stopped coughing out more stories and juicy details!

He suddenly lost his crystals or marbles I guess !

Acinetobaxter said...

salam Dato'

i found your blog while i'm googling someone else and of few entries that i read, only this entries that push me to respond.

i am a reserved officer whom commissioned through the PALAPES training and remain active to the rank of captain until i have to go abroad to do my job.

during my 2nd Lt years, i was eager to design and produce the prototype of our Malaysian rifle though i was medical science student. i gather few of my colleague PALAPES brothers who came from the mechanical engineering background and work out on a proposal working paper of the rifle. we work out the proposal with enthusiasm and great spirit.

i eagerly show the proposal to a JLJ Major for some advise and motivation. i was so astonish when the major dismissed our proposal without even looking at it and said that all the effort that we're doing is a foolish effort. his reason is, why we are proposing a rifle, why not propose a newly design weapon which with one blast can kill all the enemy. we were so frustrated and demotivated with his remarked.

from our point of view, how can we design a new futuristic weapon when we even can't produce our own design of rifle?

well...it was about 11 years ago and major maybe have retired. After that time, my respect to the regular army officer esp to the foolish was none. But during that time, due to my immature and teenage thinking, i think the major was right!