20 March 2015
LANGKAWI, Malaysia: Budget constraints are jeopardising Malaysia’s defence spending plans, which include replacing ageing fighter jets and beefing up its maritime capabilities.
While Malaysia has traditionally played down any tensions with China over the disputed South China Sea, it has long expressed concern about piracy and security along its land and coastal borders.
More recently, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 after it flew unimpeded across the Malay Peninsula last year exposed gaps in the military’s tracking of the skies.
“We have a lot of areas to be concerned about. The Straits of Malacca, the south-western part of the South China Sea and others,” Navy chief Admiral Abdul Aziz Jaafar told Reuters on the sidelines of an airshow on the Malaysian coastal island resort of Langkawi this week.
…”Malaysian acquisition plans have been continually postponed for reasons of financial constraints,” said Richard Bitzinger, a security expert at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore.
“The navy is short of ships, and the army is similarly under-equipped. Compare sizes with, say, Singapore, which has more than five times as many frontline (jet) fighters and twice as many main battle tanks as the Malaysian armed forces.”
IDSS / Online
Last updated on 23/11/2015