October 10, 2022
KLUANG – How the Defence Ministry will use the RM17.37bil allocated next year will be detailed in the next two months, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
The Defence Minister said the allocation was an increase of RM1.23bil or 7.8% compared to this year’s budget.
“We will be detailing how we can fully utilise this budget in line with the policy and plans under the ministry together with the Malaysian Armed Forces, he told reporters after officiating the closing ceremony of the Malaysian Army Carnival 2022 held at Stadium Mini Taman Sri Lambak here yesterday.
He said the allocation includes operational expenditure of RM11.41bil and development expenditure of RM5.96bil.
“Most importantly, we will be focusing on four main agendas, namely the procurement of new assets, the maintenance of current assets, aid and welfare for veterans, and a housing progra- mme for the Armed Forces,” he added.
Hishammuddin, who is also the Sembrong MP, added that any subsequent decision or announcement made by the ministry and Armed Forces would prioritise these four issues.
He said he was aware of the needs of all branches of the Armed Forces.
“But at the same time, we have to remember this budget is only for one year and there are more than one way to improve the strength of the military and ministry,” he added.
He said the ministry had been allocated RM4bil in Budget 2023 for new assets.
These included Maritime Patrol Aircraft (MPA) and Medium Altitude Long Endurance Unmanned Ariel System (MALE-UAS) for the Air Force.
Meanwhile, 136 new 4×4 vehicles would be acquired for the army.
On the maintenance of current assets, he said the focus would be on the F/A-18D Hornet fighter aircraft system improvement and sustainment programme worth RM2.4bil.
This was being done through the Malaysia-United States bilate- ral relationship, Hishammuddin added.
As for veterans’ aid and welfare, a total of RM118.4mil had been allocated under Budget 2023 which will cover the Welfare Aid (BSH), Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) allowance and pension distribution.
Another RM140mil will be allocated to equip armed forces personnel with uniforms, while RM590.5mil had been set aside to develop and maintain Rumah Keluarga Malaysia Angkatan Tentera homes, including a project at the Butterworth Air Base.
“The ministry had also received RM47mil to procure two new field hospitals in preparation for the flood, as well as 50 new ambulance,” he added.