‘RISE TO THE CHAL­LENGE’

THE de­fence in­dus­try must change dra­mat­i­cally to ef­fec­tively re­spond to new prob­lems, said the prime min­is­ter. In par­tic­u­lar, re­search and de­vel­op­ment needs to be in­ten­si­fied. Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak was speak­ing at the launch of the much-an­tic­i­pated Lang

New Straits Times - - Front Page - LIMA RE­PORTS AND PIC­TURES ON

THE tra­di­tional and non­tra­di­tional threats in the re­gion will see de­fence ex­pen­di­ture con­tinue to rise, and the de­fence in­dus­try must change dra­mat­i­cally as new prob­lems emerge.

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak said yes­ter­day new and chang­ing threats re­quired the de­fence in­dus­try’s role to change along­side.

This, he said, was be­cause th­ese new chal­lenges re­quired fur­ther re­search and de­vel­op­ment, though this would in­crease the over­all costs and pric­ing of de­fence prod­ucts and ser­vices.

Speak­ing at the launch of the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace ex­hi­bi­tion (Lima) 2017, Na­jib said the de­fence in­dus­try had a sig­nif­i­cant role to play in en­sur­ing armed forces are equipped prop­erly.

“We need to equip our fight­ing men with the ca­pa­bil­i­ties re­quired to face mod­ern war­fare, both sym­met­ri­cal and asym­met­ri­cal, and Lima 2017 brings to­gether ma­jor aerospace and mar­itime firms from around the world to demon­strate their sta­teof-the-art static and aerial dis­plays and cut­ting edge tech­nolo­gies.

“We take this very se­ri­ously here in Malaysia.

“The gov­ern­ment has al­lo­cated RM26 bil­lion un­der the 11th Malaysia Plan to cover de­fence, pub­lic or­der and en­force­ment.

“Our de­fence spend­ing will con­tinue to grow as the armed forces have em­barked on a long-term ca­pa­bil­ity plan to mod­ernise and upgrade the equip­ment that we have at the mo­ment.”

Na­jib also said Malaysia’s fu­ture prospects in the mar­itime and aerospace in­dus­tries were strong, as the coun­try was sit­u­ated in the heart of one of the most vi­brant mar­itime and aerospace mar­kets, with strong con­nec­tions to the re­gion, and an open and busi­ness­friendly econ­omy.

“We re­cently re­ceived a new accolade from BAV Con­sult­ing and the Whar­ton School of the Univer­sity of Penn­syl­va­nia. In their 2017 sur­vey, they awarded Malaysia first place... the best coun­try to in­vest in.

“Even in th­ese un­set­tled times, Malaysia posted a growth of 4.2 per cent in 2016. A sim­i­lar fig­ure is ex­pected for this year, with higher growth an­tic­i­pated in 2018 and be­yond.

“In fact, Price­Wa­ter­house­Coop­ers re­cently re­ported that Malaysia is ex­pected to earn the 25th high­est gross do­mes­tic prod­uct in the world by 2030,” Na­jib said.

Na­jib then de­clared the show open, and this was fol­lowed shortly af­ter­wards with the sound and sight of a Royal Malaysian Air Force F/A-18D Hor­net scream­ing through the air in a low-level fast fly­past as part of the show’s open­ing gam­bit. The Hor­net was soon joined by two more air­craft from the RMAF’s 18 Squadron.

The open­ing gam­bit, in fact, was a show of fire­power and ca­pa­bil­i­ties. Also join­ing the show were two SU-30MKM jets, five Hawk ad­vanced jet train­ers and seven Pi­la­tus PC-7, trail­ing colour­ful smoke be­hind them.

All per­formed ma­noeu­vres in the air, but the sur­prise for the crowd came when three of the RMAF’s Air­bus A400M did a fly­past. Just be­fore reach­ing the end of the run­way, the lead air­craft split from the other two and made a tight turn that be­lied the size of this trans­port air­craft which is aptly named At­las.

Three EC725 long-range tac­ti­cal trans­port he­li­copters then flew over­head and per­formed ma­noeu­vres which only skilled pi­lots can pull off, be­fore one sim­u­lated at­tack­ing a ground tar­get and “set off ” an ex­plo­sion.

The cur­tain call in­volved a fly­past of all the air­craft in­volved in the open­ing gam­bit.

Present at the launch yes­ter­day were Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi and De­fence Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Hisham­mud­din Hus­sein.

Lima 2017 sees the par­tic­i­pa­tion of more than 300 de­fence and se­cu­rity del­e­ga­tions, 55 vis­it­ing war­ships and boats and 106 air­craft. Page 1 pic: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak speak­ing at the open­ing of the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion 2017 yes­ter­day.

PIC BY SHAHRIZAL MD NOOR

Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak at an ex­hi­bi­tion booth af­ter launch­ing the Langkawi In­ter­na­tional Mar­itime and Aerospace Ex­hi­bi­tion 2017 in Langkawi yes­ter­day. With him are Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi, Kedah Men­teri Be­sar Datuk Ah­mad Bashah Md Ha­ni­pah and Trans­port Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.