FORMER Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein (pic) took a dig at the ministry over its delay in tabling a White Paper that will chart Malaysia’s defence plans.
Each time the Defence Ministry was questioned on its initiatives and strategic plans, its reply was that it would be revealed in the White Paper, he said.
“Mindef’s answer is easy; wait for the White Paper. The problem is, as of now, the Defence Minister (Mohamad Sabu) has promised six times that the White Paper will be tabled.
“On Jan 10, he said it would be tabled in September. On Jan 29, he said it would be tabled in July.
“Then in July, he changed and said it will be tabled in the upcoming Parliament meeting.
“In August, he said it will be done after November and recently, he said it would be after Budget 2020.
“In the context of defence assets, it will take time (for the strategies to be implemented).
“I don’t think terrorists will wait for our White Paper to be tabled, ” said Hishammuddin, who is Sembrong MP, when debating Budget 2020 yesterday.
He said the White Paper, which will chart Malaysia’s defence plans and policies for the next decade and beyond, is merely a document but what is important is the plan for next year.
There must be strategies and plans in motion not just for the security of the nation but also to take care of the welfare and morale of armed forces’ personnel and their families, he said.Hishammuddin said that not many major strategies were announced in Budget 2020.
He voiced disappointment that no allocations were given for security initiatives in Sabah, adding that the only thing mentioned were plans to have fast patrol vessels.Sabah, he said, required close monitoring as it is near militant groups in neighbouring countries.
Hishammuddin said Sarawak was also left out in security matters despite several foreign threats at its border.
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