KUALA LUMPUR: The needs of the Armed Forces, especially the Royal Malaysian Navy should be addressed in the re-tabling of Budget 2023, given the changing security landscape.
Former Navy chief admiral (Rt) Tan Sri Mohd Reza Mohd Sany said the government should resume the Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) project and ensure that it is completed successfully.
"Sufficient funds should also be allocated for the second batch of the Littoral Mission Ship (LMS) project so that it could be carried out soon," he said when contacted.
Mohd Reza said it was not "business as usual" as the global and regional security landscapes have changed thus the defence budget should be reviewed as well.
"The budget for the Armed Forces should be reviewed to be suitable to the current security landscape.
"In this context, the budget should be increased to a more realistic level which is around 1 to 1.5% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)," he said.
Mohd Reza, who retired last month, hoped that the current government would give due consideration to the Armed Forces in Budget 2023.
"It is important that the nation's defence is not forsaken," he said.
On Jan 27, Mohd Reza went on mandatory retirement with Admiral Datuk Abdul Rahman Ayob taking over as the Navy chief.
The handover of duties ceremony for the Navy chief was held at Wisma Pertahanan and witnessed by Armed Forces chief General Tan Sri Affendi Buang, Defence Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Muez Abd Aziz as well as top military officials.
The revised Budget 2023 is expected to be tabled in Parliament on Feb 24.
Under Budget 2023, which was tabled last year, a total of RM17.4bil was allocated to the Defence Ministry, but the Budget has to be re-tabled following the change of government.