Budget 2023: RM36.2bil for Home, Defence Ministries to beef up national security

PETALING JAYA: The Home and Defence Ministries have been allocated RM18.5bil and RM17.7bil respectively to beef up national security.

When tabling Budget 2023 in Parliament on Friday (Feb 24), Finance Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said a RM4.1bil allocation would be given to maintain and acquire assets for the Armed Forces to increase defence preparedness.

He added that agencies under the Home Ministry would be given RM1bil to strengthen internal security, including the purchase of 2,100 body cameras for the police.

The Prime Minister also announced RM450mil for a new Perak police headquarters and quarters.

"The nation's security must always be preserved to ensure peace and harmony," Anwar said.

He added that an additional 42 border control posts for the police's General Operation Force, Immigration Department, Eastern Sabah Security Command (Esscom) and Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) would be built to tighten border security and maintain ships and boats.

"The previous weakness in procurement has hampered defence preparedness.

"The littoral combat ships (LCS) cost more than RM6bil but not even one ship has been completed.

"From now, the use of middlemen must be stopped. Instead, deal directly with the government of the country involved," Anwar said.

Other allocations for defence and security forces include:

– RM500mil to maintain Armed Forces family homes and rehabilitate residential quarters and institutions under the Defence Ministry.

– The Public Sector Housing Finance Board will also offer members to continue repaying loan balance as usual until completion, enabling 4,000 eligible LPPSA borrowers to restructure their financing while 700 non-pensionable borrowers each year can continue repaying their loans as usual.

– The implementation of the Armed Forces Veterans Second Career Program through the cooperation of the Armed Forces Fund Board (LTAT). Under this effort, a total of 5,000 veterans who are retiring this year will be offered job opportunities in Government-related companies or receive skills training to increase opportunities to generate income.

– To improve the skills of 1,250 veterans, the Veterans Affairs Department with other Government agencies will offer five courses including drone operation, cyber security and aircraft maintenance for three months.

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