Tuesday, June 5, 2007


Two new terms and unlikely being of Bahasa Malaysia derivatives. I was attracted to the 2's' as it marked a new sophistication for the Ministry of Defence Malaysia. More so, it saw the placement of Malaysians at Cherbourg France and Irkut Russia. Navy personnel and their families found a new home near Brest while undergoing training and familiarization. At Irkut future Malaysian astronauts took to training under Malaysia-Russia terms. It is right that the two strategic ventures deserve our attention.

In the next two years they will be quite familiar to many people. One will take to the high-seas and the other will soar into the open sky. Malaysia joins the military nations with the acquirement of modern arsenals. 'Scorpene' is a submarine type from France for TLDM (Tentera Laut DiRaja Malaysia) and 'Sukhoi' a jet-fighter aircraft from Russia for TUDM.(Tentera Udara DiRaja Malaysia).

In May 2001 Malaysia received a proposal from Daewoo Ship Building and Marine Engineering Co Ltd of Korea for the supply of three submarines ( 2 new and 1 used) promising a substantial saving of RM20 Million but the choice was for DCN Shipyard International of France to build 2 'Scorpene' submarines . In March 2007 it was reported that the attachment of its two body parts, the front and back of the Scorpene at its dockyard at Cherbourg near Brest was successfully carried out. The front section was completed by DCN and the back by Navantia of Spain.The submarine is expected to sail back to Malaysia in January 2009 and reach home four months later. Its base near Kota Kinabalu in Sabah which is under construction at the cost of RM 318 Million is expected for completion by February 2009.

It seems that both Malaysia and India have chosen to purchase the same aircraft and submarine. Naturally it will see a closer working relation between the two defence ministries involving training and logistics. Today we read that the government has allocated a special allowance for the defence personnel who will be the future crews of the submarines.

Alas I remember an earlier proposal to promote tourism in the country by taking people in a submarine to observe our tropical seascape around our beautiful islands. Hopefully it will also come true.

No comments: