Read the joke of the day in TMI here.
KOTA KINABALU, Nov 2 — In 2002, The Royal Malaysia Navy (RMN) procured two French-made Scorpene submarines at the cost of RM3.4 billion. According to the RMN, the move was to prevent a repeat of the “1511 episode” when the Portuguese armada attacked and seized the port city of Malacca, famous for being the trading hub in Southeast Asia, at the time.
In the annals of Malaysian history, the Portuguese overwhelmed the defenders of Malacca after three days of heavy fighting that culminated in the capture of the bridge over the Malacca River which led to the fall of the city.
The Portuguese had far superior armaments including muskets and cannons as compared to the defenders whose spirit and bravery was beyond question.
After the Portuguese, the Dutch came in 1644 followed by the British after the Anglo-Dutch treaty of 1824 in London.
RMN Chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar said the two submarines were meant to add “muscle” to the country’s defence of its waters and sovereignty.
During a recent media visit to the RMN base here, Abdul Aziz said despite adverse claims against the nation’s defence assets, he was confident of the submarines’ capability in ensuring protection of Malaysia’s sovereignty.
Abdul Aziz took over the helm in 2008. While he had no part in the procurement of the submarines, he had to defend it viz-a-viz his position. But what caught Malaysians by surprise is the rationale he gave as highlighted in the quote above.
Somehow, it has come to the point that the purchase of the Scorpene submarines is quite indefensible given the nature of unanswered questions of serious sensitivity around them. Giving a nonsensical reason just makes things worse for the entire episode.
As most Malaysians will know by now, all purchases by the Ministry of Defense is a secret given that the reason is always “national secret and national interest”. The budget is not known and neither is the way procured.
Perhaps our dear RMN Chief should reflect on staying with the reason of sovereign defense of our borders and leave the details of Portuguese invasion out of the entire picture. The people question the type of equipment purchased as well as how (and how much more) Malaysia has to pay for them.
If Abdul Aziz can shed some light to all Malaysians, that will be a better statement than the above.
Meanwhile, laugh on. This is hilarious!