KUALA LUMPUR, 16 OCT – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim announced an increased RM38.7 billion budget for next year’s national security sector.
Anwar spelt out a RM2.5 billion increase for the sector – out of the allocated ‘Budget 2024’ RM393.8 billion total (lower than the ‘Budget 2023’ of RM397.1 billion).
Of the security sector’s RM38.7 billion, the Defence Ministry got RM19.7 billion (a 11.21 per cent increase from RM17.74 billion), while the Home Ministry was allocated RM19.06 billion (up by RM1.1 billion).
Among the highlights for defence Anwar outlined at the Dewan Rakyat were 12 new helicopters for the Royal Malaysian Air Force; 60 armoured infantry vehicles, 50 High Mobility Light Tactical Vehicles, 733 support vehicles and 45 boats for the Army; refurbishment for the two Royal Malaysian Navy’s Scorpene submarines and the procurement of three Littoral Mission Ships.
“Additionally, RM400 million will be spent to repair the Armed Forces living quarters, while another RM40 million will be used to repair the sewerage system in military camps,” said Anwar.
To beef up security along the country’s borders, seven new counter-measure posts would be created at entry-exit points between Milikin and Pa’ Daleh in Sarawak.
He also announced the procurement of seven twin-engine aircraft and five light helicopters for the police.
The Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency would be equipped with nine new-generation patrol boats and interceptors.
“These measures are to boost the maritime security of the nation (especially in East Malaysia),” Anwar said.
He added that the national security sector budget for 2024 constituted two per cent of Malaysia’s gross domestic product.
The allocation for defence was one per cent, lower that the targeted 1.5 per cent, and the 0.98 per cent allocated for 2023.
“The defence’s operational expenditure would be RM12.67 billion, an increase of 11.04 per cent.
“Almost 80 per cent (or RM8 billion) of the defence’s operational expenditure is for emoluments of salaries and allowances.
“The remaining budget of RM3.9 billion is for supply and services; assets RM224 billion; grants and fixed payments RM251 million and other expenses RM776,700,” Anwar said.
The 2024 development expenditure would be RM7.05 billion, an increase of 11.37 per cent.
“This will cover supply and services for RM1.3 billion and assets RM5.7 billion,” he said.
The Army’s development expenditure of RM1.1 billion is for assets and RM190 million for development; while the RMN’s RM1.9 billion is for assets and RM122 million for development.
“The RMAF will get RM2 billion for assets and RM23 million for development.
“The rest of the development expenditure is for joint services, quarters, research and development and other services,” said Anwar.
The Defence Ministry had initially bid for a RM55 billion budget under the 12th Malaysia Plan (2021-2025), but secured RM14.7 billion.
As for Armed Forces veterans, Anwar introduced the ‘Professional Training and Education for Growing Entrepreneurs-Ready to Work’ (Protégé-RTW) initiative to offer on-job training with government contractors.
“This initiative will provide the necessary skills and sponsorship to cater for the welfare and socio-economy of veterans,” he said.
The government has also approved for an additional 2,000 rangers to be hired among veterans, ex-policemen, orang asli and local communities.
Other measures to be undertaken are for Armed Forces Hospitals to cooperate with those of the Health Ministry to reduce congestion at government facilities.
Also, a total of 216,758 veterans – pensioners and non-pensioners – would be paid a one-off RM1,000 incentive.
Meanwhile, the Home Ministry’s 2024 RM13.9 billion development expenditure increased, compared with the RM13.8 billion in 2023.
The ministry’s operational expenditure for 2024 is RM5 billion compared to RM4.7 billion for 2023.
The police were allocated the bulk of the 2024 development expenditure of RM2.7 billion, compared to RM2 billion last year.
The police’s Air Wing would get RM32 million, better than the RM9 million for 2023.
MMEA is getting RM621 million in 2024 compared to RM240 million last year. – airtimes.my
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