With the nation battling the pandemic and trying to recover from the economic slowdown, we can expect that the healthcare and social protection systems will be the main focus of this year’s budget. This is understandable, given the direct effects of the virus crisis on livelihoods and health. However, the existing budget is already underfunding the Malaysian Armed Forces’ core obligatory operations, notwithstanding commitments to increase readiness and capabilities and expanded operational demands due to the pandemic.
The general trend for the last five years has seen defence spending hover around RM13 to RM15 billion. This article outlines who the primary stakeholders the Ministry is, in effect, serving: the rakyat, foreign diplomatic missions, veterans and military pensioners, members of the defence industry, and some private sector and non-government entities.
What does the Defence Budget tell us? Are we spending too much, just enough, or too little on national defence? Which programs should be prioritized over others? This series of articles will break down the formatting and the structure of the Defence Budget.