ADUN SPEAKS | Malaysia has certainly woken up from a deep slumber since the historic May 9 polls.
Matters that were kept away from the rakyat over the past 60 years have begun to open our eyes, and it is precisely this, that will ensure that ‘Malaysia Baru’ will regains the lost and renewed energy in issues of finance, education, agriculture, and not forgetting defence.
Going back to the Japanese Occupation, the British provided Malaya with protection. In the eyes of the people, the might of the empire would have kept Malaya safe.
But we all know now how men on bicycles pushed the great British forces all the way to Singapore, only to put up a dire line of defence which cracked indefensibly.
The recent brouhaha when Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu informed the august House of the true state of preparedness of the military is really telling. Malaysia has a serious chink in its armour, and the fault does not lie with the minister.
With all ministries, the current government must prepare itself for the years to come. The Defence Ministry is no different. It is alarming to know now how unprepared we were, and how the rakyat had been lulled into a false sense of security all this while.
It wasn't long ago that we had a military incursion by ragtag paramilitary unit which caused serious damage. We lost heroes, and were made to toil against terrorists on foot with our Howitzers, helicopters, jets, and APCs. That is the real scenario of how defence has been taken far too lightly by the previous administration.
The question now is no longer why, how and who to blame; rather, it is about putting things back in order.
To prepare our country in all matters, and with the threat of escalating tensions especially in the South China Sea, the minister is right to say that no nuclear warships will be allowed in our waters, and with that a strong message that a sovereign state like Malaysia can stand on its own and alongside our Asean neighbours.
We now know our true state of preparedness.
Let us not waste any more time on matters which are best left to professionals, and start working to ensure that all these past mistakes are made right, and to restore Malaysia as a proud Asian Tiger in all matters, including defence.
TERENCE NAIDU is the state assemblyperson for Pasir Bedamar.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.