RM280 Million To Maintain Fighter Jets Last Year – Abdullah
In written reply to Liew Chin Tong (DAP-Bukit Bendera), Abdullah said a comparison could not be made between the ratio of a budget’s operating expenditure and development expenditure by year.
“This is because the operating expenditure is to meet the expenditure needs of the annual daily operations while the development expenditure is an allocation to meet the expenditure for the Malaysia Plan for a five-year-period,” he said.
He said the operating expenditure for the ministry in 2009 was RM10.65 billion and the development expenditure for the year was RM2.35 billion.
“Although the development expenditure is low in 2009, it will amount to RM13.95 billion if calculated for the five-year period of the Ninth Malaysia Plan,” he said.
On another matter, Abdullah said the government had no plan to invite members of parliament to view any exercise conducted by the armed forces.
“The ministry also had no plan to organise any seminar for MPs to give them a better understanding of the country’s defence direction,” he said.
The Defence Ministry allocated RM280 million for the maintenance of the country’s fighter jets last year, up from the RM225 million set aside for the same purpose in 2007, the Dewan Rakyat was told today.
Prime Minister and Defence Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said the country had to ensure that its fighter aircraft were in excellent condition.
He said this in a written reply to Lim Lip Eng (DAP-Segambut) who had wanted to know the cost of maintenance of the jets for 2007 and 2008 as well as the number of jets and the number of pilots qualified to handle them.
Abdullah said 74 pilots had been trained to handle 19 Hawk fighter jets, 40 to handle 16 MiG-29 fighter jets, 32 to handle eight F/A 18D fighter jets and seven to handle 12 Sukhoi SU-30MKM fighter jets.
“A number of pilots are in training to handle Sukhoi fighter jets,” he said.