Malaysian Armed Forces
The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF, Malay: Angkatan Tentera Malaysia-ATM; Jawi:اڠكتن تنترا مليسيا), are the military of Malaysia, consists of three branches, namely the Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy and the Royal Malaysian Air Force. Since June 20. 2018, General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin is the Chief of Malaysian Armed Forces.
|Malaysian Armed Forces|
|Angkatan Tentera Malaysia|
اڠكتن تنترا مليسيا
Flag of the Malaysian Armed Forces
Crest of the Malaysian Armed Forces
|Founded||1 March 1933|
|Commander-in-Chief||Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Abdullah of Pahang|
|Minister of Defence||Tuan Haji Mohamad Sabu|
|Chief of Defence Forces||General Tan Sri Zulkifli Zainal Abidin|
|Military age||18 years of age|
|15,000,000, age 18–49 (2017 est)|
|12,425,000, age 18–49 (2017 est)|
|520,000 (2017 est)|
|Active personnel||110,000 (2019)|
|Reserve personnel||310,000 (2019)|
|Budget||MYR15.1 bn (US$3.6 b)FY2017|
|Percent of GDP||1.16% (FY2016 Q4 $311b)|
|History||Military history of Malaysia|
|Ranks||Malaysian Armed Forces ranks and insignia|
|Royal Malaysian Navy|
|Royal Malaysian Air Force|
|Military history of Malaysia|
|Awards & decorations|
|Special Operations Force|
Malaysia's armed forces were created from the unification of military forces which arose during the first half of the 20th century when Malaya and Singapore were the subjects of British colonial rule before Malaya achieved independence in 1957. The primary objective of the armed forces in Malaysia is to defend the country's sovereignty and protect it from any and all types of threats.
It is responsible for assisting civilian authorities to overcome all international threats, preserve public order, assist in natural disasters and participate in national development programs. It is also sustaining and upgrading its capabilities in the international sphere to uphold the national foreign policy of being involved under the guidance of the United Nations (UN).
Theater of operations
The main theaters of operations were within Malaysian borders, primarily to fight an insurgency led by the Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) in what was known as the Emergency. The only foreign incursion of Malaysian territory in modern times were in World War II by Japan (Malaya was then not a unified political entity and consisted of the British Crown Colony of the Straits Settlements, and the British protected Federated Malay States and Unfederated Malay States) and during the Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation by Indonesia under the leadership of President Sukarno. Operations on foreign soil have mainly been peacekeeping operations under the auspices of the United Nations.
- First Emergency (1948–1960)
- Moro attacks on Malaysia (Part of the Piracy in the Sulu Sea) (1962–present)
- Congo Peacekeeping Mission (1960–1962)
- Sarawak Communist Insurgency (1963–1990)
- An insurrection and guerrilla war of the Sarawak Communist Organisation (from 1971, the North Kalimantan Communist Party or NKCP) against the British and Malaysian governments to establish an independent nation comprising the states of Sabah, Sarawak and Brunei. The insurgency ended when the NKCP signed a peace treaty with the Malaysian government in 1990.
- Indonesia-Malaysia confrontation (1963–1966)
- An intermittent armed conflict between Malaysia and Indonesia with skirmishes mainly occurring in Sarawak and Sabah in the island of Borneo. In 1964, armed raids were made on Peninsular Malaysia. Combat eased with the deposing of Indonesia's President Sukarno in 1965 by the Indonesian army and the conflict was declared over by both sides in 1966.
- Communist insurgency in Malaysia (1968–89)
- A low level resurgence of insurgent activity by the armed elements of the CPM from sanctuaries in the Malaysian-Thai border. The insurgency was only ended after the CPM signed a peace treaty with the Governments of Malaysia and Thailand on 2 December 1989.
- Iran/Iraq Border (1988–1991)
- Namibia (1989–1990)
- Contributed a battalion to the UN Transition Assistance Group (UNTAG) to supervise Namibia's elections and transition to independence.
- Western Sahara (1991–present)
- Angola (1991–1995)
- A contingent was sent under the United Nations Angola Verification Mission II (UNAVEM II) to enforce the ceasefire in Angolan civil war.
- Iraq/Kuwait Border (1992–2003)
- A contingent was sent under the United Nations Iraq-Kuwait Observation Mission (UNIKOM) to monitor the demilitarised zone along the Iraq-Kuwait border, deter border violations and report on any hostile action.
- Cambodia (1992–1993)
- An observer team was sent under the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) to aid in the administration of Cambodia and to organise and run elections.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina (1993–1998)
- A peacekeeping contingent known as MALBATT Command (Malaysia Battalion) was sent initially under the United Nations Protection Force (UNPROFOR) from 1993–1995 with deployments at Konjic, Jablanica and Pazarić in Hadžići. Following the Dayton Agreement, forces were redeployed as MALCON Command (Malaysia Contingent) under the NATO led Implementation Force (IFOR) in Operation Joint Endeavor with deployments at Livno, Glamoč and Kupres. MALCON further participated as part of the NATO led Stabilisation Force (SFOR) until 1998. Up to 8,000 troops were eventually deployed in this theatre of operations.
- Liberia (1993–1997)
- An observer team of 3 officers was sent under the United Nations Observer Mission in Liberia (UNOMIL) to support the efforts of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the Liberian National Transitional Government to implement peace agreements signed between the warring parties in Liberia.
- Somalia (1993–1994)
- A contingent known as MALBATT was sent under the United Nations Operation in Somalia II (UNOSOM II) to take appropriate action, including enforcement measures, to establish throughout Somalia a secure environment for humanitarian assistance. During its deployment, MALBATT was involved in the Battle of Mogadishu which saw 1 personnel killed in action and 7 others wounded in action during the relief operations to aid the surrounded troops of the United States' Task Force Ranger. On 18 January 1994, Lieutenant General Abu Samah Bin Abu Bakar was appointed the Commander of UNOSOM II forces. His appointment also saw the United Nations revise the mandate of UNOSOM II to stop using "coercive methods" in the discharge of their duties while retaining "some capability to defend its personnel if circumstances so warrant."
- Mozambique (1993–1995)
- A team of observers were sent under the United Nations Operations in Mozambique (ONUMOZ).
- Lahad Datu standoff (2013)
- Deployed in South Lebanon on peace keeping role at present after the withdrawal of Israeli Military forces early 2007 (Invasion of South Lebanon by Israeli Military). Unit also consist of GGK, PASKAL, PASKAU and PARA elements.
(The rest of the entries below require a clean-up)
- Deployed a contingent called Malaysian Medical Team (MASMEDTIM) to Chaman, Pakistan to treat refugees from Afghanistan during the US invasion of Afghanistan in 2001.
- Deployed approximately a brigade-sized force on islands surrounding Sabah waters in Ops Pasir to prevent the recurrence of 2000 Sipadan kidnappings.
- Deployed a contingent to Acheh after the tsunami disaster in 2004.
- Deployed MASMEDTIM to Pakistan during the 2005 quake.
- Deployed in Southern Philippines as a part of monitoring force agreed upon by both the Philippine Government and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).
- Deployed in East Timor/East Leste together with Australian, Portuguese and New Zealand forces at the request of East Timor Government. The first team of 25 soldiers from 10 Para Brigade, Royal Intelligence Corp and Commando Regiment were deployed on a fact-finding mission before being reinforced by another 209 soldiers. (as at 27 May 2006)
Other limited participation under UNPKO are United Nations International Police Force (UNIPTF) since December 1995; United Nations Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK) since June 1999; United Nations Observer Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL) since October 1999; United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) since September 1999 and United Nations Organisation Mission in Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUC) since February 2000. 18 Malaysian Armed Forces personnel have been killed during UN peacekeeping operations.
Malaysian defence requirements are assigned to the Malaysian Armed Forces (Angkatan Tentera Malaysia – ATM). The armed forces has three branches,the Malaysian Army (Tentera Darat Malaysia – TDM), Royal Malaysian Navy (Tentera Laut Diraja Malaysia – TLDM) and the Royal Malaysian Air Force (Tentera Udara Diraja Malaysia – TUDM). Malaysia does not have conscription, and the required minimum age for voluntary military service is 18.
In the early 1990s, Malaysia undertook a major program to expand and modernise its armed forces. However, budgetary constraints imposed by the 1997 Asian financial crisis held many of the procurement. The recent economic recovery may lead to relaxation of budgetary constraints on the resumption of major weapons purchases. In October 2000, the Defence Minister also announced a review of national defence and security policy to bring it up to date. The review addressed new security threats that have emerged in the form of low intensity conflicts, such as the kidnapping of Malaysians and foreigners from resort islands located off the east coast of the state of Sabah and risk rising territory dispute with several neighbour countries. Currently, 1.4% of Malaysia's GDP is spent on the military, which employs 1.23% of Malaysia's manpower. Dr Kogila Balakrishnan is the head of the Defence Industry.
Since the recovery from the 1997 economic crisis, the army's modernisation programme has gained momentum.
Royal Malaysian Navy
Following the completion of the Kedah-class offshore patrol vessel, Malaysia's New Generation Patrol Vessel (NGPV) program, Malaysia has ordered six Second Generation Patrol Vessels. Malaysia is also looking to purchase two more Scorpène-class submarines, as well as a batch of Multi-Purpose Support Ship (MPSS) and maritime patrol aircraft.
Royal Malaysian Air Force
TUDM has traditionally looked to the West for its purchases, primarily to the United States. However, limitation imposed by the United States on "new technology" to the region such as the AIM-120 AMRAAM fire-and-forget air-to-air missiles has made TUDM consider purchases from Russia and other non-traditional sources.
In early 2004, the Ministry of Defence also initiated a compulsory National Service program for 18 years old Malaysians. Participants of the Malaysian National Service are chosen randomly. Currently, only 20% of those eligible are inducted but plans call for this program to eventually cover all 18-year-old adults.
Although under the purview of the Ministry of Defence, the National Service is not a military programme. Draftees are taught basic hand-to-hand combat and handling of certain weapons, including Colt M16s by military instructors, but are not expected to be conscripted or called into military draft. It is described as a nation and community building programme and incorporate other training modules including character learning and civics.
As of 2018, the Malaysian government has abolished the national service due to the lack of fund and the previous mismanagement of programme leading to myriad of complaints. Currently, individual over 18 are still able to participate in the program, but need to register for themselves and are not forcibly selected like before.
Defence Research and Development
In light of the increasing crude oil price worldwide, the military had volunteered in a pioneering program to use biodiesel. By next year (2007), all diesel-type vehicle in the Malaysian Armed Forces will be using biodiesel consisting of 95% diesel and 5% palm oil diesel.
Although MoD announced a redraw from funding the Eagle ARV research program. Composite Technology and Research Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. (CTRM) joined venture with Kramatic Systems Sdn. Bhd. (IKRAMATIC) and System Consultancy Services Sdn. Bhd.(SCS) had come close with another development, the ALUDRA MK I/MK II. It was reported during the LIMA 07, Malaysian army and Joint Forces Command had showed strong interest toward the indigenous tactical UAV.
There is also a new development unveiled during the celebration of the Malaysia's 50th independence. It is a laser guide projectile code name Taming Sari XK98, but no further details were enclosed. It was first spotted by the public when it participated the celebration parade.
Defence Minister Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said in a statement on 10 October 2013, Malaysia is planning on establishing a marines corps for amphibious operation. The marine will be drawn from all three services and the bulk of it is from one of the three parachute battalions of the 10 Paratrooper Brigade which will be re-designated as a marine battalion. The 9th Royal Malay Regiment (para) and 8th Royal Ranger Regiment (para) have both conducted amphibious warfare training as a secondary mission and most recently in June 2013 during the CARAT exercise with the US Marine Corps (USMC) and subsequently in an amphibious landing exercise with French troops and the landing platform dock FNS Tonnerre. Malaysian government has yet to decide whether the marines will fall under Malaysian Army or Royal Malaysian Navy.
The Five Power Defence Arrangement between Malaysia, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom, is a regional security initiative which has been in place for almost 40 years. It involves joint military exercises held between the 5 countries.
Joint exercises and war games also been held with Brunei, China, Indonesia and the United States. Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam have agreed to host joint security force exercises to secure their maritime border and tackle issues such as illegal immigration, piracy and smuggling.
Previously there are fears that extremist militants activities in the Muslim areas of the southern Philippines and southern Thailand could spill over into Malaysia. Due to this, Malaysia began to increase its border security.
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- UN Chronicle: "Mandate for UNOSOM II revised; 'coercive methods' not to be used – UN Operation in Somalia emphasizes nation building", June 1994
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