Politics takes the front seat once again when common sense should have prevailed: the deal to buy RM$1billion US "F-18 jets":http://home.webkorner.com/alcarter/ama/F-18.htm was shelved and, instead, RM$900million has been spent "purchasing 18 Sukhoi attack jets from Russia":http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/southeastasia/view/40094/1/.html.
The Russian Sukhoi-30
First of all, why do we need more than a dozen of the most advanced fighter jets in the world in our arsenal? This question probably ranks up there with "why Malaysia needs a fleet of submarines":http://www.utusan.com.my/utusan/content.asp?y=2003&dt=0510&pub=Utusan_Express&sec=Home_News&pg=hn_04.htm. Perhaps to torpedo pirates on the high seas? The South China Seas pirates are armed with battleships, i've been told.
Secondly, if we've "already made a deal to buy F-18 jets":http://www.voanews.com/article.cfm?objectID=8D041F83-449E-4794-881FF8B2D884589B which are proven combat-capable attack planes, why risk our reputation by reneging on that deal just to buy Russian "Sukhoi-30s":http://www.sci.fi/~fta/Su-30.htm that have not seen any extended front line action (read: untested under fire)? Its almost like the Government is trying to cut off its nose to spite its face.
Lastly, this move stinks to high-heaven as an attempt to garner popular support in the next elections. "See, we don't do business with the Great Satan. Vote for us, we are people of integrity." Yeah, right. Blowing RM$1billion of taxpayers' money for planes that will only see the light of day during the Merdeka parade.
Maybe, there will be "snap elections come October":http://www.riyadhdaily.com.sa/cgi-bin/display_assay.pl?issue=Sunday+-+11+May+2003§ion=Middle+East/World&id=32709.