KUALA LUMPUR – Former defence minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein described the Defence White Paper (DWP) as merely a wish list lacking the “wow” factor.
He said the DWP tabled by Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu is merely a simplified version of the defence papers which had been previously tabled by the former Barisan Nasional government.
“Although it’s supposed to be a DWP for the nation for the next 10 years, it does not go into detail about the Defence Ministry’s plans.
“This is very important, as there should be details on how this plan is to be rolled out and to give confidence and a clear direction to all stakeholders, particularly the armed forces, the veterans, Defence Ministry officials and their families,” he added.
He labelled the DWP as a wish list as there were no clear mechanisms as to how the government intends to achieve its objectives.
“We don’t know if this wish list will become a reality or not,” he added.
Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar Radin (BN-Kinabatangan) interjected, saying the DWP does not give hope to the nation and the armed forces.
“It’s just ordinary, there is nothing. So we are just wasting time listening to this White Paper,” he said.
Hishammuddin (BN-Sembrong) agreed, saying that “even the former defence minister has no mood to debate today (yesterday)”, in reference to himself.
At a press conference at the Parliament lobby, Hishammuddin claimed that some parts of the DWP were copied from the policies of the previous administration under Barisan Nasional.
“There are many loopholes, with a lack of details and many of it were copied from the previous government’s commitments.
“On veterans for example, there are only five paragraphs. While on the procurement of assets, they only give out their wish list.
“But they never mention how they are planning to implement it, or when they are going to do it,” he said.
He also pointed out that there was too little time given to debate on the DWP for something as important as the direction of the ministry for the next 10 years.
“ So they’ve had nearly two years. And if you can’t even do it within the two-year period that you’ve been in power, how are you going to give confidence to the people that you can do it in the next 10 years?” asked Hishammuddin.