Its obvious the Opposition is desperate of real political issues to belittle or make the ruling government look bad. PAS VP Mahfudz Omar attempted to manipulate the recent visit of US Navy Nimitz Class aircraft carrier USS George Washington and accompanying vessels to Port Klang as a cheap political potshot.
Suara KeAdilan online story:
Kapal perang Amerika di M’sia, k’jaan ada agenda tersembunyi?
(Oleh Sidiqin Omar)
KUALA LUMPUR 8 Oktober: Kerajaan Umno BN digesa tidak menjadikan negara sebagai percaturan politik dunia dengan menempatkan tentera Amerika Syarikat (AS) di sini, kata Ahli Parlimen Pokok Sena, Datuk Mahfuz Omar.
“Jangan jadikan Malaysia sebagai ‘base’ (pangkalan). Jangan dedahkan Malaysia sebagai tempat adu domba percaturan politik,” katanya merujuk kapal perang USS George Washington yang singgah di Pelabuhan Klang, semalam.
Bernama melaporkan kenyataan pegawai pemerintahnya, Kapten Greg Fenton, kapal tersebut yang memuatkan pasukan pesawat udara Carrier Air Wing 5 dengan 5,000 anak kapal akan berada di negara ini selama lima hari.
Laporan itu turut menyatakan enam projek komuniti akan diadakan, manakala lebih 500 orang kenamaan Malaysia akan dirai dalam satu majlis di atas kapal tersebut hari ini.
Mahfuz yang ditemui di lobi Parlimen menyatakan kebimbangan apabila USS George Washington dikatakan sebagai pasukan siap siaga untuk ‘bertindak melindungi dan mempertahan kepentingan maritim AS dan sekutunya di rantau Asia Pasifik’.
Laporan itu juga menyebut, USS George Washington dijadual menganjurkan 11 lawatan untuk ahli perniagaan Malaysia dan pegawai tentera.
“(Apabila) mereka datang untuk mengetahui maritim, sudah tentu mereka tahu tentang logistik. Adakah ada agenda tersembunyi?” soal Mahfuz.
Beliau tidak menolak kemungkinan kehadiran kapal pengangkut berkuasa nuklear itu turut bertujuan ‘mengimbangi’ peranan China di Asia Pasifik.
“Sedangkan, Malaysia sendiri ada kepentingan ekonomi dan sebagainya dengan China. Kita akan cadang membawa usul mempersoal tindakan kerajaan membenarkan kapal itu berlabuh,” tegas Mahfuz.
Mahfuz menambah, tidak ada jaminan perairan Malaysia akan selamat dari kesan radiasi akibat kehadiran kapal berkuasa nuklear USS George Washington sekiranya berlaku kebocoran.
“Apa jaminan bahawa kapal (dipantau) di bawah penjagaan baik? Kerajaan tak patut benarkan kapal nuklear itu berada di sini. (Kita) nasihat, tinggalkan Malaysia segera,” tegasnya.
Pada 8 Mac 2011, kapal ‘The USS Blue Ridge’, Armada Ketujuh dalam Tentera Laut Amerika Syarikat, pernah singgah di Port Klang Cruise Center (PCKK), kononnya bagi meningkatkan hubungan ketenteraan dengan Malaysia.
Minister of Defence Dato’ Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was quick to debunk this baseless sordid attempt to politicize the matter and poise a danger either to Malaysian foreign relations or environmental issues.
The facts is that Malaysia has been enjoying great inter-military relations and co-operations with the United States, particularly the navies of both countries. The bi-lateral naval exercises between the two services of each nation’s armed forces is a testimony of the good working relationship, understanding and now, ability to share a lot of information, including naval warfare tactics and strategy.
One of such exercise is Co-Operation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT). The 18th CARAT exercise was conducted in June.
It is obvious that these military exercises and US naval forces visitations to Malaysia would bring benefits.
The increase of number of USN ships visiting our ports also indicates the level of trust/confident they have in us from the security perspectives. Ifg they don’t feel secure they wouldn’t be here, the Americans are known for their overly concerned and even phobia when it comes to their personnel and assets of the armed forces’ security.
The amount of USN ships visiting our ports could also be viewed as one of the indicators on how good the bilateral relationship and cooperation between the two navies are. This is not withstanding a good foreign affairs and close diplomatic relationship between the respective Governments, representing the people of the two nations.
The good working relationship also is extended to other security agencies. This is particularly important as the security agencies share information and even intelligence, especially in the war against global terrorism. Royal Malaysian Police Anti Terrorism Task Force and the ATM Directorate of Military Intelligence share information and intelligence with their American counterparts and these cross-sharing mutually benefit both countries’ security operations.
In short, military co-operation between Malaysian and United States is an extension to both nation’s foreign relations.
Taking a more tactical point, any visitation of a CVN like George Washington or the recent visit of USS John C Stennis to the RMN naval base in Sepanggar Bay, Sabah would mean that there would be easily 5,000 sailors and airmen onboard. If considering 40% of each vessel get shore leave and spend the US Dollars in establishments such as F & B outlets, hotels, entertainment outlets and even local retail stores, it is like a ‘naval tourism’ came to town. Some of the US Navy personnel families are even flown to meet their spouses, father for brothers when they come ashore.
There are local contractors which will benefit from these visitations as the vessels needs uploading of food, water and supplies. There are also opportunities waste management system contractors.
Mahfuz is obviously an ignorant on technology. The US Navy has been operating nuclear powered air craft carrier, cruisers and submarines since 50 years ago. Their sense of safety and envrironmental with regards to these military assets have been near impeccable. The risk of such accidents is very low. Otherwise, nations such as Japan, South Korea, the Phillipines, Singapore, United Kingdom, Canada, Panama, Egypt, just to name a few, would not have allowed these nuclear powered or even armed vessels to dock at their ports. Let alone, to have US Navy bases in these countries.
The PAS Vice President should get assistance from their party strategists, for talking points before he opens his mouth again. It is utterly sad the Pokok Sena MP is a political clown, extraordinaire.