Clowning with ignorance

The PAS clown MP

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.

6/13/2012
Click here for more photos
120614-N-KK935-020 LUMUT, Malaysia - The U.S. Coast Guard Legend-class national security cutter USCGC Waesche (WMSL 751) moors at Lumut Naval Base marking the beginning of Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) Malaysia 2012. CARAT 2012 is a nine-country, bilateral exercise between the United States and Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines, Thailand, and Timor Leste and is designed to enhance maritime security skills and operational cohesiveness among participating forces. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jessica Bidwell/Released)

18th CARAT U.S. – Malaysia Exercise Set to Start

By Commander Task Force 73 Public Affairs
LUMUT, Malaysia –The 18th annual Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) exercise between the U.S. Navy, U.S. Marine Corps, U. S. Coast Guard and the Royal Malaysian Navy, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) and Malaysian Army, begins June 15, with the U.S. Navy Task Group and Marine landing force arriving the day before in Lumut, Malaysia.

The exercise is designed to enhance maritime skills and operational cohesiveness among the participating forces. It also focuses on relationship building between military participants through professional military exchanges, sports and social events, and improving relationships with the civilian community through civic action projects and community service events.

Capt. Dave Welch, commander, Destroyer Squadron 31, based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, leads CARAT Task Group 73.1.

“CARAT Malaysia 2012 is a fine example of what this exercise is all about,” said Welch, who leads CARAT now for the second consecutive year. “We build on the past 18 years of cooperation, and find new exercises and methods to enhance our mutual understanding and build on the friendship and understanding between the armed forces of our great nations.”

This year, CARAT Malaysia highlights include a combined command post exercise, installation of a solar powered electrical back-up system at a local hospital, community service projects, underwater explosive ordnance training, search and rescue training and a simulated attack with U.S. Marines and Royal Malaysian Army soldiers.

CARAT is a series of bilateral military exercises between the U.S. Navy and the armed forces of Bangladesh, Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Republic of the Philippines, Singapore, and Thailand. Timor Leste joins the exercise for the first time in 2012.

While the training in each phase of CARAT varies based on shared goals of host nations and the U.S., a common theme is the development of maritime security capabilities, and increasing interoperability among participants. Skill areas exercised during CARAT include Maritime Interception Operations; riverine, amphibious and undersea warfare operations; diving and salvage operations; naval gunnery and maneuvering events, along with disaster response exercises.

U.S. Navy ships participating in CARAT 2012 include the dock landing ship USS Germantown (LSD 42), frigate USS Vandegrift (FFG 48), U.S. Coast Guard national security cutter USCGC Waesche (WMSL-751) and the diving and salvage ship USNS Safeguard (T-ARS 50). Other participants include Marines from Company F, 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Regiment, who will work with Royal Malaysian Army forces, an SH-60 Seahawk aircraft, the U.S. SEVENTH Fleet Band, and others.

Approximately 1,000 U.S. personnel are participating in CARAT Malaysia 2012.

***************************

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.

USN destroyer USS Curtis Wilbur during LIMA 2011

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.

KD Lekir in foreground, sailing close to USS Carl Vinson

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.

CVN 74 USS John C Stennis with the Kinabalu range in the background, in the recent visit to RMN naval base Sepanggar Bay

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.

Published in: on October 10, 2012 at 07:15  Comments (16)  
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,071 other followers