KUALA LUMPUR, KOMPAS.com - Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak will decide whether his government will buy armoured vehicles from PT Pindad, Indonesia, or from other countries, Defense Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
"We have sent a team to Pindad to study its production and after sales service as well as payment system. After that we will submit a report to Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to make a decision. The Malaysian premier is concurrently finance minister," Zahid Hamidi, a Malaysian minister of Yogyakarta descent, said Wednesday.
The Malaysian defense minister made the statement to the press after receiving his Indonesian counterpart, Purnomo Yusgiantoro, and Military (TNI) Chief Djoko Santoso at the Defense Ministry in Kuala Lumpur. On the occasion, Zahid Hamid was flanked by Malaysian military chief Azizan Arifin, but without the presence of Purnomo Yusgiantoro.
PT Pindad is one of the big three in the tender for armoured vehicles in Malaysia. The others are South Korea and France, but with the spirit of PM Najib in building an Asean defense industry, Indonesia was optimistic it would win the tender, although there were some problems with regard to the vehicles’ engines. Malaysia wanted the engines are manufactured by Mercedez, while PT Pindad offered Renault (France) engines.
Zahid Hamidi said in talks with Purnomo on building an Asean defense industry by purchasing defense products on reciprocal basis, maintenance of military aircraft and combat ships, and exchange of military executives for training. "Formerly Malaysia bought Indonesian Super Puma and N235 choppers, and reciprocally, Indonesia bought Proton cars from Malaysia to be used as taxis," he said.
"The maintenance of Indonesian military aircraft is carried out in Malaysia, and maintenance of Malaysian warships may well be carried out at the many dockyards in Indonesia," Zahid Hamidi added.
"Malaysia is also interested in investment in shipyards in Indonesia because the country has many shipbuilding experts," he said.
With regard to exchange in military leaders to further intensive relations between the two militaries, the Malaysian defense minister said several Malaysian military officers were ready to follow training at the National Defense Institute (Lemhanas). On Thursday, Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Gen Djoko Santoso were scheduled to attend the 38th GBC (General Border Committee) meeting in Kuala Lumpur.