8th December 2018
MINDEF MUST REVIEW POLICIES RELATING TO TROOPS DEPLOYMENT OVERSEAS
The controversy relating to the deployment of Armed Forces troops to serve alongside the Saudi coalition force in their war against Yemen since 2015 must be taken as a lesson for the the Armed Forces leadership today, i.e. troops must not be placed in harm’s way and that its deployment overseas must be legally justified.
From the unsatisfactory and confusing explanation given by the ex-Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein that the National Security Council (NSC) had a role in that decision making, Patriot urges the Chief of Defence Force to come forward to explain whether the statement by Hishamuddin was correct or otherwise. This is important to put right the Standing Operating Procedures (if any) relating to the deployment of forces overseas, other than those assigned on missions under the auspices of the United Nations.
The National Security Act 2015 stated that the primary role of the NSC is to formulate policies and strategic measures on national securities. Its role is also to monitor the implementation of the policies and strategic measures on national security. The Act does not empower the NSC to declare war or to deploy our troops overseas.
Patriot supports the decision by the Ministry of Defence to carry out an investigation into the decision-making process of sending troops to Saudi Arabia that was deemed illegal and reconcile the wrongs committed. Patriot encourages all Generals and senior echelons officers in Mindef to be well schooled in International Laws and UN Conventions, in particular the International Rules Governing Military Operations.
Formulation of a clear policy, procedure and process of troops deployment overseas, where all Generals fully comprehend, is necessary.
BG Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji (Rtd)
President, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan