KUALA LUMPUR – August 10, 2017: A blogger has accused Malaysian Insight editor Jahabar Sadiq of scaremongering by insinuating that Malaysia is becoming a proxy of China.
Captain (Rtd) Rahmat Omar Hanif, who blogs as Seademon, maintained that Jahabar has also purposely tried to strain Malaysia’s diplomatic ties with Singapore when he published a story about a purported Malaysia-China defence deal.
“I believe that he (Jahabar) was asked to write that article by someone who wants to mislead readers to incite hatred towards the government by painting a picture that China is controlling Malaysia’s economy and development,” texted Rahmat via WhatsApp to The Mole.
Quoting an anonymous source, Jahabar yesterday wrote that China will offer Malaysia an advanced artillery rocket launchers and a radar system which will be installed in Johor.
He wrote that an air defence and a radar system in Johor could prove a sore point with Singapore, as China considers it a proxy of the United States.
Jahabar wrote that according to his source, China will supply Malaysia with up to 12 units of the AR3 multiple launch rocket systems in a purchase programme with a loan period of 50 years.
Rahmat justifies his claim that Jahabar was trying to sour Malaysia’s ties with Singapore by pointing out that the report was published on Singapore’s National Day yesterday.
The former air force officer also questioned the credibility of Jahabar’s report.
“And what is this about the AR3 having a radar because airspace control issue has been a sore point between Malaysia and Singapore?
“The AR3 is not designed to do air defence. It is a land-offensive system! It shoots targets on the surface not in the air!” he wrote.
Rahmat also scoffed at a claim written in the comment section of the report that the AR3 can be remotely operated from China without the approval of Malaysia.
He wrote that military systems or hardwares bought by Malaysian security forces are operated by the country’s source code.
“When we buy military hardware, it is not plug and play, which is why the uninformed always ask why certain assets cost more than the ones bought by others. It’s the systems integration that makes it costly,” he explained.
The blogger also suggested for the Malaysian armed forces and the Ministry of Defence to take legal actions against Jahabar and the portal.
Jahabar declined to comment on Rahmat’s arguments.
Reuters reported that Treasury secretary-general Tan Sri Mohammad Irwan Serigar Abdullah was not aware of the alleged sale of the Chinese multiple rocket launch system.
“This is the first time I’m hearing it,” he was quoted as saying.