THE Malaysian Army main battle tank that broke down along Jalan Damansara as it was heading to the National Day parade preparation will continue to be used until 2027 before being replaced depending on the country’s strategic needs in the future.
In a written response to a question from Hulu Langat MP Datuk Hasanuddin Mohd Yunus at the Dewan Rakyat, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein explained that the Polish-built PT-91M Pendekar MBT was introduced into the army’s inventory in 2007 and is one of the force’s strategic assets.
“The duration of usage (casting policy) for this vehicle is for 20 years. This tank will be used until 2027 before being replaced with a different type, following the nation’s technology flow and strategic needs in the future,” he said.
Hasanuddin had questioned if the PT-91M tank’s breakdown was an indication that it should be replaced.
Hishammuddin pointed out that the malfunction on August 26 was due to the failure of the tank’s fuel injection pump due to wear and tear.
However, he noted that the damage did not affect the tank’s main function.
“These tanks are regularly maintained through a maintenance and repair contract that is still in force. Immediate repairs were made the same day, and the tank re-joined the parade the following day,” he said.
Hishammuddin further remarked that the army’s mobilising of 129 land defence assets to participate in the National Day parade was not just to showcase the bravery of its members.
“In fact, it displays the prowess and readiness of combat assets from each service branch that includes combat elements, combat support and service support,” he clarified.
“Therefore, one should not merely focus on small matters that have actually been resolved in a short time. Rather the main focus should be on the armed forces’ ability and preparedness in defending the country’s sovereignty.”
On the morning of August 26, a PT-91M broke down along Jalan Damansara, at the slip road near Carcosa to Kuala Lumpur Sentral. The incident was reported by DBKL’s Kuala Lumpur Control and Command Centre via its Twitter account.
The next day, the Malaysian army had issued an apology the following day for the inconvenience and confirmed that the cause of the tank breakdown was engine troubles.
The incident had raised concerns among lawmakers and the public on whether military assets are properly maintained. – Oct 7, 2022
Main photo credit: MCOBA