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DSA 2022: Malaysian defence budget remains constrained

26th March 2022 - 00:04 GMT | by Dzirhan Mahadzir in Kuala Lumpur

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The Malaysian government, for a variety of reasons, is refusing to buy any big-ticket items for the armed forces. (Photo: Gordon Arthur)

The battle against COVID-19, as well as internal politics, is having long-term impacts on Malaysia's defence spending.

Malaysian defence development programmes have always been hampered by fiscal issues and limited priorities by the government, but the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, combined with political instability in Malaysia over the past two years and a general election that must be called by May 2023, is likely to result in limited defence developments even beyond the election.

Over the past two years, the government has spent more than RM530 billion ($126 billion) in stimulus packages to offset the impact of COVID-19. The country’s 2022 budget allocated RM332.1 billion in government spending, set against a revenue projection of just

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