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More of the same for Malaysian maritime forces during COVID-19?

21st October 2020 - 00:00 GMT | by The Geobukseon in Indo-Pacific

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The after-effects of COVID-19 could raise questions over the long-term sustainability of Malaysian maritime forces; even before the pandemic began, the government was struggling to recapitalise ageing assets and introduce more modern capabilities.

Recent resurgence in COVID-19 infections in Malaysia has dashed all hopes for a quick return to normality. Yet even before Malaysian security forces were placed on heightened vigilance, Malaysian maritime forces have undergone months of increased operational tempo, despite capacity shortfalls.

Indeed, the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) did not dispatch a warship to August’s RIMPAC exercise in Hawaii, as every single asset has become so prized that it needs to be carefully husbanded for more pressing needs.

Fortuitously, Operation Benteng, activated under the National Task Force to deal with COVID-19, envisages an interagency cooperative effort between the Malaysian Armed …

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