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GENTING HIGHLANDS, Jan 17, 2016:

The 2016 Budget adjustment to be tabled by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak on Jan 28 is expected to have little effect on the planning and expenditure of the Defence Ministry.

Its minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, said this was because most of the expenditure of the ministry were for committed projects which had been decided earlier, such as acquisition of assets for national defence.

“I feel it does not affect us very much because defence issues, security issues… are mostly based on projects which we have been committed to,” he told reporters after attending the Defence Ministry Direction Programme here today.

Hishammuddin said the acquisition of assets already agreed upon would be delivered this year or next year.

“So, it’s difficult if we want to cut the budget for which we were already committed to,” he said when asked on the effects of the Budget 2016 adjustment, expected to be announced by Najib on Jan 28, on the ministry’s plans.

Hishammuddin, however, did not refute the possibility that the budget adjustment might have a little effect on the other plans of the ministry.

He said it was still too early to know what had been decided in the budget adjustment and asked everyone to wait for its tabling by the Prime Minister.

He said the ministry had carried out proactive measures in deciding on the priority of projects and programmes to be implemented this year in case there were decisions that affected the plans in the budjet adjustment.

On the Defence Ministry Direction Programme, Hishammuddin said it aimed to determine the ministry’s plans and programmes for this year.

On the programme, the five major thrusts identified for this year were the welfare of Armed Forces (ATM) personnel and ATM veterans, the preparedness of ATM assets, national security, defence diplomacy and National Service Training Programme transformation, he said.

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