View Full Version : Will Singapore launch military attack on Malaysia?

04-01-2003, 01:12 PM
<font size="+1">Will Singapore launch military attack on Malaysia?</font>

Saturday, January 4, 2003

<font size="+4">Bombs away!</font>
<font size="+1">What if war broke out between Malaysia and Singapore</font>
Haris Hussain and Marhalim Abas

IT’S 4am.

The early morning calm is suddenly shattered by the deafening screams of low-flying jets.

Seconds later, Kuantan air base is rocked by multiple explosions, followed by “secondaries” as Malaysia’s air assets in aircraft shelters and revetments are obliterated.

Klaxons blaring, pilots are scrambled to whichever aircraft that are still air-worthy, but it’s useless. The runways had been cratered.

In the ensuing confusion, reports start streaming in. It seems that this is not an isolated case.

Butterworth checks in and reports that its entire complement of F/A-18D Hornets are now smoking, twisted hulks out on the tarmac.

And the entire Third Division which has overall command over Johor and Malacca had also been annihilated.

The National Power Grid had not been spared, plunging the entire country in darkness, adding to the chaos and confusion.

Reports also indicated that the Ministry of Defence building in Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur, had been hit by at least six GBU-31 1,000-pound JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions).

Even the KLCC had been struck with such ferocity that only the Maxis Tower was left standing.

On Bukit Nanas, only a blackened stump is left of what used to be the Kuala Lumpur Tower.

Down in Johor and Malacca, the situation is much worse. A torrent of armoured vehicles, including tanks, are hogging all the roads linking Johor Baru to Muar and Kota Tinggi, disgorging armed soldiers who took over all the towns.

Senai airport, captured in a pre-dawn attack was being used by the helicopters and planes taking part in the on-going offensive.

On the North-South Expressway, main battle tanks and armoured fighting vehicles together with towed artillery with fighter jets and attack helicopters providing close support were going north, destination unknown.

Reports of troops landing from helicopters were coming in from all over Johor, from Mersing to Muar.

By noon, Johoreans find themselves under Singapore military rule.

If you think the scenario described above are wild imaginings of The Malay Mail writers, think again.

The scenario, in less graphic form, was written by a British scholar, Tim Huxley, in his book Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore.

<img src="http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/covers/026815.gif" align="left"> It was published in 2000 as part of a series which examine the military capabilities of Asian countries by Australian publishing company Allen & Urwin.

Huxley’s book, which is available at local bookstores, offers a fascinating look at a little-known but effective military organisation.

Among others, it brought up issues that were almost never discussed - including sensitive questions of war plans with Singapore’s neighbours.

Drawing on Israeli and other foreign experts and using only their country’s limited resources, the Singaporeans have moulded a technologically sophisticated and large military that is capable of striking far from the island State.

Given the country’s absence of natural resources and lack of strategic depth, said Huxley, it’s a remarkable achievement.

He said while the Singapore military has not yet been tested in real combat, few observers doubt its professional ability.

In the second chapter of his book, Huxley points out that Malaysia was the most likely adversary to Singapore, with Indonesia second.

He gave a detailed picture of how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) capabilities were tailored to meet such adversaries.

Huxley wrote: “While it is clear that the SAF is sufficiently flexible in terms of its organisation, equipment and doctrines to be useful in wide national security contingencies, its capabilities have been refined with specific contingencies in mind — above all, the possibility of war with or in Malaysia.”

Singapore defence planners have also planned a war with or in Indonesia.

Huxley said such plans have been played in SAF staff college exercises since the 1960s.

He said that from the Singapore viewpoint, a war with Malaysia could be triggered due to communal conflict in Malaysia which resulted in the disruption of water supply from Johor.

Singapore, according to Huxley, have not dropped plans for a pre-emptive strike.

Huxley further states: “To make intervention possible, the SAF would need to disable the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) with a brutal and fearless pre-emptive offensive or at least retain such capability as to execute such an attack after absorbing an initial (Malaysian) onslaught.

“Probably in conjunction with electronic attacks on the MAF’s communication and sensors (such as radars), the SAF would first attempt to establish air superiority by devastating the Malaysian air force - in the first few hours of any conflict - before mounting further air strikes against other military targets.

“Singapore’s army would then seize the initiative on the ground with commandos - infiltrated by air and sea - and helimobile Guards unit securing the Malaysian side of the Causeway in Johor Baru and the Second Link bridge in Gelang Patah.

“Combined armed forces, most importantly, armoured battle groups equipped with tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, would then cross into Johor and rapidly advance into the Peninsula.

“They would be supported by Guards battalions and transport helicopters, strike aircraft and attack helicopters.”

The Singaporean Navy will also play a vital role by landing troops on Johor’s coast while keeping the sea-lanes around the island from any blockage by the Malaysian navy.


04-01-2003, 01:21 PM
I bet Dr M must have read his book.

<img src="http://www.hull.ac.uk/seas/images2/staff_dr_huxley.jpg" align="left"> <a href="http://www.hull.ac.uk/seas/staff_tim.html"target"="new"><font size="+1">Tim Huxley</A>
MA (Oxon), MSc Econ (Wales), PhD (ANU)</font>

Contact Details
Rm 263, Wilberforce Building
University of Hull, UK
tel: 01482 466396
email: T.J.Huxley@hull.ac.uk

Research Interests
South-East Asian politics, international relations and contemporary political history with special reference to Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei and to civil-military relations. Security concepts and frameworks in relation to South-East Asia, and to East Asia more broadly. Defence policies and arms procurement in East Asia. He has undertaken research throughout South-East Asia.

Major and Recent Publications

'Defending the Lion City. The Armed Forces of Singapore', Allen & Unwin, Sydney (2000)

'Arming East Asia', Adelphi Paper 329, (with S. Willett), Oxford University Press, Oxford (1999)

'An Introduction to Southeast Asian Studies', (co-editor), Tauris, London (1996)

Journal Articles and Papers
'Insecurity in the ASEAN Region', Whitehall Paper 23 RUSI, London (1993)

Current Research Project
Regional security implications of Indonesia's economic, social and political disarray.

Positions Held
Director, Centre for South-East Asian Studies (1995-6, 2000-2)

Saturday, January 4, 2003

<font size="+1">Author tips military balance Singapore’s way</font>
Haris Hussain and Marhalim Abas

Since the 1980s, he wrote, the military balance moved decisively in the favour of Singapore, making an offensive strategy — the so-called pre-emptive strike — a realistic option for the island republic.

By the 1990s, Singapore’s Armed Forces (SAF) quantative and qualitative strength over the Malaysia Armed Forces (MAF) became well-entrenched.

In 2000, the potential mobilised strength of the SAF stood at 350,000 personnel.

By comparison, the MAF totalled only about 145,000 personnel, although 105,000 of these were regulars.

Singapore’s army formations, most importantly, the three combined arms divisions — each with integral armour and artillery, and a rapid deployment division — are coherent and highly offensively-oriented, in contrast to their Malaysian equivalents, which during the 1990s remained dispersed thinly throughout the peninsular and were only beginning to develop combined arms capabilities.

Huxley said the SAF’s crucial strength lies in its armoured force and air force.

The Singapore Army operates some 120 upgraded Centurion main battle tanks and some 350 AMX-13SMI light tanks. It’s air force has more combat aircraft than Malaysia and Indonesia combined.

Together with tanker and airborne early warning aircraft, the Singaporean combat aircraft could wreck havoc in a conflict.

Huxley stated that the SAF with it highly educated soldiers, high-techology equipment and synergistic relations among the three services yielded important military advantages over Malaysia or any other potential adversaries.

He said the economic recession in Malaysia in 1986-1987 and 1997-1998 was an obstacle for its armed forces modernisation and re-equipment.

He said the plans to build major bases in Johor, one each in Gemas and Mersing, would probably strengthen the defences in the south.


04-01-2003, 01:33 PM
For those interested in the book:

<img src="http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/covers/026815.gif" align="left">Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore
by Huxley, Tim

Publisher: Allen & Urwin
Format: Paperback, 335 pages
Published: 2000, Australia, 1st Edition
ISBN: 1865081183
Price: US$19.14

05-01-2003, 06:46 AM
Saturday, 04 January 2003

<font size="+1">Malaysia won't be caught off-guard, says MSRC chief</font>
Haris Hussain and Marhalim Abas

MALAYSIAN Strategic Research Centre executive director Abdul Razak Baginda, who was quoted by Tim Huxley in the book, described the scenerio presented by the author as one-sided.

He said Huxley only took into account Singapore's strategy of pre-emptive action.

"No war started out of the blue. What he is saying is that Malaysia will get caught with its pants down. We are not that naive," Abdul Razak said.


* * *

<font size="+1">'Don't underestimate the might of our Armed Forces'</font>

DEPUTY Defence Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal, when asked to comment on the assertations by Tim Huxley, said one should not underestimate the capability and resolve of Malaysia and its people.

He said Malaysia subscribed to the Asean policy of good conduct and neighbourly spirit.

"When we buy arms, it is as a deterrent, we are not preparing to go to war with anyone," he said.

Shafie said anyone who dares to breach the sovereignty of Malaysia will face the might of the Armed Forces and the people.


06-01-2003, 11:43 PM
:) HehHehHeh...Imagine this...

On the first day taking over JB, all the Singaporean foot soldiers would go AWOL shopping at half price (less tax and the monetory exchange rate), gorging themselves silly with the delicious Malaysian food (I've been told that it is so bland back in the island), raiding the stores of chewing gum, simply going gaa-gaa over the vast expanses of space (they are rather claustrophobic in their pigeon-hole flats back home) and opportunities to jay-walk, spit or just litter the streets.

They'd also be too tired after crossing the causeway because we don't have the MRT or efficient public transport to coddle those pampered fellas.

SFE Talk
07-01-2003, 11:16 AM
What do you think the SAF is for?
When Singapore is threatened by Malaysia, SAF will surely overun KL in three days and Mahathir will not be able to talk big anymore.

07-01-2003, 12:03 PM
3 days? 72 hours! 4320 minutes!!! THAT is a very long time in modern war;)

SFE Talk
07-01-2003, 02:16 PM
So how fast do you want SAF to overun KL you traitor!

08-01-2003, 01:11 AM
war with Singapore is simply unthinkable. we are so closely related and historically and culturally intertwined, we are like brothers and sisters. i shall not support a war drummed up by politicians for their very own popularity mileage.

SFE Talk
08-01-2003, 10:57 AM
I think our government has been trying very hard to provoke Singapore with all kinds of issues for political gain. This has brought nothing but instability to the region. Its pure foolishness.

08-01-2003, 01:58 PM
u forgot to add that for m'sians it time will be time to stay away from genting / camerons / malacca / gunung ledang / gunung datuk rembau etc.
best biz to go into then is selling food and camping equipment maybe condoms too, but not, definitely not, garbage bags.:)

more seriously, i cannot imagine spore wanting to wage war with msia, not so much because of capability, but blood ties are too strong. i will not be surprised if the bulk of our neighbour's military personnel have some close living relatives domicile in their nearest neighbour. the warheads will turn on the looneys b4 being directed at us.;)

08-01-2003, 02:07 PM
In all humility, what would be the options for the governments of:

<FONT SIZE="+1">Singapore vs. Malaysia</FONT>
1. You WIN vs. I LOSE
2. You WIN vs. I WIN
3. You LOSE vs. I WIN
4. You LOSE vs. I LOSE

Water or no water.
Batu Puteh or no Batu Puteh.
War or no War.


08-01-2003, 07:50 PM
Aiyah.... No need to fight-lah.

I have a proposal. If ever we get attacked by Singapoe, send in 3 million of our population to surrender in their teeny weeny little island. They will go haywire just trying to feed and shelter 3 million prisoners of war. Ha ha.

But if they surrender their population to Malaysia, we take over the island and raise our Malaysian flag on Bukit Timah.

09-01-2003, 12:58 AM
I will find it very difficult to believe that Singapore and Malaysia will ever go to war. A number of Singaporeans have Malaysian spouses, and most Singaporeans have relatives in Malaysia. In addition to that, many Singaporean and Malaysian businessmen have business interests on both sides of the Causeway. And there are about 400 000 Malaysians working, studying and living in Singapore.

Dr Mahathir studied in Singapore for his medical degree while Goh Chok Tong spent his early childhood at a kampong in Pahang. The ties between the two people are too closely-knitted.

But having said that, nothing is inevitable. The Chinese fought a civil war in China, North and South Korea are against each other, and so was North and South Vietnam previously.

The pre-emptive strike offensive strategy adopted by Singapore is not something new. It is an open secret. You may call it kiasu, but Singapore has to guard against every possibility. Without such a strategy, Singapore can be overrun within hours if the invading forces managed to step into Singapore.

Before Newater, cutting off the water supply will make Singapore helpless and the only option was to surrender. Singapore has learnt a painful lesson when the Japanese cut off the water supply during WWII and the 'stronger' British forces were forced to surrender. Singapore then suffered Japanese occupation and brutality for 3 years and 9 months. The Singapore government will never allow the water supply to be cut off again.

Another reason will be if UMNO loses power and another party, like PAS, took over the government. They may decide to 'take back' Singapore if they believe that Singapore was cheated from Malaysia by the East India Company in the 1820s.

USA analysts have stated that Singapore has the best army, airforce and navy in SEA. And Singapore has come up tops in the areas of weaponry, logistics, intelligence, etc. The only question are the citizen-soldiers, who are definitely not as rugged as their SEA counterparts. Most Singaporeans actually complained about the 2.5 years of National Service (it is a long time taken off one's golden year at age of 18), followed by up to 40 days of reservist training a year. It is a long time compared to the Malaysian's proposal of 3-6 months of National Service in Malaysia.

SFE Talk
09-01-2003, 09:19 AM
At least we know that if PAS ever took over and try to be militant or fanatical, Singapore will throw them out for us.

10-01-2003, 12:22 AM
Latest news:

Extracted from Channelnewsasia website.

JI members had at least 6 plans to attack US, Singapore targets

To achieve their vision of an Islamic Archipelago, the Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) was preparing to mount a series of terrorist attacks.

The White Paper outlines 6 different plans to attack Western and Singapore targets, which would have killed many people.


Singapore's Ministry of Defence was one of the targets, of which the JI group had done reconnaissance.

In late 2001, a JI member tailed an officer from the ministry's Bukit Gombak headquaters, all the way to Tampines.

A senior member of the JI wanted to place explosives in his car and detonate them while the car was in Mindef.

Aside from this, the JI also explored the idea of sabotaging the MRT system, including the operations control centre.

Other targets included the water pipelines at the Causeway, Changi Airport and the Education Ministry building.

The aim was to represent these attacks as acts of "aggression" by the Malaysian government and to provoke
distrust and animosity between a Muslim Malaysia and Chinese Singapore and cause ethnic strife in both countries.

The JI hoped Muslims would then respond to calls for a jihad, and turn the two countries into another Ambon.

There were also plans to use truck bombs like in the Oklahoma City bombing, to attack the American embassy.

Yishun MRT station was also a target to kill US servicemen using the station, as well as US ships off Changi.

10-01-2003, 04:39 PM
Originally posted by SFE Talk
At least we know that if PAS ever took over and try to be militant or fanatical, Singapore will throw them out for us.

Cut the crap SFE! Don't pretend you're a Malaysian. We know who you are. Go back to your CARI craphole or better yet, to your HDB pigeon-hole that you call home. Typical hygiene-challenged and socially incompetent kiasu trying to divide the Malaysians. Don't question the resolve of the Malaysian people!

10-01-2003, 05:11 PM
SFE So how fast do you want SAF to overun KL you traitor! Mahathir will not be able to talk big anymore.
Regardless of race, creed or religion; Malaysians are united against a common parasite.

Flea: Xenopsylla cheopis
Fleas are blood sucking parasites that live off their host.
(eg: Singapore)
Adult fleas are well-known for jumping.(eg: SFE, from being a Singaporean to a Malaysian in a few clicks).

13-01-2003, 12:19 AM
It is possible for Malaysians who have been staying in Singapore long enough, to be sympathetic to the Singapore's cause.

13-01-2003, 08:46 PM
From Straits Times, 13 Jan 2003:

Women Warriors

Women in combat positions are in the spotlight after a collision killed three women specialists in the Singapore Navy, with one still missing. SUE-ANN CHIA looks at the growing role of women in national defence and security

MENTION military, and most see it as a man's turf.

But the recent tragedy at sea in which women naval specialists holding front- line positions were killed, has shown that the tide has turned.

It highlighted the fact that women are no longer confined to the traditional supporting functions. No ma'am, they now stand shoulder to shoulder with men.

The Defence Ministry (Mindef) disclosed that in the last 10 years, more women have been taking on roles in combat positions that were once performed only by men.

Stopping short of giving precise figures, a Mindef spokesman told The Straits Times that women made up close to 10 per cent of the regular uniformed personnel in the Singapore Armed Forces.

Piecing together various articles about these women, the profile that emerges is that they are marching to the same beat as the men - tough, gung-ho and ready for action.

Like Captain Wong Siok Fun, 28, a former battery commander from the 21st Singapore Artillery unit, who took charge of 75 men.

When asked what it was like to work in a testosterone-laden environment, she told The Straits Times: 'The men didn't see me as a female. They just regarded me as their commander.'

Like them, she participated in their physical training sessions and roughed it out in the fields.

Perhaps the main difference came to toilet breaks in the fields, she quipped. Women will venture further into the bushes, for more privacy.

Donning army green was a 'natural instinct' for Capt Wong, who signed up in 1994.

'There is something about national defence that attracts me. So, naturally, I wanted to be in a combat position rather than do clerical work.'

Currently a psychologist in the army's Centre for Leadership Development as part of a job rotation scheme, she will return to a combat position.

'It's good that the SAF has given opportunities to females to hold frontline positions, showing their confidence and faith in women,' she said.

A woman who served in the navy was quoted in The Navy's Culture, a handbook on its organisational culture, as saying that women 'in overalls and anti-flash gear on board ships assuming a combat role' were a 'ubiquitous' sight.

A far cry from the situation more than 10 years ago, when men used to take mass baths at the quarterdeck, run to the cabin in their birthday suit, or swear loudly.

Now, the common phrase among servicemen, she said, is 'Watch your language, there are women on board'.

'We appreciate the respect and recognition shown to us, just as we are sure that we can contribute in exactly the same way that our male counterparts do,' she said.

Then, there is Captain Christine Sim, 30, who became the first woman helicopter pilot in the Air Force in 2001.

Tellingly, her call sign is: She Man.

She said: 'I didn't choose it. My instructor gave it to me because I was the first woman in a man's world.'

Women in the military today are deployed in combat, technical and service vocations. They serve as pilots, naval officers, artillery and signals officers, combat trainers, and technical and logistics specialists.

The highest rank they have attained is lieutenant-colonel and six have reached that rank, said a Mindef spokesman. There are also 'a number' of female majors. Some of them hold command positions.

The SAF, which turned 35 last year, has also been targeting its recruitment advertisements at women, with such slogans as 'Anything a man can do, so can a woman'.

But debates still rage on about women in combat, with a paper on this subject published in Mindef's Pointer magazine in the last quarter of 2001.

The author, Major Alex Tan, said: 'The truth of the matter is that if there were an abundance of men clamouring to join the military... there would not have been a push to target the recruitment of women into the SAF.'

But sociologist Tan Ern Ser told The Straits Times: 'Allowing women to enter male-dominated occupations at all levels of the military is a positive development, as it could contribute towards greater gender equality.

'If an infantry soldier is expected to walk or run long distances, charge up hills, carry and use heavy weapons, then whoever is appointed to this job must be capable of handling these tasks. There is nothing to say that only men can perform these tasks.'

Most members of the public surveyed are also supportive of having women in combat positions. In a poll on The Straits Times website, the majority said that women should continue to serve at the frontline, despite the navy tragedy.

A total of 446, out of the 678 who responded, want them to keep going, while about 110 thought they should do only support functions and 67 felt that it was a man's job.

Ms Zurida M.H, 27, a business development manager, said: 'We fought so hard for equal rights in almost every area, so why should we lose the right to serve where we want in the military?

'To say that women shouldn't, or can't, is going a step backwards.'

19-01-2003, 08:54 AM
Sunday, January 19, 2003

<font size="+1">Book on S'pore military might 'was misread'</font>

THE British author whose book, published two years ago, was used to stoke up a controversy in Malaysia has said that his words have been taken out of context in the country's ongoing spat with Singapore over Pedra Branca.

<img src="http://www.hull.ac.uk/seas/images2/staff_dr_huxley.jpg" align="left"> Dr Tim Huxley told The New Paper: 'My book focused on Singapore's defensive capabilities as a deterrent to external threats, not as a means to attack its neighbours.'

On Jan 4, the Malay Mail ran a report based on his book, Defending The Lion City: The Armed Forces Of Singapore, headlined 'War with Singapore, what if...'

The tabloid painted a picture of an early morning Singapore attack with 'Johoreans finding themselves under Singapore military rule' by noon.

The New Straits Times and other newspapers picked up the story the following day.

The Malaysian media focused on the author's assessment that Singapore was militarily superior to Malaysia.

Referring to the part describing a scenario for war, Dr Huxley said: 'I was thinking about what Singapore would like to do to maintain its sovereignty in the event of a war, not what it was planning to do - which is what the Malaysian media and politicians seem to be implying.'

<img src="http://www.selectbooks.com.sg/covers/026815.gif" align="left"> But the editor of the Malay Mail, Mr Ahirudin Attan, said: 'When the book is being read by a Malaysian, it will naturally be taken from the point of view of a Malaysian.'

Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar said Dr Huxley harboured ill-intent 'to create an explosive situation in the region, especially between Malaysia and Singapore'.

In a rejoinder, the author said: 'I have no affiliation with either Singapore or Malaysia. It's wrong to say I have ill intentions.'