SEREMBAN: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is satisfied with the development progress of the under-construction Sendayan airbase here.
This was conveyed by Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein today, after Najib's visit to check on the progress of the base.
Hishammuddin said that criticisms over the construction of the new airbase by certain quarters are baseless, and that naysayers should see the facility for themselves.
"The Prime Minister has been the target of attacks (over the airbase), but he has the patience not to entertain such attacks.
"When he himself came here to see the progress, I believe many questions he had were answered, and that the visit was worth it.
"He is very satisfied," Hishammuddin said in a press conference after Najib's visit to the airbase here today.
Hishammuddin said the airbase, which is expected to be ready by year’s end and can be occupied by as early as 2018, will dispel whatever false allegations that have been made by its detractors.
"We need the public to know the truth. We do not want anyone to take advantage of the situation, to nullify what we have done for the veterans and their families.
"The Sendayan airbase is part of the bigger picture, specifically, on the welfare of the veterans and their families. The facts, the reality, will prove our critics wrong.
"During our visit today, you could see for yourselves that what we say is not rhetoric. It is not just something on paper, but a work in progress," he told reporters.
Hishammuddin said there is no looking back now for the ministry, as it seeks to ensure that security at all bases in the country can be defended; that the welfare of veterans and personnel are taken care of; and that in spite of global economic instability, work on the base can continue.
He also said that the Sendayan airbase will raise the benchmark for all bases in the country.
Hishammuddin added that five new bases will built, while 10 bases will be upgraded.
Najib was earlier given a 15-minute briefing on the progress of the Sendayan airbase by Lembaga Tabung Angkatan Tentera (LTAT) chief executive officer Tan Sri Lodin Wok Kamaruddin.
Also present were Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) chief General Datuk Seri Affendi Buang and Rembau Member of Parliament Khairy Jamaluddin.
Najib later signed a plaque and planted a tree as a symbolic naming of the Sendayan airbase, which is built on 303.5 hectares of land.
The Sendayan airbase will have equipment and facilities that are more modern and practical than the Kuala Lumpur airbase, including new housing that is more comfortable for RMAF residents. -- Additional reporting by Nur Aqidah Azizi and Melissa Darlyne Chow