2018-2019 Defence Budget of China, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and Singapore

China ($173 Billion for a fiscal year)

China will increase military spending by 8.1 per cent this year, the largest rise in three years, as it sees major shifts in its national security environment.

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The national defence budget will grow to 1.11 trillion yuan ($173 Billion), according to its latest budget released on Monday Mar 5, 2018. China’s military spending grew by 10.1 per cent in 2015, 7.6 per cent in 2016, and 7 per cent last year.

Malaysia ($3.6 Billion for a fiscal year)

The Malaysian government has announced that defence spending will increase by 5.3% under the 2018 budget. Total spending on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) will rise from MYR15.1 billion ($3.6 billion) to MYR15.9 billion.

Spending will decline marginally against GDP, remaining at a level of around 1.1, and as a share of overall government spending from 5.8% to 5.6%. Despite that, the MoD’s budget allocation is still around 7% lower than in 2015 following a large cut to military spending in 2016.

The additional funding will be allocated within the recurrent budget which incorporates the operating costs of the MoD and the armed forces, with related spending rising by 7.6% from MYR11.7 billion to MYR12.6 billion.

Thailand ($7 Billion for a fiscal year)

The Thai junta unveiled a new US$10 billion defence and security budget Thursday, in what may be its final opportunity to allocate extra funds to the armed forces before a promised return to elections early next year.

The figures, proposed to the junta-picked National Legislative Assembly for the 2019 financial year, represent $7 billion for defence, a US$1 billion increase since the military seized power four years ago.

In addition the regime is planning US$3 billion in security spending to manage “new threats”, maintain “internal peace and order”, prevent transnational crimes and cyberattacks as well as protect the monarchy.

The defence budget accounts for 7.6% of proposed national expenditure for 2019 and about 1.4% of GDP. The expenditure – tabled by Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha on 7 June and approved by the National Legislative Assembly on the same day – comes into effect at the start of the fiscal year in October 2018.

Singapore ($14.76 Billion for a fiscal year)

Substantial investments by past governments in building up the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will allow Singapore to keep its defence spending steady even as countries in the region are spending more and against wide-ranging security threats, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament on Friday March 2, 2018.

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Defence spending rose from about $14.2 billion in Fiscal Year 2017 to a budgeted $14.76 billion for FY2018, an increase of 3.9 per cent.

“Even for the next decade, Mindef does not foresee any spike in defence spending. Obviously, this will not apply if there are exigencies or unexpected scenarios,” defence minister said during the debate on his ministry’s budget.

Indonesia ($10 Billion for a fiscal year)

The Defense Ministry will get a Rp 107.7 trillion ($10 Billion) allocation, the largest figure among the allocations for the Cabinet Ministries as stated in the 2018 state budget approved by the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

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“After the [final] update, the Defense Ministry budget is Rp 107.7 trillion. It is the largest allocation,” said the Finance Ministry’s director general of budgetary affairs Askolani in Jakarta as reported by kompas.com on Thursday.

There is no further explanation about the detailed use of the funds in the ministry.

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