Review of ex-service personnel’s pensions long overdue

Many of these pensioners find themselves nudged into the low-income category poverty line as the economic crunch bites

Malaysian Armed Forces - USER:PLINE/USER:AIRWOLF/WIKIPEDIA

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Many of our ex-servicemen and women are languishing in the low-income category. 

These chivalrous uniformed men and women gave the best part of their lives defending our nation and ensuring the peace we enjoy till today. 

They made enormous sacrifices, placing the call of duty to the nation above their own life and freedom. 

While many in Malaysia chose easier career pathways and pursued success – our armed forces – the army, navy and air force – and the police proudly donned their uniforms and risked life and limb for the nation’s security. 

But just look at the pensions they are left with, eventually. It is no secret that when an ex-service personnel or veteran falls critically ill or dies, their ex-colleagues invariably have to pass the hat around.

Sometimes it is just to raise some money to relieve unexpected misery, pay medical bills or rebuild a humble house ravaged by flood or fire or to even bury the dead. 

Many of these pensioners find themselves nudged into the low-income category poverty line as the economic crunch bites. 

If politicians and MPs can enjoy envious salaries and perks that come with the job; if CEOs of government-linked firms can live it up with mind-blowing bonuses and perks; if businesses can thrive from the national economy, should we not be ashamed to see the defenders of the nation being sidelined? 

The “Madani” (civil and compassionate) principle of shared prosperity becomes meaningless when there is an endless wait for meaningful measures to review the pension scheme and the pay structure of service personnel. 

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Such a review of salaries and pensions of our ex-servicemen and women will show just how caring, compassionate and just the government is. 

The views expressed in Aliran's media statements and the NGO statements we have endorsed reflect Aliran's official stand. Views and opinions expressed in other pieces published here do not necessarily reflect Aliran's official position.
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Rajaretnam Nadason
8 Dec 2023 9.57am

The top civil servants and MPs are not interested in looking at the Veterans pension. They are quite happy with their own pensions and perks and do not want to Rock the boat. A good example is the response by the Deputy Defence Minister during a dialogue with Veterans. ‘Sikit sikit cukup lah, jangan minta banyak’. He is not interested in resolving the pension issues at all. The PM says a study is bring done and it will be end of 2024 before it is compl. Implementation? Nave another year or so.