Veterans rally for pensions review, many in B40 category - 6th June 2022
Monday, June 06, 2022
Malaysiakini : Hundreds of armed forces veterans rallied in front of the National
Monument in Kuala Lumpur this morning and called on the government to
review the military pensions system.
They said under the scheme,
most of the over 300,000 military retirees are living in poor conditions
and are part of the B40 income group. Rally organising committee
deputy chairperson Mior Rosli Mior Jaafar, who is a retired air force
major, in his speech at the rally said the country’s leaders should not
forget the veterans’ contributions to Malaysia.
“We had fought to
defend this nation, but we are left to fend for ourselves (after
retirement). Many of our members had lost their limbs (during service).
We have over 300,000 veterans in this country, but three-quarters of
them are in the B40. “We voted for our wakil rakyat (people’s representatives)
and they should be fighting for our welfare, instead of forgetting about
us,” he said, to the cheer of some 1,500 rally participants.
group, which called itself Suara Veteran, had several demands including
for the government to increase the pension rate for pre-2013 pensioners
and give pensions to those who served the armed forces less than 21
years. Under the current policy, only those who served for a minimum of 21 years in the military are entitled to get a monthly pension.
at a press conference later, Mior, a former commando who pioneered the
air force's special forces unit Paskau, said the pension rate gap
between those who retired before 2013 and those after was too big.
to him, the government had reviewed the pay scale for armed forces
members in 2013, where those still serving then got about a 60 percent
hike in their monthly salary. However, pensioners then only got a 2 percent increase, Mior said. “So
those who were in service then, when they retired in 2014, they get
pension according to their salary, which is 60 percent more. The gap is
“We are not jealous of them getting a bigger amount, but
the law says that when those in service get a salary hike, pension rate
must also follow suit to bridge the gap. “Now, (with the current
scale) those who retired (before 2013) with the rank lieutenant colonel
and below are considered as B40,” he added.
an example, Mior said he retired with the rank of major in 1995 with a
monthly pension of RM1,100. Today, he receives RM2,030 a month. “Our
second demand is for the government to give pensions to those who did
not get their pension. Like I said this morning, it is a system in the
armed forces where officers and other enlisted personnel who served less
than 21 years were not entitled to get a pension.
this is something that is very sad. In the military, we are a very
disciplined organisation. Those who commit offences must be punished. “But,
we were not given any opportunity to be pardoned. And now, in 2012,
(the government) came up with the Veteran Act 2012 which says anyone who
was dismissed due to disciplinary matters, they are not entitled to be
considered veterans. “When this happens, it affects not only the person but also his wife and children who lose out on benefits,” he added.
to Mior, there is a provision under the law that allows the Yang
di-Pertuan Agong to pardon military officers and personnel who committed
wrongdoings, but he had not heard of anyone getting a pardon ever since
he joined the armed forces in 1974.
He also compared the
government’s treatment of soldiers with that given to Nagaenthran
Dharmalingam, a Malaysian convicted for drug trafficking in Singapore,
for whom the prime minister and the Agong had written letters to the
republic to ask for him to be spared the gallow.
am very disappointed. When I heard about this case, where a convicted
drug offender was arrested and set to be hanged in Singapore, the
government, the prime minister, and also the foreign minister wrote to
the other country to ask for him to be pardoned.
“But we soldiers, none had ever been pardoned here.”