Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Ex-servicemen of Angkatan Tentera Malaysia

This morning, on 6th of January 2014, a press conference was held in my office of ADUN Subang Jaya together with Wong Chen (MP Kelana Jaya), IR Izham Hashim (YDP PAS Kelana Jaya) and Koperasi Pesara India Angkatan Tentera Malaysia Berhad (KOPIAT) which was represented by its President, Mr MK Subramaniam and committee members Mr Jit Singh and Mr Munu Subramaniam. The Koperasi is a cooperative for some 1000 retired soldiers and ex-servicemen of Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (TDM, TLDM and TUDM), and is based in SS19 Subang Jaya. The purpose of the press conference was to highlight the difficulty of the Koperasi in securing a licence from the Home Ministry to operate a private security company.

Mr MK Subramaniam, President of the Koperasi had applied and written letters to the Home Ministry and met various politicians from the Federal Government, but after 3 years, they remain unsuccessful in obtaining a license and needless to say, their members are left frustrated and disappointed. These retired soldiers often struggle to make ends meet due to the limited pension benefits and some resort to being taxi drivers while many remain unemployed.

In light of the recent murder and robbery incident committed by a guard of a foreign nationality in Ambank, USJ 1, it is extremely perplexing as to why our own retired soldiers who are still fit and able as most are retired well before the national retirement age, are declined the opportunity to put their skills and expertise to good use and denied an honest and fruitful means of earning a living. These former soldiers are well-trained in weapons and in matters relating to security and are therefore best qualified to manage and operate private security companies, providing their services to corporations and guarded residential neighbourhoods that require private security.

MP Wong Chen states that Prime Minister Najib’s New Economic Model calls for market liberalisation of several sectors. Due to the high crime rate, he urges the Prime Minister to also liberalise the security guards sector so that the market can help the police in fighting crime. A safer country is essential for economic growth and higher investments.

IR Izham urges the Home Ministry to give the Koperasi proper recognition as they are our own local ex-servicemen who have sacrificed for the country and should be given a licence to operate a security company. When it comes to issue of security, Malaysians who are qualified and trained should be given priority in securing licences issued by the Home Ministry regardless of race and religion.

I urge the Federal Government to honour the services of our retired servicemen as they have given sacrificially in serving and defending our nation. It is an extreme waste of precious human resource by not harnessing their expertise for it comes at the expense of our nation as the rakyat are deprived of their services. The Home Ministry must respond fairly and honourably to this simple and honest request from our ex-servicemen to continue serving their community and their nation.

Hannah Yeoh

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