On Sunday (6 June), hundreds of army veterans gathered in front of the Tugu Negara (National Monument) in Kuala Lumpur to rally for a review of the armed forces’ pension scheme.
According to Harian Metro, the group said some veterans are still receiving the old pension rate despite the revisions made to the scheme in 2007.
In addition, the group also lamented the government’s decision to revise the army’s personnel salary with an increment of 60% in 2013, while the veteran’s pension was only increased by 2%.
Di Tugu Negara hari ini pic.twitter.com/tWm9vMsK05— zareen (@ZareenH_s) June 6, 2022
The group also claimed that most of the retired army personnel ranked Lieutenant Colonel and below are currently in the B40 group.
Meanwhile, the group also called for the government to grant pensions to those who served in the army for less than 21 years and for those that were dismissed for disciplinary misconduct to be granted amnesty.
“Kalau menteri pertahanan tak nak menjaga kita (veteran) letak jawatan” pic.twitter.com/8Tt00bzlpJ— zareen (@ZareenH_s) June 6, 2022
“Discipline is very important in the military and I’m not saying people who committed wrongdoings can’t be punished but until now these people have had no chance to ask for forgiveness,” said the rally organising committee deputy chairman Major (R) Mior Rosli Mior Mohd Jaafar.
Under the current Army Veteran Act 2002, Mior said those who were dismissed for disciplinary misconduct lose their veteran privilege would lose their rights to receive a pension.
He said some even lose their pension after being dismissed just a year before their retirement for some minor offences. He said this is unfair to them.
Mior then gave example where an officer was dismissed for refusing to be vaccinated. He added that these offences are minor and not something that can bring down the government or go against the Yang Dipertuan Agong.
The rally organising committee did not name anybody, but they urged the minister in charge of the veterans to quit if he doesn’t want to take care of the veteran’s welfare.
Meanwhile, the rally’s chairman, Commander (R) Datuk Abdul Rahman Hussin said, the movement has so far managed to gather a total of 12,800 members and will be registered as an association within a month.
“The association is established to fight for and improve the socio-economic status of ATM veterans and will be focused on the food industry,” he said.