Putrajaya green-lights National Hope Aid for army vets

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attend the opening of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition in Langkawi March 26, 2019. — Bernama pic
Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu and Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad attend the opening of the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace (LIMA) Exhibition in Langkawi March 26, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — The government has agreed and approved the implementation of the 2019 National Hope Aid (NHA) (Bantuan Harapan Negara) (BHN) for pensionable and non-pensionable Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) veterans.

Minister of Defence Mohamad Sabu said the initiative was a new one to replace the 2017 Bantuan Bakti Negara (BBN) and the 1Malaysia Non-Pensionable Veterans’ Contribution 2013 (1MNPVC) (Sumbangan Veteran Tidak Berpencen 1Malaysia 2013) (SVTB1M).

He said the 2019 NHA was a continuous appreciation from the government to the MAF veterans for their loyalty and sacrifices to the nation.

“It is the government’s continuous effort to look after the welfare of all groups of MAF veterans,” he told a media conference at the 2019 Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition (LIMA ‘19) media centre at the Mahsuri International Exhibition Centre (MIEC) here.

Mohamad said the 2019 NHA would also involve pensionable MAF veterans who had not received a one-off payment prior to this. 

“Although, the government is still facing financial constraints but in appreciation of the sacrifices of MAF veterans, the government can still afford to allocate RM79.6 million to implement the 2019 NHA to a larger number of recipients, namely, 159,368 pensionable and non-pensionable MAF veterans compared to only 43,000 non-pensionable MAF veterans who received the 2017 BBN initiative,” he said.

Mohamad said a one-off payment of RM500 under the 2019 NHA would benefit 100,762 pensionable MAF veterans and 58,606 non-pensionable MAF veterans.

“Among the 2019 NHA requirements are having ended service before Dec 31, 2019 and staying in Malaysia. Veterans who qualify for the Federal 2019 Cost of Living Aid must apply to get the 2019 NHA for non-pensionable MAF veterans who have never registered for SVTB1M and 2017 BBN and veterans with monthly gross household income of RM4,000 and below (B40),” he said.

He said the ministry through the MAF Veteran Affairs Department (JHEV) would be responsible to implement the 2019 NHA initiative.

“The MAF’s JHEV will provide the registration and application facilities to decide on qualifications and approve applications, details on the status of applicants and make payments into the bank accounts of the 2019 NHA recipients,” he said. 

Mohamad said applications for the 2019 NHA would be opened on April 14 and payments would be implemented on May 27.

“Hopefully, the giving of the 2019 NHA, can help the MAF veterans in facing the challenges of the rising cost of living currently.

“The government always endeavour to look after the welfare of the MAF veterans who have sacrificed a lot in ensuring that the national security and peace is assured,” he added. — Bernama