PUTRAJAYA, May 21 — Good news will be announced soon in recognition of the sacrifices by Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) veterans, including MAF tribunal pardons and improvements regarding pensions for widows of MAF personnel.
Senior Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said veterans’ wishes regarding their welfare will continue to receive attention and his efforts in leading the Defence Ministry since nine months ago will bring even more welcome news.
"But it requires the proper time for announcements as it involves other ministries and departments and the matter depends on allocations still being discussed.
"I assure that whatever can be settled, we will announce soon. Two things I touched on have reached my level, and can be announced soon,” he said at a media conference after officiating the MAF Veterans’ 100th Anniversary parade at Dataran Pahlawan Negara here today.
Chief of Defence Force Gen Tan Sri Affendi Buang and MAF Veterans’ Association president Datuk Sharuddin Omar were also present.
Hishammuddin said veterans could voice what they wanted but need to understand that limitations existed.
"Some require detailed national financial planning especially since the country is still in recovery following the impact of the two-year-long pandemic.
"Issues raised by veterans come and go but veterans and their honour must be defended and the defence of the standing of the association and struggle does not rely on money but on the values that are synonymous with MAF veterans,” he added.
He said veterans’ wishes cannot be viewed as pressing demands as the government has been always looking after their welfare, and he guaranteed that he would continue whatever plans he made during his previous tenure as Defence Minister from 2013 to 2018.
Meanwhile, Hishammuddin said second career opportunity initiatives for veterans will continue to the grassroots level.
"For instance, veterans are given priority to start businesses in shops around the 3,500 One House One Personnel housing units and the Littorial Combat Ship project in Lumut, which involves veteran vendors, will be continued,” he said.
On the proposal to build a specific hospital for MAF veterans he announced in 2018, Hishamuddin explained that there were many things proposed at the time but the issue needed to be reviewed to see a more realistic approach being implemented soon.
Hishammuddin had previously been Defence Minister from 2013 to 2018 and was appointed Foreign Minister in 2020. He returned as Defence Minister in August 2021 under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob. — Bernama