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KUALA LUMPUR: Army vet­er­ans were left smil­ing with the good news an­nounced by Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak at the Malaysian Armed Forces Vet­er­ans’ Assem­bly near here yes­ter­day.

Ah­mad Hamid, 61, was pleased with Na­jib’s an­nounce­ment on in­cen­tives for vet­er­ans to im­prove their liveli­hood.

“I am grate­ful that the gov­ern­ment is look­ing af­ter the wel­fare of vet­er­ans. The in­cen­tives are timely as they will ease our bur­den in the face of ris­ing cost of liv­ing.”

Ah­mad, a father of four who was in the armed forces from 1977 to 1988, said vet­er­ans had raised con­cerns in the past, but no ac­tion was taken.

He said un­der Na­jib’s lead­er­ship, their voices were not only heard, but also acted upon.

S. Thirunavukkarasu, who re­tired in 2000, was dis­ap­pointed that the in­cen­tive schemes would mostly ben­e­fit vet­er­ans with­out pen­sion.

He said many vet­er­ans with pen­sion were hop­ing that the gov­ern­ment would ad­just the monthly re­tire­ment ben­e­fits to re­flect the ris­ing cost of liv­ing.

“My pen­sion as a war­rant of­fi­cer class 2 is equiv­a­lent to the pen­sion re­ceived by a pri­vate to­day,” he said.

“We have en­dured dif­fi­cult con­di­tions to pro­tect the na­tion. We hope the gov­ern­ment will con­tem­plate how we feel and con­sider some so­lu­tions.”

Another vet­eran, S. Ra­jagopal, was hope­ful that Na­jib would an­nounce more wel­fare ini­tia­tives.

He was con­fi­dent that Na­jib would con­tinue to ad­dress is­sues con­cern­ing vet­er­ans in the 2018 Bud­get, which will be tabled at the De­wan Rakyat on Oct 27.

Ra­jagopal, who was awarded the Kepu­jian Perutu­san Ke­bera­nian (KPK) gal­lantry award, said he hoped the gov­ern­ment would con­sider giv­ing monthly al­lowances to KPK re­cip­i­ents.

Page 1 pic: Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak speak­ing at the Malaysian Armed Forces Vet­er­ans’ Assem­bly in Seri Kem­ban­gan yes­ter­day.

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