Hisham: Incentives not an election ploy
KUALA LUMPUR: The incentives announced for Malaysian Armed Forces veterans yesterday should not be seen as an election ploy, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein.
He said the government had always looked after the welfare of veterans, and had initiated many programmes and schemes in the past.
He said the six incentives announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had been discussed for more than a year.
“The incentives are not election goodies to win votes or support, as some parties may claim. Such accusations are not new as the general election nears.
“We have looked after the welfare of veterans and their families in the past in recognition of their sacrifice and service to the country.
“We are now continuing our efforts to include those who are in need of help, such as those in the B40 low-income group.
“This is to ease their burden and cost of living in the face of economic uncertainties,” he said after the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Assembly near here yesterday.
He said the incentives were announced despite the challenging times and the fact that the government had to focus on other issues, such as emerging threats.
“This is not easy. It may be easy for people to point fingers and accuse the government, but I’m thankful for the announcement as it shows the prime minister cares about the people.”
He said the incentives announced yesterday would be implemented in October, adding that the incentives were part of the government’s agenda to uplift the socio-economic status of veterans and their families.
“It’s impossible to meet everyone’s needs in one go. More incentives and programmes will be announced. This will be carried out in stages. It is a continuous effort.
“But most importantly, this shows the government’s commitment to armed forces personnel and veterans.”
He said a call centre had been set up under the Veteran Affairs Department, in addition to the many government initiatives to help veterans.
Other efforts included assistance in housing, education, healthcare, career, entrepreneurship and special aids, such as the Insurgency Special Incentive Payout, Cost of Living Assistance Scheme and Natural Disasters Assistance Scheme.
Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein being greeted by armed forces veterans at the opening of the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Assembly in Seri Kembangan, Selangor, yesterday.