PAS ‘guard of honour’ under fire
Patriot unhappy with party’s volunteer corps ‘military’ attire
KUALA TERENGGANU: PAS volunteer corps attired in “military” dress uniforms has caused a hooha, with the Defence Minister stepping in to say that a meeting would be held soon to decide whether laws have been breached.
PAS Youth, on its part, said it would look into complaints raised by National Patriots Association (Patriot) about the uniforms donned by the party’s volunteer corps, Jabatan Amal, during Saturday’s opening of the PAS general assembly when party president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang inspected the “guard of honour”. PAS Youth created the Jabatan Amal.
Patriot, which is a group of military and police veterans, had objected to the attire, saying that it was unlawful for non-military members to wear attire resembling those of the armed forces.
Yesterday, PAS Youth chief Muhammad Khalil Abdul Hadi acknowledged the dissatisfaction aired by former servicemen.
“We will review it and correct any mistake,” he said.
However, Muhammad Khalil felt it was not a big issue as MPs, assemblymen and scouts also wore similar-looking uniforms.
“Those who wear it complete with medals and ranks are actually former members of the armed forces,” he claimed.
Patriot president Brig-Jen (Rtd) Datuk Mohamad Arshad Raji, in a statement, cited Section 140 of the Penal Code which outlined the punishment for those who wear the garb of a soldier, sailor or airman.
“The guard of honour in the military and the police, performed in full ceremonial dress, is usually performed as a mark of respect for members of the royalty, prime minister, deputy prime minister, defence minister, and generals.
“It is a serious matter and not to be indiscriminately used by any organisation so as to make a mockery of this very dignified military tradition,” he said.
In Kota Kinabalu, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said he would hold a ministerial-level discussion over the issue.
“We will discuss this at the ministerial level to see what action can be taken.
“We will see whether they are allowed to wear it or not,” said Mohamad after making a courtesy call to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal here yesterday.
Controversial uniforms: Abdul Hadi inspecting the guard of honour made up of members of the party’s volunteer