KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry has launched seven welfare initiatives to benefit its civilian staff and their families this year, says Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.
Among the initiatives, said the Defence Minister, are the allocation of 500 out of 3,500 affordable housing units being built at Sungai Besi under the Rumawip programme.
He said that the ministry had been focusing on the welfare of its armed forces personnel and veterans previously but would focus on civilian staff this year.
"We are saving the best for last. You are the unsung heroes and just as valuable to us," he said in his annual ministry address at Wisma Pewira here on Tuesday (Feb 27).
Another initiative is the MyBestBuy monthly sales carnival, which allows civilian staff to shop for groceries at lower-than-retail prices.
It is held with the cooperation of the Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism Ministry as well as the Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Ministry.
"We are also doubling the haj quota from 100 people to 200 people.
"Our civilian staff can now get treatment at our armed forces clinics and hospitals," he said.
Other initiatives include funding and upgrading of day care centres for the ministry's staff, education aid for children who do well in PT3 (RM100 per month for a year) and SPM (RM150 per month for a year), and extending the benefits for children of armed forces personnel to those of civilian staff at 38 schools in military camps nationwide.
Hishammuddin also announced two new welfare initiatives for armed forces personnel and veterans.
"The first is the setting up of Amanah Saham Zulu (ASB-Z) with the help of Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB) and Bank Muamalat Malaysia Berhad (BMMB) that promises better returns than other available schemes.
"Under this scheme, BMMB will offer funding packages between five and 10 years worth RM14,000 to RM140,000," he said.
The second is the setting up of a special fund for the Malaysian Armed Forces Family Welfare Association (Bakat) as well as the injection of RM815,000 to the association to be distributed to its members.
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