Anwar tells army veterans associations to unite to voice grievances

PORT DICKSON: Armed forces veteran associations should raise their grievances in one voice to allow the authorities to better address them, says Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim (pic).

The Port Dickson MP said this was important to ensure the wellbeing of former security personnel was effectively looked into.

Anwar said he had received several memoranda from the various associations in the run-up to the Oct 13 by-election and most had raised the same issues.

"It is important that you come in one solid voice because I personally know that the veteran community does have some legitimate grievances," he said during hi-tea with armed forces veterans here on Wednesday (Oct 31).

Anwar said he was also glad that the Defence Ministry had agreed to reactivate the Armed Forces Veterans Council to among others look into their welfare.

The fact that the council was being revived at a time when the government's finances were not as strong showed its commitment to safeguarding their welfare.

"When I was Finance Minister, I had allotted free shares amounting to hundreds of millions of ringgit to be given to the Armed Forces Superannuation Fund but somehow the benefits did not reach all levels.

"The money was not intended to increase the allowances of its board members but was meant for those in the lower rungs too," he said, adding that he had also raised this matter with Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu.

Separately, Anwar said as a responsible MP, he would keep his pledge to ensure the wellbeing of his constituents.

He said a developer had recently met him to discuss plans to build a hotel here.

"I also told him to provide quarters for his staff and to ensure the beach in front and adjacent to his property was always kept clean," he said, adding that the developer was happy to comply.