PETALING JAYA: The government has agreed to speed up the payment of several initiatives for Armed Forces veterans to cope with the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, says Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob (pic).
The Defence Minister said these include the distribution of funds and matching grants by the Department of Veteran Army Affairs Malaysian Armed Forces (JHEV) to 74 veterans' associations before the end of March.
"The Covid-19 issue has left a huge impact on all Malaysians, including armed forces veterans.
"We will make earlier payments for all the incentives rolled out for the armed forces veterans," he told a press conference on Wednesday (March 25).
Ismail Sabri said the payment of the funds and matching grants as well as incentives for veterans' associations under the Malaysian armed forces will involve an allocation from the Warriors Fund 2019 worth RM5.3mil.
The Defence Ministry, he said, also agreed to speed up the second phase of allowance payments for Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) holders, which is a one-off payment of RM500.
The payment has been brought forward to the last week of March, which will be distributed to 40,000 recipients involving an allocation of RM20mil.
"The total allocation is RM35mil that will be paid to 70,000 qualified recipients.
"Some 30,000 recipients have already received the payment on March 12, worth RM15mil," he explained.
He also noted that the ministry agreed to speed up the payment of the Cost of Living scheme worth RM300 per person each month beginning April 1 to 4,800 qualified recipients including disabled groups (OKU), lower income groups, senior citizens and orphans below the age of 18.
"We hope that the assistance will help them cope and ease the hardship of the army veterans," he said.
On a separate matter, Ismail Sabri also announced the death of an armed forces veteran from Covid-19 on Tuesday (March 24).
"The veteran showed symptoms for five days before being admitted to the Hospital Angkatan Tentera Tuanku Mizan on March 16.
"He was then transferred to Kuala Lumpur Hospital on March 18. His health deteriorated and was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and put on a ventilator.
"He tested positive for Covid-19 on March 21. He was confirmed dead by health authorities on Tuesday at about 7.40pm.
"His remains were buried in Taman Keramat the same night.
"On behalf of the ministry and the government, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the family.
"A one-off bereavement payment worth RM3,000 will be given to his wife on Wednesday.
"She will also receive a monthly pension worth RM2,856.82 each month which will be processed immediately," said Ismail Sabri.
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