Security forces funding hailed

Tight security: Police and army personnel enforcing a roadblock along the Tun Dr Lim Chong Eu Expressway in Penang in accordance with the conditional MCO. — Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR: The police will ensure that the allocation under Budget 2021 will be used wisely to ensure the safety of the people, says Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador.

Expressing his gratitude to the government for the allocation, especially the RM17bil channelled to

the Home Ministry, the Inspector-General of Police said the funds would be utilised to strengthen its delivery system.

“The RM600 aid for civil servants in Grade 56 and below as well as RM300 for retirees and veterans without pensions are also welcomed, ” he said in a statement.

He lauded, too, the RM310mil allotted for civil servants’ housing.

The RM500 one-off payment for 40,000 retired police personnel who have received the Jasa Pahlawan Negara medal is also a form of recognition towards their sacrifices for the country, he added.

On the RM20mil allocated to strengthen the biodiversity patrol and protection programme involving 500 former military and police personnel as well as Orang Asli, he said it showed that the government was committed to conservation and protecting the environment.

Armed Forces chief Jen Tan Sri Affendi Buang said the RM16bil allocation – up from RM15.6bil previously – was needed to enhance the readiness of defence personnel and their welfare.

“It will help develop our capabilities, which are planned based on challenges as well as current and future threats.

“The allocation for the maintenance of main assets, at RM2.3bil (from RM2bil last year), is important to ensure the optimal readiness of these assets.

“The RM500mil that goes towards building nearly 1,000 Rumah Keluarga Angkatan Tentera will boost the morale of armed forces personnel, ” he added.

Malaysians Against Rape, Assault and Snatch Theft (Marah) founder Dave Avran said Budget 2021 laid out several social safety net initiatives to help those financially affected by the pandemic, especially the B40 group, by empowering the digital and gig economies.

He also called the RM21mil allocation to build shelters for victims of domestic violence “very necessary”.

While Marah hailed much of Budget 2021, Avran said it did not factor in upgrading of housing, salaries and equipment of rank-and-file police personnel who were the crucial touch point with the public.

Malaysian Crime Prevention Foundation senior vice-chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said while the RM500mil housing allocation for armed forces personnel and their families was laudable, he was concerned over the lack of similar funding for the police.

“I feel that the government should consider funds for building more housing units for the rank and file in the police force.

“There is also a need to improve the conditions of existing housing quarters, which are in a dilapidated state, ” he added.

Separately, Lee said the RM27mil allocation in Budget 2021 for cybersecurity to combat cybercrimes was timely, given the recent spate of online scams.

“As most people are at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic, they are bound to work online and scammers have taken advantage of this, ” he said.

On tax deduction for employers who hire former inmates and drug addicts, Lee called it “a step in the right direction” as it would encourage more employers to offer job opportunities to the targeted groups instead of hiring foreign workers.

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