KOTA KINABALU: The Federal government has agreed to approve the extension of the Regional Incentive Payment (BIW) for soldiers starting July 1.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said this was to replace the Sabah and Sarawak Incentive Payment (BISS) and the Peninsula Malaysia Incentive Payment (BISM).
He said this would involve an additional annual allocation of RM87.8mil for the armed forces based on the 2022 employment.
He said this during a programme with the armed forces at the Lok Kawi army camp here, Wednesday (May 31).
Anwar said this approval would benefit some 33,586 soldiers.
"Before this, armed forces personnel and officials who have to work in other regions get the BISS and BISM but both incentives given were lower than the BIW rate received by other civil service officials," he said.
He said the basis for all three incentives were the same, that was to cover the high cost of living and as a token of encouragement for civil servants to serve in other regions, for example from peninsula Malaysia to Sabah and Sarawak and vice versa.
The Federal Government promised to reconstruct of 49 units of abandoned houses to be made into 47 public quarters and transit homes for the Defence Ministry Sabah division at the Lok Kawi camp worth RM25mil.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said the government would also allocate RM213mil for existing projects to build additional family homes for the armed forces at the Lok Kawi army camp.
On other projects, he said an allocation of RM67mil has been approved for the upgrading of the Lok Kawi road from Sabindo roundabout to the Kinarut River, apart from another RM4.8mil to restore and upgrade the aviary at the Lok Kawi wildlife park.
“We are committed to building a new school - Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Lok Kawi- with a project cost of RM23mil that would start immediately,” he added.
Also present during the event was Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, deputy chief minister III Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, Armed Forces Jeneral Datuk Seri Mohammad Ab Rahman.
He had earlier attended the Kaamatan festival celebrations at the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA). He later proceeded to Kinarut for a meet-and-greet session before heading to Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) for another session.