PORT DICKSON: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan wants more non-bumiputras to join the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM), especially the army.
He said despite various efforts to encourage the group’s participation in the ATM, the number of non-bumiputra personnel remains low, at around 3%.
Mohamad said the support and encouragement from parents and non-governmental organisations play a crucial role in attracting more non-bumiputras to pursue careers in the military.
“Despite various efforts, including roadshows and promotions, we have not achieved a satisfactory level of non-bumiputra participation.
“I urge more non-bumiputra youths to come forward and consider careers in the armed forces.
“The remuneration and military service benefits are improving.
“We aim to achieve more than 10% participation from non-bumiputras,” he said at a press conference after the passing-out parade of young male soldiers series 197/23 and young female soldiers series 48/23 at the Army Basic Training Centre here yesterday, Bernama reported.
Army chief Jeneral Datuk Muhammad Hafizuddeain Jantan was also present to witness the parade, which involved 1,013 young recruits, comprising 661 males and 352 females, for this intake.
Mohamad said this intake received an encouraging response from diploma holders, even though the minimum qualification requirement is the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).
“Many individuals view the military as a good career and understand that it opens up opportunities to further their education and build a better future,” he said.
In another development, he said the ministry was still studying whether to continue the special aid to military veterans, adding that the matter will be discussed in the Cabinet.
The Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association (PVATM) had requested that the government consider continuing the special aid in Budget 2024 to be tabled in Parliament on Oct 13.