KUALA LUMPUR, 31 July 2009: Members of the security forces who have been decorated by the nation received a gift on Warrior’s Day today in the form of a 500% increase in their monthly allowance.
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, in making the announcement, said the new rates would take effect from 1 July this year.
He said security members who had been conferred the Darjah Kebesaran Seri Pahlawan Gagah Perkasa (SP) would receive RM2,000 a month compared with RM400 previously while Pingat Gagah Berani (PGB) recipients would receive RM1,500 a month, up from RM300.
The payment would be backdated when the relevant act was amended, he said at an appreciation ceremony for the country’s warriors at the Defence Ministry here.
A total of 86 security force members who are recipients of the SP and PGB, which were introduced in July 1960, will receive the increased allowance.
Najib said the government had also decided to give Awang, the sole recipient of the “George Cross” awarded by the British government, an allowance of RM2,000 a month in addition to the 100 pound sterling (RM581.37) that he is receiving from the British government.
An allowance of RM1,500 a month would also be given to recipients of the “Military Cross” and “Military Medal”, who are currently receiving an additional pension of RM76 a year or RM6.50 a month.
“The increase in the allowance is a manifestation of the government’s recognition and compassion for their service, sacrifices and commitment in preserving peace and public order and defending the nation’s sovereignty,” Najib said.
A recipient of the British Military Medal (MM), Jantan Baba, 82, said the giving of the allowance showed that the government recognised their service to the nation although they had previously served under the British forces.
He said the allowance would also help them live a better life, especially in these uncertain economic times.
Jantan, who is from Alor Gajah, Malacca, served with the British forces for 21 years and shot dead seven communists.
He had his left ear shot off in an encounter with a communist cadre while conducting an operation in Kenaboi, Negeri Sembilan.
Recalling the incident, he said: “At that time all the other members had run for cover and I was left facing a communist cadre. I pretended to shout instructions to my colleagues to advance so that the communist would retreat.”
As for Wahab Hamid, who served in the British forces for only seven years due to ill health, he would always remember the clash between his team and the communists in Sungai Semo, Guang Musang, Kelantan, where he was injured in the thigh and leg.
“I was shot in the thigh but continued to fight until the communists hurled a bomb which caused serious injuries to my leg,” said Wahab, who is from Kampung Terusan, Kuala Pilah.
Wahab thanked the government for the allowance which he said would go a long way to help defray their daily expenses, especially medical bills, now that they were getting old.
Capt (R) V Panirchellvuum, a PGB recipient, said the increased payment would help defray the expenses for ex-service personnel with school-going children.
He said the move showed that the prime minister really wanted to make the 1Malaysia concept a reality by putting people first.
Lt Col (R) Robert Rizal Abdullah said that the increased allowance would help improve the living standard of the poor.
“I know of some retirees who live in poverty with the small pension and allowance that they get. So this increase will alleviate their plight,” he said. — Bernama