Defence White Paper aims to help army personnel prepare for life after retirement, says deputy minister

Danial Dzulkifly
Malaysian Armed Forces personnel march during a National Day rehearsal in Putrajaya August 29, 2019. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 2 — The Defence White Paper (DWP) tabled in Parliament today aims to boost Armed Forces personnel’s employability post-retirement from the military service, Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong said.

He said with the changes, army veterans would be able to make a smoother transition into civilian life and be more independent.  

“In the DWP, it is important to focus on seconds careers after they end their service. It is important for the government and the private sector to provide a second career for veterans.

“Previously we only focused on the welfare aspect but this time, it is important for us to provide second careers for them. They can use their experience and contribute to our economy," Liew told reporters.

In Malaysia, 18 is the legal minimum age for voluntary military service and those who serve for more than 21 years will be eligible for a pension.  

Liew said those who retire from the armed forces in their 40s would still be able to contribute to the nation’s economy if a second career is provided for them.  

The DWP was tabled in Parliament by Defence Minister Mohammad Sabu, which sets the direction of the nation’s security and defence for the next 10 years.

In recognising the sacrifices and deeds by armed forces veterans, the DWP highlighted a focus on training armed forces veterans for second careers, as well as other welfare benefits including healthcare, cost of living aid and education, among others.

When asked whether army veterans would see an adjustment to their pensions, Liew reiterated that providing a second career for armed forces retirees represents the best way forward.

Last Sunday, army veteran group Suara Veteran stated that it is forming a grand coalition with 148 other armed forces’ veteran associations for a stronger voice when demanding their rights.

Among issues raised were pensions that were not adjusted to reflect the current economic situation as well as rights that had allegedly eroded over the years.

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