BERA, March 6 –The Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) welcomes the cooperation and contributions of corporate bodies, financial institutions including banks, zakat (tithe) institutions and government-linked companies (GLCs) for its Jiwa Murni Programme, said Senior Minister (Security) ) Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said the contributions, when combined with those from state governments and the RM10 million allocation from the Ministry of Defence to ATM for the community outreach programme this year, would enable more projects to be planned for the welfare of the people.

So far, for the programme, Ismail Sabri, who is also Defence Minister, said  ATM had received allocations of more than RM1 million from several state governments while the Sarawak state government itself had contributed RM1.5 million.

“Beneficiaries comprise those in need including military veterans, whether it involves building new or repairing houses that are not too badly damaged. The cost is lower due to cost savings especially in manpower.

“The execution period is also shorter because we do not have to go through the procurement process such as tenders or quotations that need to be passed if the construction is done through a department or agency … a new house can be completed within 50 days if undertaken by ATM,” he said.

Ismail Sabri told this to reporters after launching the construction of a house for a villager, Mohd Tahir Nong Chik, in Kampung Kuala Triang here today. Also present was Army chief  General Tan Sri Zamrose Mohd Zain.

He also said that the construction of the houses would also be easier if the recipients had suitable land to be used as a construction site or if the state government could cooperate in approving land.

Apart from houses, the Jiwa Murni programme also involves the construction or maintenance of public facilities such as mosques or surau, Muslim cemeteries and water supply infrastructure, proving that the military’s duty is more than just maintaining security.

Meanwhile, Mohd Tahir, 64, admitted that he never thought that he would get a new house that would be much better than the original, built by his late father Nong Chik Mat Arif about 60 years ago, using planks and having a zinc roofing.

“I came back here from Kuala Lumpur a year ago after losing my job due to the Implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO)  to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, and since then, have been fixing what is important first.

“Unexpectedly, two weeks ago, I was told that I was selected to receive a new house even though I had never applied … I am fortunate I will be living in a new house,” he said.

Mohd Tahir, whose wife died in 2007, said the new three-room house with two bathrooms worth RM65,000 would be the gathering place for his five children and 10 grandchildren, especially during school holidays and Hari Raya.


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