KUALA LUMPUR, March 28 — Hard work and low salary have been identified as factors contributing to the low interest of the non-Bumiputera community to join the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF).

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said so far, less than three per cent of non-Bumiputeras have joined the military because of a lack of interest in the security personnel’s scope of work.

“This is something that needs to be addressed. But as mentioned earlier, the factors of hard work, low pay, irregular working hours and inability to spend time with families during festivals are among the reasons why they are less interested.

“This is a constraint faced by the MAF and the Defence Ministry to encourage the participation of non-Bumiputeras,” he said during a question and answer session at the Dewan Rakyat today.

He was responding to a supplementary question from Hassan Abdul Karim (PH-Pasir Gudang), who wanted to know Mindef’s efforts in attracting more non-Malay youths to join the armed forces.

Meanwhile, Mohamad said no quota has been set for the recruitment of MAF members as it was based on adjustment to the number of personnel whose services have ended, such as through early or compulsory retirement.

However, he said that currently, 3,000 positions could not be filled due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the existing training space constraints.

“MAF advertises recruitment (of new members) every year, and before COVID-19, approximately 6,500 to 7,000 more people were recruited to fill the vacancies of retired personnel.

“The armed forces have a short service scheme of 15 years, which means they will complete their service at the age of 40. This is the problem, and in fact, many people, especially non-Bumiputeras, don’t want to be enlisted because it will require them to work round the clock,” he said.

Mohamad said this in reply to Kalam Salan’s (PN-Sabak Bernam) original question on the ministry’s plan to increase the number of MAF personnel to meet the employment needs of the youth.


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