KUALA LUMPUR, (May 21) — The expertise of military veterans who have specific skills such as intelligence is very much needed to help the government face numerous new threats, currently.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said the ministry must be opened on the involvement of those veterans with specific skills to ensure their expertise would benefit the nation.
“Officers in the ministry must be more inclusive including that concerned those military veterans with specific expertise,” he said when replying to a supplementary question from Datuk Ahmad Hamzah (BN-Jasin) in Dewan Rakyat here, today.
Ahmad wanted to know if the government monitored the veterans especially those with specific expertise to determine their latest activities to prevent their involvement in negative activities.
Hishammuddin said empowering those veterans with specific skills could steer them clear of negative activities or exploitation by certain quarters which could bring hardship to the nation.
Replying to the original question from Datuk Mohd Johari Baharom (BN-Kubang Pasu), Hishammuddin said the government always had at heart the welfare of the military veterans and their families via numerous programmes under the Blue Ocean Strategy (NBOS).
“Among the initiatives under this programme is repairing the homes of poor veterans, which was started in 2012, involving 49 houses at a cost of RM1.39 million,” he said.
He said 200 houses were involved in 2013 incurring a cost of RM6.7 million, 171 houses in 2014 (RM2.9 million), while 84 houses were planned to be repaired (RM2.86 million) this year.
“This effort includes via the mobilisation of numerous agencies under the Ministry of Defence such as Veteran Affairs Department and the Ex-Armed Forces Affairs Corporation (Perhebat).
“In addition, the ministry also develops firm ties with the Rural and Regional Development Ministry; Women, Family and Community Development Ministry and Domestic Trade, Cooperative and Consumerism Ministry,” he said.
Mohd Johari wanted the government to elaborate on the repairs of the houses of veterans targeted by the Ministry of Defence and when it was expected to achieve the target of NBOS.– BERNAMA