The Positive and The Negative

SHAH ALAM: Actually I wanted to comment on the new Defence Policy but as I was unable to attend its unveiling and had yet to really read it, I believe I should digress on the story below.

To me the answer given by the Defence Minister was wholly unsatisfactory given that it was presented to the august Parliament. It will be recorded in the Hansard, which to me is unforgiven.
The answer of course was in the negative.

There is no shame of saying “I dont know” which is an honest answer instead of giving way to an infantile ranting. Could be and maybes are the best way to shoot your own foot. No wonder the opposition MPs were up in arms.

I know its above my pay grade, but appended here is my own answer on behalf of the minister to the same question. It dwells on the positive instead of the negative….

“Thank You RT Hon MP for the pertinent question. To be honest the ministry lacked sufficient data and input to answer the question thoroughly. The same question have been raised in the past but we at the ministry wants answers from the current generation.
Therefore, I will like to inform the RT Hon, I have commissioned a survey to be conducted among non-Malay students in the Klang Valley to find their reasons from staying away from the Armed Forces. The survey will also include youths who joined the National Service next year. From the survey, to be conducted by the National Defence University, the ministry will be able to formulate strategies and adopt new methods to attract non-Malays into the Armed Forces.
Insyallah we will present the findings to this august house ASAP for an honest debate and feedback. The result might be ugly, I hope we are matured enough to accept it in good faith.
FYI, from the 9054 people who joined the Armed Forces in 2008/2009 only 1.2 per cent were non-Malays. Our extensive survey with these officers revealed that they joined the Armed Forces for a variety of reasons.
The top ten reasons are…..etc

Why fewer non-Malays in military? Low patriotism and fear of discipline, says ministry

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Non-Malays’ “low spirit of patriotism” is a key reason for their low presence in the military, the defence ministry responded today in Parliament. It added an aversion for discipline as another reason.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a written reply to Setiu MP Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee, revealed that non-Malays made up only 1.2 per cent of 2008/2009 recruitment. Bumiputeras made up 98.2 per cent.

“The total intake for 2008/2009 is 9054 officers — 8151 (90 per cent) which are Malays, 26 (0.29 per cent) who are Chinese, 82 (0.91 per cent) who are Indians and 795 (8.8 per cent) who are Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak,” said Ahmad Zahid.

The Defence Minister promised there are no racial quotas in recruitment, only based on “interest, eligibility and willingness.”

“The ministry finds that the participation of non-Malays especially among the Chinese and Indians are still lacking,” said Ahmad Zahid.

The Minister then cited a host of reasons as to the lack of non-Malay participation in the army, including “a possible perception that the armed forces offers a lower pay than the private sector.”

“The reasons (for the low participation of non-Malays) could be because of a fear towards a tight discipline. It could be because of a low spirit of patriotism. It could be because certain ethnic groups had a negative perception of the armed forces and did not encourage participation,” said the minister.

Zahid’s response angered Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers, with DAP Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran saying that the minister’s reply could cause “racial misunderstanding.”

He demanded an apology from Ahmad Zahid.

However Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia did not address Kulasegaran’s claims, and instead reprimanded the Ipoh Barat MP for his choice of language in Parliament.

–Malaysian Defence

If you like this post, buy me an espresso. Paypal Payment

About Marhalim Abas 2227 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. The hilariously off-the-cuff reply by the defense minister just shows how no one in the BNist camp either understands that irresponsible racial and communal political polarisation ultimately leads to indifferent attitudes of the various ethnicities towards the security and government sectors, or they wish to ignore that fact and harp on the old tune of ‘others not patriotic’. Obviously, the defence minister then is most patriotic, for he finds refuge in it (note sarcasm).

    With the much-publicised debacle of the stolen RMAF jet engines also having an undercurrent of racial discrimination if the wider public believes that foul play is still afoot, wouldn’t this one case be the example of the issues related to the tarnishing of the reputation of the Armed Forces as a professional, multi-cultural, multi-racial, national institution?

  2. Another stupid, brainless comment by yet another politican. The defence minister should do us all a favour and resign and spare us the sight of him proudly strutting around in his Gerak Beret.

  3. Let me share with you a non-malay experience.
    Most ,almost 80% of my parents generation worked for the goverment. Most of the men were in the military or police, the generation that fought the communists in Tanjung Malim ,Sg.Siput and wherever else.Proud of my special branch uncle ,who the communists tried to assassinate in sg.siput.
    Then came the Mahathir reign,which we appreciated for the development and push for Malaysia to progress through glass ceiling.
    But sadly, a good civil service started to slide.Understandably most were Malays and good as the rest,mostpegawai were Malay,what would u expect,they r the majority race,so everything is cool.The strict dicipline i still remember in the civil service.
    Then came the influx of younger malays not given enough time or experience but soon became pegawai’s.Example, my uncle in Pertahanan Awam ,ex-FMC, was told to train some young turks,then those turks became his officers.Gradually we were being pushed aside. If u needed one office boy, u had 3, u had files stacked up,staff doing personal business during office hours,remember once one guy would wash his bike at work during hours.When certain malay officers tried to fix the situation,the staff would write a complain to higher ups,the guy gets removed.
    Tok haji’s were many with the ketayap,bullying young girls especially to cover up and all that, but were also the worst offenders if u know what i mean.
    Most who could took optional retirement,moved into the private sector where they were judged by their ability not skin colour or religion.
    Thats how they earned good money and paid for most of my generations college and university education.Most of them got promoted very quickly,testament to good old fashion government training and their ability.
    For me it was the military or police,but opted for the private sector.For the first time none of my generation joined the government,after we saw what happened to our parents.We could only look and sigh as our distant relatives in Singapore became commandos,fighter pilots and etc.{referring to the males}
    Also it became know if u converted to Islam, u would be promoted and treated differently, we heard and saw some of non-Malays go down that path. It made us more upset but what r we to do? Give up who we are? luckily for us none were tempted,some did migrate ,most just are enjoying good private sector jobs,and like me enjoy keeping up with military matters.
    Before it was bung from Sarawak,now Zahid,saying we non-Malays are such and such,
    and so it continues.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.