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.
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