KOTA KINABALU, July 11 — The Defence Ministry is still trying to locate and identify about 30,000 non-pensionable Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) veterans who have yet to register with the MAF Veterans Affairs Department (JHEV).
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob urged these veterans to register on the JHEV website so as to facilitate the Prihatin Rakyat Economic Stimulus Package (Prihatin) aid to be distributed to them.
“We urge them (veterans) to immediately register because if they don’t (register), we will not be able to provide them with the aid,” he told reporters after attending the MAF veterans’ Cakna Programme in Kampung Suang Parai here today.
He said that under the Prihatin aid, which was announced by the government in April, pensionable and non-pensionable veterans would receive a one-off financial assistance of RM500 until September.
He said that so far about 80,000 non-pensionable MAF veterans had registered with the JHEV, while some of the estimated 16,000 veterans in Sabah have yet to do so.
Ismail Sabri said this could be because they lived in remote areas deep in the interiors as well as had no information regarding the matter.
Regarding his visit, Ismail Sabri said it was part of the Cakna programme that is carried out all the time to help veterans in need of assistance.
He said that during the visit, he presented assistance in the form of tithes (zakat) to the warriors’ fund campaign as well as food to former Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) personnel Abd Zahid Said.
Abd Zahid, 35, who hails from Semporna, had served the RMN for 13 years before quitting in 2017 to care for his wife, who has thyroid cancer, and five children, aged between one year and 12 years.
He said that since he left RMN, he had no fixed income and they once stayed in a tent for three months as they did not have a place to live in.
“I am grateful to the minister (Ismail Sabri) for providing me with a boat and engine so that I can earn a living for my family,” he said, adding that they only moved to their current home three months ago. — Bernama