Budget 2012 - Committee Discussion

The RAFOC Executive Committee met on Thursday, 13th October 2011 to discuss matters affecting the retired Armed Forces community on the Budget 2012 as tabled by YAB Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Kewangan Malaysia in Parliament on Friday, 7th October 2011. The discussion was chaired by Jen Tan Sri Dato' Mohd Ghazali bin Dato' Mohd Seth, (Bersara), RAFOC President. 10 Committee Members were present.

The Committee welcomed the theme of the Budget 2012 - "National Trans-formation Policy: Welfare for the Rakyat, Well-being of the Nation" since the retired Armed Forces community is part of the rakyat who needs to be cared after having given the best part of their lives in the defence and security of the nation.

The Committee took note on the change in the retirement age of those who are still serving, from 58 to 60 (for officers of the rank of Kolonel and above). We believed that the current retirement age for officers in the rank of Lt Kol and below as well as the tenure of service for the Other Ranks will also be increased by another two years.

The Committee welcomed the annual pension increment of 2% effective from 2013 and the additional bonus of RM500 to be paid to those in receipt of pensions before the end of the year.

The Committee was concerned that there was no direct gratification given to the ex-members of the Armed Forces who are not in receipt of pension. These are short service commissioned officers, who left or had to leave the Service after the expiry of their tenure of service and not being granted a regular commission; and Other Ranks who left or had to leave the Service after the expiry of their tenure of service and their service not being extended.

The Committee will get more details on the special programme to be introduced for the 175,000 military personnel who are not eligible for pension, to venture into business or to obtain jobs in the public or private sectors. We believe the Armed Forces officers who retired or left the Service without pension are also eligible for the programme. A sum of RM50 million has been provided for the implementation of this programme.

The Committee recognized the one-time payment of RM3,000 to ex-members of the special constable and auxiliary police as well as their widows and widowers but expressed its concern on why ex-members of the Armed Forces who are/were not in receipt of any pension, their widows and widowers (including the members of the Local Defence Corps) were not beneficiaries to this payment, after all they also played the same roles as the special constable and auxiliary police in ensuring the security of the nation during the Emergency - a number were killed or maimed on duty. The Committee also noted that employees of the Department of Special Affairs, Ministry of Information, Communications and Culture and the Department of Community Development, Ministry of Rural and Regional Development who have completed their contract with those departments, will also receive the same amount.

The Committee also welcomed the other benefits to the senior citizens, children and disabled citizens and for senior citizens aged 60 and above, exemption from out-patient registration fees in Government hospitals and health clinics as well as 50% discount on LRT and Monorail fares.

The Committee also welcomed the one-off assistance of RM500 to households with a monthly income of RM3,000 and below since there are many ex-members of the Armed Forces who are in this category. The Committee advises those concern to monitor the procedure to claim this RM500.

The Committee will clarify the above issues with JHEV before taking it up with the appropriate authority. In the meantime, if you do have other observations within the confine of the Budget 2012 as tabled by YAB Perdana Menteri merangkap Menteri Kewangan Malaysia in Parliament on Friday, 7th October 2011, please submit your observations to our RAFOC Secretariat before 20th October 2011.

This subject is under the portfolio of our "RAFOC Sub-Committee on Service Matters & Related Issues", with Mej Jen Dato' Ahmad bin Ibrahim, (Bersara) as Chairman. The above issues will also be tabled and discussed at our 2nd Seminar to be held on Wednesday, 2nd November 2011.