Six members of our RAFOC Committee, led by Jen Tan Sri Dato' Seri Abd Rahman bin Abd Hamid, (Bersara), Deputy President called on the Ketua Pengarah PERHEBAT, Puan Liza bt Bakar in PERHEBAT Headquarters, Kem Sungai Buloh on Tuesday, 12 November 2013. Also in the delegation were nine representatives from RMNOA, XSOA, X-ARTI, KEKPAK and VeKOD committees, on our invitation. The last visit by a delegation from the committee to PERHEBAT was on 15 March 2012.

The aim of the visit was to meet the new Ketua Pengarah PERHEBAT and to register RAFOC's interest in PERHEBAT and its activities. At the same time, the visit was to keep the committee members updated on the objects and training programmes conducted by PERHEBAT.

In her welcoming remarks, Puan Liza thanked the delegation for their call and noted that this was the first visit by a group of retired Armed Forces officers to PERHEBAT since her taking office in June 2013. She looked forward to a closer rapport between PERHEBAT and the various veterans' associations in order for PERHEBAT to get feedbacks on the training being conducted. As such she suggested that the visit organized by RAFOC should continue to be held from time to time.

The delegation was briefed on the new direction and activities of PERHEBAT by Mej Asshari bin Hj Mat Nor, (Bersara), the Timbalan Ketua Pengarah. The delegation welcomed the new direction formulated and believed that it would give a new breath to PERHEBAT in achieving its objectives. The delegation welcomed the scraping of the idea to turn PERHEBAT into a College Universiti by 2015 which was stipulated in its direction in 2011. The delegation believed that PERHEBAT should concentrate in its corp business - providing the necessary training to those leaving the Armed Forces to face their life after leaving the Service and to assist the existing Armed Forces veterans in improving their socioeconomic condition.

With reference to establishing a closer rapport between PERHEBAT and the various veterans' associations, the delegation suggested to Puan Liza that PERHEBAT should hold a seminar or such in PERHEBAT with the attendance of representatives of all the veterans' association. This would provide the occasion for PERHEBAT to brief the representatives from the various associations on the updated roles and activities in PERHEBAT. At the same time, PERHEBAT could get feedbacks from them.

Puan Liza also briefed the delegation on the RM50 million allocation for the training of Armed Forces veterans not in benefit of pensions, which was provided in the Budget 2012. A sum of RM30 million was spent by PERHEBAT in 2013 and the balance RM20 million would be made available to be used by PERHEBAT in 2014. RAFOC was invited to submit our suggestions/proposals on the training to be conducted by PERHEBAT specifically for the retired Armed Forces officers (without pension), to assist them to find better employment or to improve their on-going business or occupation.

As a start, RAFOC has identified the following courses - Company Directors' Course, Finance For Non-Financial Managers Course and Health and Safety Managers Course, courses which have been conducted before. Although these courses are meant for the non-pensioners, those in receipt of pension may also participate, if places are available. PERHEBAT will consider the above request and follow-up discussions will be held by our RAFOC Secretariat and the relevant staff of PERHEBAT. Members will be duly informed.

All in all, it was a good visit. The delegation was satisfied that PERHEBAT, under the current management, was doing all it could to provide the necessary training to those who would be leaving the Armed Forces and to the Armed Forces veterans in need of such training. However it must be noted that PERHEBAT is only responsible to provide the training but is not responsible to find employment for those being trained per se. JHEV is the agency to assist the Armed Forces veterans to find employment as such.

This meeting was one of the meetings undertaken by our RAFOC Committee to the various departments and agencies related to the well-being of our members and the retired Armed Forces officers in 2013. Our RAFOC Committee met the Ketua Pengarah JHEV on 11 March 2013, Ketua Pengarah Perkhidmatan Kesihatan Angkatan Tentera on 17 June 2013 and the Commanding Officer, HAT Tuanku Mizan, Kuala Lumpur on 10 July 2013. These meetings might not necessarily result in all the problems faced by our members and the other retired Armed Forces officers being solved as such, but at least they provided the occasions for the committee to submit our related problems and to get these problems resolved by the related departments. At the same time they provided the occasions for the committee to know the problems faced by these departments.

The Committee is due to call on the new Director General of JHEV, scheduled after his return from his pilgrimage.