JELI (Kelantan), March 2 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the government has always exercised fairness and ensured that soldiers are not marginalised and are able to enjoy every benefit provided by the government for them.
Addressing soldiers of the Border Regiment at the Batu Melintang camp here, he said soldiers serving in the regiment are better off now than prior to their absorption into the unit.
“I visited this camp as the defence minister in 2008 and I was saddened by what I saw. I decided then that I must help members of the then deployment force (prior to their absorption into the regiment) in terms of welfare and so on,” he said.
Also present at the meeting with the soldiers were Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Awang Adek Hussin and Chief of Defence Forces Gen Tan Sri Zulkifeli Mohd Zin.
Najib said the deployment force, while receiving a monthly salary like the other soldiers, had not enjoyed benefits such as pension and vehicle and housing loans.
Najib said the government decided that the time had come for the deployment force to be absorbed into the regiment.
The government holds to the principle that soldiers whose welfare is well taken care off will serve with dedication and make the country proud, he said.
At the event, Najib announced an allocation of RM600,000 for the two camps of the regiment here.
Meanwhile, Zulkifeli said the prime minister has fulfilled all his promises to the armed forces, and the soldiers should be grateful that their welfare is given due consideration by the government.
“The prime minister has done a great deed by ensuring that the Border Regiment is established through the absorption of the deployed forces,” he said.
Source : Bernama