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Wataniah to be upgraded, says deputy minister

KUANTAN, 21 Oct 2008: Wataniah, the volunteer reserve force of the Malaysian army, which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year will be upgraded to ensure it remains relevant.

Announcing this today, Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop said new regulations were being drafted to improve the Wataniah terms of service.

He said the government would continue to ensure the development of Wataniah soldiers and that they receive proper attention.

Early this year, the government absorbed members in the Infantry Battalion series 300 into the regular army through the launch of Border Regiment, he said when opening the Wataniah Commanders Conference series 18/2008 here today.

“The capability and development of Wataniah soldiers are often raised in Parliament and this clearly shows that Wataniah soldiers are not being forgotten,” he said.

Present at the conference on Wataniah general policies and development included Regiment 505 Commander Brig Gen Tengku Abdullah Sultan Ahmad Shah, Regiment 506 Commander Brig Gen Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra Sultan Ismail Petra, Regiment 513 Commander Lt Col Datuk Seri Tunku Puteri Intan Safinaz Sultan Abdul Halim and Deputy Army Chief Lt Gen Datuk Zulkifli Mohd Zain.

Zulkifli told reporters later that Wataniah had over 50,000 members and about 3,000 had been absorbed into the regular army. — Bernama


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