KUALA LUMPUR, 17 June 2009: There was no cost analysis for the formation of a Tentera Wataniah battalion in all 222 parliamentary constituencies.
“There is no cost analysis for the nation’s defence,” Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Dr Abdul Latif Ahmad told the Dewan Rakyat today.
“The cost (for the battalion) is not high, because we only pay them an allowance,” Abdul Latif added.
The deputy minister revealed that allowances for the volunteer military force, numbering 45,000 persons nationwide, currently costs the government “only RM50 million”.
However, Abdul Latif also told Parliament that the ministry had plans to increase the number of Tentera Wataniah forces by another 50,000.
“This is to achieve a two-to-one ratio of volunteers to career personnel,” Abdul Latif said.
Abdul Latif also revealed that the current allowance scheme for Tentera Wataniah would be reviewed, to make volunteering “more attractive”.
Abdul Latif was answering a question by Charles Santiago (Klang-DAP) about the formation of Tentera Wataniah battalion in all 222 parliamentary constituencies.
This move, announced on 12 April, quickly invited suspicions that such troops would add to the number of postal votes in such constituencies.
Abdul Latif has previously denied such allegations, pointing out that Tentera Wataniah personnel were volunteers, and therefore regular voters.
Nothing wrong for Malaysians to join Wataniah. It’s money better spent to instill discipline among lazy Malaysians.
Really. Tentera Wataniah is necessary before the next general election. If BN loses [then], you know what they want to do …
Plus, they don’t even have to exist physically. That’s a sweet way to pocket RM50mil!
Askar Wataniah is one of the great platforms where we Malaysians can contribute our time and effort for our country whilst strengthening our bond [with each other].
The money spent is peanuts compared to its benefits.
In fact, the government should seriously consider forming more organised voluntary programs for the police, fire fighters and medical support staff.
Small platoons should exist in each district, thus allowing us to provide better living [conditions] for everybody.
Programs like RakanCop should be given extra incentives to flourish.
Malaysians could hand-in-hand improve our standard of living, and give the meaning of living together a much better feel.
All Malaysians who love democracy – be very careful about the Wataniah implementation. It is likely to be a ploy to create more postal votes, which are already damaging our current electoral system.