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No plans for veterans' welfare claims baseless, refutes ministry

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The Armed Forces Veterans Affairs Department, under the Defence Ministry, has denied claims that there are no plans in place to secure the welfare of retired personnel.

Director-general Dzulkarnain Ahmad said issues surrounding the welfare of veterans have been repeatedly discussed by Putrajaya, including by the newly-formed National Veterans Council.

"Claims made by the Malaysian Army Veterans Reformation Movement that the Defence Ministry has no plans for the veterans are baseless.

"The National Veterans Council, which first met last Dec 24, and will hold its second meeting next month, is a platform to discuss issues, future plans, and new ideas for the benefit of armed forces veterans," he said in a statement.

Dzulkarnain said this was also on top of ongoing existing schemes including for living costs, aid for schoolgoing children, health care, and many others.

Malaysian Army Veterans Reformation Movement chairperson Azizan Salleh yesterday said the group is planning to hold a rally, after its letter sent to the Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu was purportedly ignored.

Azizan also claimed that the Defence Ministry has yet to come out with a plan or initiative which could improve the welfare of army veterans.

In his statement today, Dzulkarnain said veterans should communicate their problems through existing channels, including the Armed Forces Veterans Affairs Department's state-level offices, or other groups registered under the Veterans Act 2012.

"The Defence Ministry urges all armed forces veterans to register themselves with groups registered under the Veterans Act to facilitate delivery of aids and various information.

"With the existing system and mechanism, the department will continue our efforts to provide the best service to retired armed forces personnel," he said.

Earlier this month, Mohamad also refuted claims by his predecessor, Hishammuddin Hussein, that the ministry has neglected the welfare of veterans since Pakatan Harapan took over the federal government.

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