SANDAKAN: The Ministry of Defence is intent to achieve the 30 per cent participation of non-Bumiputera in the recruitment of soldiers, said Minister of Defence, Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“The 1 MINDEF Carnival is held to attract the participation of non-Bumiputera into the Malaysia Armed Forces (MAF) besides to counter the negative perception towards the armed forces causing them to be frightened away from joining the military,” he said.
Speaking during the opening of the carnival at the Padang Bandaran Sandakan yesterday, Ahmad Zahid said, the Ministry of Defence provides for career advancement to anyone who join the armed forces either through the Royal Military College or the Malaysia National Defence University (UPNM).
“Through the scheme, we hope to enlarge the number of non-Bumiputera in the armed forces as there are only 10 percent of them in the military,” he said, adding that, as a result of the lifelong learning system given to officers in the armed forces, 38 have acquired doctorates.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid gave the assurance that the security in the east coast of Sabah is under control on a joint collaboration with other government agencies.
“With continuous operation since 2000, only two incidents had happened and with the assistance of other agencies, criminal activities such as smuggling and human trafficking have been arrested,” he added.
The carnival started yesterday and will be held until July 24 and is another effort by the ministry to give exposure and to attract the public, especially the youths, to join the armed forces besides clarifying the role, vision and mission of the Malaysian Armed Forces.
Among the activities held during the carnival include the exhibition of military assets, a visit to KD Mahawangsa of the Royal Malaysian Navy, free medical and dental screenings by MAF’s medical team.
In attendance were the Commander of Joint Force, Vice Admiral Datuk Ahmad Kamarulzaman Hj. Ahmad Badaruddin, Commander of 1 Division, Lt.General Datuk Awie Suboh and deputy president of Sandakan Municipal Council
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