Malaysian Insider / KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 9 — Non-Malays’ “low spirit of patriotism” is a key reason for their low presence in the military, the defence ministry responded today in Parliament. It added an aversion for discipline as another reason.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, in a written reply to Setiu MP Datuk Mohd Jidin Shafee, revealed that non-Malays made up only 1.2 per cent of 2008/2009 recruitment. Bumiputeras made up 98.2 per cent.
“The total intake for 2008/2009 is 9054 officers — 8151 (90 per cent) which are Malays, 26 (0.29 per cent) who are Chinese, 82 (0.91 per cent) who are Indians and 795 (8.8 per cent) who are Bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak,” said Ahmad Zahid.
The Defence Minister promised there are no racial quotas in recruitment, only based on “interest, eligibility and willingness.”
“The ministry finds that the participation of non-Malays especially among the Chinese and Indians are still lacking,” said Ahmad Zahid.
The Minister then cited a host of reasons as to the lack of non-Malay participation in the army, including “a possible perception that the armed forces offers a lower pay than the private sector.”
“The reasons (for the low participation of non-Malays) could be because of a fear towards a tight discipline. It could be because of a low spirit of patriotism. It could be because certain ethnic groups had a negative perception of the armed forces and did not encourage participation,” said the minister.-------------------------------------
Some of the comments left by the readers were enlightening, worth repeating here:
nvictus · 46 minutes ago
There was a time when the top echelons of Military & Police Force was dominated by the Non-Malays......so what happenned? All of them suddenly became less patriotic because they are paid less money or all non-malays brought up to be less disciplined...... ha ha ha.
Zahid Hamidi needs to come up with a way better answer than that......................or he is blind & deaf to the obvious. Being passed over for promotion is the single biggest reason for non-malays to shun the civil service/military/police............because u feel like a 3rd class citizen. So the next question that comes to every non-malay's mind is why must the non-malay be patriotic when the country treats them like garbage....................................go figure.
Once before · 47 minutes agoAiyaa...you guys commented too much on racial issues.....just joined and feel it for yourself...if you cannot stand the hardships in military...the tough discipline..saya yang menurut arahan....short recruit hair.....wake 5.30am every day for subuh prayers....dont dream of joining.....even many malays cannot tahan the sudden change of lifestyle and ran away from the service...i've spend 2 years in military camps during my study at Sg. Besi...We never distinguish skin colours...because we are brothers until today...
JF7 · 50 minutes ago
Personally, I am willing to die protecting the country and do not mind joining the army if we are at war, but during peaceful times like this, I am just another civil servant that serves the country, faithfully, with 100% love for Malaysia no matter what other people would say about this country.
by the way, I am a Malaysian of Chinese descend
whereweheadto · 2 hours ago
Abdullah · 2 hours ago
Maybe they don't want to board a plane which do not have engine. Or maybe they don't want to board a submarine which cannot dive.
Alan Goh · 2 hours ago
fear of discipline are the 2 main reasons non-malays are shying off from joining
military.Please be honest and factual when you made such comment.What about
lack of promotional prospect to the top due to racial barriers and lastly,to implement meritocracy and leadership qualities for future promotions,perhaps you will see a rise in non-malays joining the civil service...
What would be a more correct answer?
1) Perception - The perception that the military is not an absolute and transparent meritocracy. No one in their right mind would enlist because to get somewhere in the military, it has to be a career. Would you be prepared to put in 15-20 years when you have no confidence that its a meritocracy?
2) Even If Its A Meritocratic System - Even so, the pay scale is not enticing. Now, if you make it a meritocratic system, and adjust wages and benefits to RM2,500 for grads, 5 years in RM6,000, Leftenan RM8,000, Captain RM10,000, Major RM14,000, Leftenan General RM20,000, etc... plus life pension on 60% of last drawn pay. If you have that, you will have plenty aspiring to be in the army.
3) Patriotism & Peace - We are in peaceful times, you cannot generalise that not taking the military option would be unpatriotic. We all want a better life for our families, and have a career with genuine prospects. I think if we were attacked, give everyone the right training and weaponry, we'd be happy to fight the enemy as well.