More allocation needed to repair homes for armed forces families

KUANTAN (Bernama) – The Defence Ministry will apply for additional allocation for the maintenance of Armed Forces Family Homes (RKAT) throughout the country, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said yesterday.

He said the government had provided additional allocation for this purpose before, but the amount was still insufficient as a large number of RKAT were in bad shape.

“We are monitoring the situation and looking into this matter. Many of the military camps are old and dilapidated; they have been in use since the British era.

“The damaged camps have succumbed to wear and tear and urgently need to be repaired,” he said at a press conference in conjunction with the Eksesais Kerismas and Eksesais Tamingsari 2019 at the Region 1 Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) base in Tanjung Gelang.

Also present were Deputy Defence Minister Liew Chin Tong and RMN chief, Admiral Datuk Mohd Reza Mohd Sany.

Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu speaks at the press conference. – BERNAMA

The Auditor-General’s Report 2018 Series 1, which was presented in Parliament yesterday, stated that the maintenance of RKAT was inefficient and did not achieve the objective of providing a conducive and safe home for military personnel.

The report stated that up to December last year, the number of RKATs was 54,497 units but 22.5 per cent of them could not be occupied because they were damaged, not maintained, did not have addresses and not conducive.

On the issue of encroachment of foreign fishermen into the country’s territorial waters, Mohamad said the RMN would deploy assets and increase patrols to check this problem, adding that the National Security Council also frequently discussed the matter.

“The maritime issue and the loss of the South China Sea’s treasures due to encroachment by foreign fishermen in Malaysia’s economic zone will also be raised during a visit to Vietnam soon,” he said.

Commenting on the navy drill which began on July 2, Mohamad said he was satisfied with the conduct of the exercise to enhance the preparedness of RMN assets in safeguarding the security of the country’s waters.