The Malaysian Ex-Servicemen Association (PBTM) officials engaged in a public spat yesterday over the Veterans Act with its deputy president, Ab Karim Sulaiman taking his president, Muhammad Abdul Ghani to task for criticising the Act.
Ab Karim said Muhammad made unbecoming remarks by saying that the Act would disband all ex-servicemen associations and curtail ex-servicemen’s freedom of speech.
“Muhammad’s statement is baseless as all ex-servicemen associations are given three months to register under the Veteran Council and could continue their activities as usual,” said Ab Karim.
Ab Karim said he regarded Muhammad’s statement as a personal opinion and not the association’s stand.
“The Act will ensure that the welfare of ex-servicemen is better taken care of,” Ab Karim told reporters here today.
He said the Act, which was approved by Parliament on Tuesday, was a recognition to the contributions and sacrifices made by ex-servicemen and their families to the country.
“We are convinced that the Act is meant to fine-tune and improve the way ex-servicemen organisations and that of their families are run for our own good,” added.
Karim said Muhammad had not consulted him and other PBTM officials before making the statement. PBTM vice-president Sharuddin Omar, who also expressed his regret on Muhammad’s statement, urged PBTM members to remain calm and get the right information on the Act and appreciate its merits.
He said PBTM would hold its annual general meeting form Nov 26 to 28.