KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 16 ― Insults to the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) will not be tolerated, Defence Minister Mohamad Sabu said today after a prominent tycoon suggested the country’s security forces would be more useful taking care of farms.
The Amanah president better known as Mat Sabu said criticism was welcome, but not insults, reminding detractors that the armed forces worked far from the public eye and round the clock to ensure their safety even in peace times, while they slept.
“The truth is, our military has work at all times, even when the nation is peaceful,” he said in a statement.
He said the ATM participates in regional defence and diplomatic relations with Malaysia’s neighbours, which includes military drills and officer exchange programmes.
He added that the ATM also works whenever there is a disaster, whether in the country or abroad in the region or under the United Nations’ peacekeeping operations in conflict zones.
“Likewise, military asset which are not just used for defence purposes, but also for various operations even during peaceful times. What is evident and clear, is that the ATM is the frontline of the government when it comes to handling various security issues domestically, and internationally,” Mohamad said.
The minister said a Defence White Paper is currently being drafted to provide a more detailed explanation to the public on the ATM’s work and called for solidarity for the frontliners.
In a blog post last Monday that triggered a firestorm, IJM Corporation and Gamuda Berhad founder Koon Yew Yin accused the armed forces of “doing nothing but eating and sleeping” and said that as a taxpayer, he has a right to suggest they be more productive uses.
He later apologised and removed the article from his blog after widespread backlash.