Saying sorry is not enough, army veterans tell IJM founder after foot-in-mouth post

Jerry Choong
President of the Selangor chapter of the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association Mohd Din Husni lodged a police report against Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin in Shah Alam August 17, 2019. ― Picture by Miera Zulyana

SHAH ALAM, Aug 17 — A group of 15 retired soldiers from Selangor have added their voices to a growing choir against Tan Sri Koon Yew Yin over the prominent tycoon’s description of the Malaysian Armed Forces are “doing nothing except eating and sleeping”.

Led by its president Mohd Din Husni, the group were had served in the army today demanded action to be taken against the founder of IJM Corporation and Gamuda Berhad.

“He has already apologised, but it cannot simply be let go like that, lest others who insult the Armed Forces think they can get away with it by simply issuing a hasty apology,” Mohd Din told Malay Mail outside the Shah Alam police district headquarters here.

The 15 soldiers were representing the Selangor chapter of the Malaysian Armed Forces Veterans Association to file a police complaint against Koon.

“Our brothers-in-arms went through the Second World War, the Emergency, the Confrontation, served in places including Congo, Bosnia Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Lebanon, and defended the country at Lahad Datu in 1985 and 2013.

“Koon ought to know an insult against the Armed Forces is an insult to all Malaysians who look to us in their hour of need,” Mohd Din said.

He added that Koon’s remarks also indirectly insulted the Yang di-Pertuan Agong who is the commander-in-chief of the Malaysian Armed Forces.

“We are the final shield and sword against threats to the nation, when all else fails or when the police and other auxiliary services can no longer do it themselves.

“Because of that, we must always be prepared, constantly on alert and engage in training so that we never lose our edge when facing Malaysia’s enemies,” Mohd Din said.

The veteran said Koon’s wealth can be attributed to the blood, sweat and tears of the Armed Forces to keep Malaysia safe.

“What does he know of what we endured in those long months in the jungles, fighting against violent communist guerrillas?

“He thinks we have done nothing for the nation. Does he know that much of our efforts cannot be widely spoken of, as they are deemed state secrets?

“While the widows of those who died in the service weep for their loved ones, their children left fatherless, he enjoys the fruits of his wealth without any thought for those who made it possible to begin with,” he said.

The association is one of several organisations who have since lodged reports against Koon, following a post he made on his blog and on social media on Monday in which among others he dismissed serving members of the Armed Forces as a waste of taxpayers money and who would be better off working in Felda plantations during peacetime.

Koon has since apologised and deleted the post on his blog and social media. However, there have been several calls to revoke his “Tan Sri” title.

Some veterans associations have even called the government to strip Koon of Malaysian citizenship.

In a statement today, federal criminal investigation director Commissioner Datuk Huzir Mohamed said police will be calling on Koon to record his statements on Monday.

The tycoon is being investigated under Section 505(c) of the Penal Code for incitement.

Related Articles Apologise for insinuating we’re corrupt, ex-servicemen’s group tells Utusan, Umno man Mat Sabu: Anyone who insults armed forces are ‘enemies’ regardless of race Mat Sabu defends military, tells detractors that soldiers work 24/7 to keep Malaysians safe