Thursday January 10, 2013
Call to provide medical aid to gallant non-pensionable ex-servicemen
KUCHING: The Government has been urged to consider providing medical assistance to non-pensionable former servicemen who hold gallantry awards.
Former police officer Wilfred Gomez Malong, who holds the Panglima Gagah Berani (PGB), said not all decorated ex-servicemen were pensionable because they left the forces before reaching retirement age or serving the required number of years.
“Those serving less than 21 years are not pensionable. The Government’s policy is that those who do not receive a pension are not entitled to free medical treatment and services. Some of the personnel, including myself and a few others, have bravery awards but we’re non-pensionable. For instance, I left the police force after serving 11 years.
“This is something that perhaps the Government has to review. At least cover the medical expenses and treatment for these personnel,” he told The Star.
Gomez, who is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, said he was bearing his own medical costs.
He also called on the Government to review the quantum of allowances for SP and PGB holders. The allowances were increased in 2009 to RM2,000 for SP holders and RM1,500 for those with the PGB.
“It’s high time for the allowances to be reviewed again. RM1,500 for a bravery award is comparatively low. And for some former servicemen, this is their only means of income,” he said, adding that not all of them were able to carve out a new career after leaving the forces.