Wednesday February 20, 2013
Former soldier receives Pingat Jasa Malaysia medal for 10 years of service
By PHILIP HII
SIBU: Wheelchair-bound Phoon Tuen Vun was honoured to receive the Pingat Jasa Malaysia (PJM) medal for his 10 years of service with the armed forces.
Sabah-born Phoon, 65, joined the armed forces in 1967 and served until 1977.
The former soldier said he had high blood pressure and suffered a stroke about six years ago, which rendered him half paralysed.
“I am very grateful to the Government for awarding me with this medal,” he said.
Phoon lives with his Iban wife from Song in Bukit Aup near here.
He was one of 22 from here, Kanowit, Sarikei, Saratok, Bintulu, Matu, Daro, Dalat and Engkilili who received the award from Armed Forces Veterans Affairs Department Director-General Major-Gen Datuk Zulkiflee Mazlan at a ceremony held at Sibu Civic Centre yesterday.
At the same event, 432 veteran soldiers were presented with the 1Malaysia Veteran Armed Forces incentive of RM1,000 each by Lanang MP Datuk Tiong Thai King.
The one-off payment is given to veterans without pension – former soldiers and members of the volunteer force under the Malaysian Armed Forces, Force 136, former British army and Sarawak Rangers.
To be eligible for the incentive, they must be discharged with honour and their date of leaving the service on or before Dec 31, 2012.
There are an estimated 8,000 non-pensionable army veterans in the state.
Under Budget 2013, the Government had allocated RM224mil for the incentive which will benefit 224,000 qualified veterans nationwide.
In his speech, Tiong said the Barisan Nasional Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak was committed to looking after the welfare of the veterans who had helped to defend the country and maintain peace and order.
The Armed Forces Veteran Association Sarawak’s president, Thomas Ling Kui Ing, said the RM1,000 assistance was a manifestation of the Government’s concern to look after the welfare of army veterans for their services and sacrifice to the nation.
He also proposed that Jalan Pahlawan here be renamed Jalan Temenggong Datuk Kanang Langkau. a national hero who died early last month.