Letter: An Uncalled for Statement

The recent statement by prominent tycoon and writer Koon Yew Yin claiming that Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) personnel “are doing nothing except eating and sleeping” is not only uncalled for but downright disrespectful. The business community has long advocated for a smaller government by reducing civil services to lower corporate income taxes.

The idea of downsizing the civil services by claiming the government is inefficient and bloated has become the norm worldwide. The armed forces are the very reason why people like Koon Yew Yin can sleep peacefully while allowing him to accumulate wealth.

Members of the armed forces are protecting Malaysians from drug smugglers, human trafficking, terrorist attacks (Sabah), fight pirates (South China Sea), conduct surgical strikes (Gerik) and conduct dangerous rescue operations.

Malaysians are sleeping comfortably during public holidays because members of the armed forces are patrolling our borders. It is not easy, walking 25km a day in the jungle while carrying 30kg rations, weapons and ammunition on their backs. Our men in uniform have contributed to the peace of this nation and we should not ever degrade these brave and dedicated soldiers.

Koon Yew Yin should stop treating the armed forces as a source for cheap labour to replace foreigners. Personnel from the three services have sacrificed their future and will continue to do so when needed to save 30 million Malaysians. Ordinary Malaysians are not prepared to bear arms to defend our land and people but the armed forces personnel are ready 24/7.

Koon Yew Yin’s remark is not only unacceptable but disrespectful towards our armed forces. It is best that he issues an apology to both serving and retired members of the forces.

To members of MAF, Koon Yew Yin’s insensitive remarks do not represent that of Malaysians. We, Malaysians are grateful for your sacrifices to the country and its people. Thank you.

Sharan Raj
Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM)

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