Home Civil Society Voices Stop the mockery of civilians abusing military tradition, uniforms

Stop the mockery of civilians abusing military tradition, uniforms

Photograph: Nair Sufari/The Malaysian Insight, 16 September 2018

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The sight of Pas president Hadi Awang inspecting a guard of honour dressed in very similar Malaysian army number one dress and medals has sent shock and disbelief among veteran, writes Mohamed Arshad Raji.

Before things get further out of control, Patriot urges the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs to take appropriate action.

The incident took place on 15 September at the Pas general assembly in Trengganu. Section 140 of the Penal Code (Act 574) states that it is an offence for anyone not in the military service to wear any garb, or carry any token resembling any garb used by the military.

The number one dress of the military is usually won during ceremonial events or on important occasions. The guard of honour in the military and the police, performed in full ceremonial dress, is usually performed as a mark of respect for the royalty, prime minister, deputy prime minister, defence minister and the generals. It is a serious matter and not to be indiscriminately used by any organisation so as to make a mockery of the dignified military tradition.

The Malaysian armed forces should be jealously guarding the traditions of the military. It should be guarding against their uniforms being abused by others not entitled to wear them. For this incident of the guard of honour by Pas members in look-alike military number one dress, Patriot had expected the chief of armed forces or the chief of personnel staff to be the first to speak up.

The honour, integrity and traditions of the military and the police must be upheld. It is high time to put a stop to those non-military individuals and organisations wearing military uniform or look-alike military uniform, as well as the military ranks.

Retired Brigadier General Dato Mohamed Arshad Raji is president of Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan.

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