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No racial quotas in recruitment, says armed forces chief

Affendi Buang says non-Malays comprise 20 to 25% of new intakes every year.

2 minute read
Armed forces chief Affendi Buang. Photo: Bernama
Armed forces chief Affendi Buang. Photo: Bernama

Armed forces chief Affendi Buang today said that no racial quota is set for the recruitment of soldiers.

He said the notion that only a particular race was favoured to join the armed forces (MAF) was a misconception as the recruitment of personnel was subject to applicants meeting the stipulated conditions.

“MAF has never set quotas for any races when conducting its selection and recruitment process, so there should not arise any notion that MAF is only for a particular race.

“Selection is done in a fair and transparent manner without taking into consideration any differences in race or religion,” he said in a special interview in conjunction with the 88th MAF Day at Wisma Perwira ATM.

Affendi said an analysis of recruitment exercises for young army personnel between 2017 and 2020 showed that non-Malays constitute 20 to 25% of the intake every year.

“For young recruits in the Royal Malaysian Navy, the recruitment (of non-Malays) showed an increase to 18% between 2016 and 2020.

“For the Royal Malaysian Air Force, in 2019 the applications (of non-Malays) made up 19.5% of the overall applications and last year the figure was 24% of the total,” he added.

Affendi said non-Malays currently make up 14.49% of MAF personnel.

“Although the number of non-Malays in the service may seem low, they are playing a very meaningful and commendable role in ensuring the country’s peace, security and sovereignty,” he said.

He also said MAF was committed to continuing with efforts to attract youths of all races and religions.

“This includes undertaking online promotions and widening announcements on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter as well as the website of every service.

“Apart from this, promotional activities will also be held through exhibitions and career talks at national-type Chinese and Tamil schools, universities under the defence ministry, and public and private agencies,” Affendi said.

He added that brochures and pamphlets will be distributed to schools and other relevant organisations to enlighten the people on career opportunities in MAF.

MAF works closely with government agencies, elected representatives and NGOs to create awareness about its recruitment exercises, he added.