The Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) have never set any racial quota for personnel recruitment, Defence Minister Mohamad Hasan said today.
He said recruitment was carried out twice a year, involving the intake of 6,000 to 7,000 personnel.
"We have never imposed a quota based on race. The percentage (of non-Bumiputera) is very low in MAF.
"They see that there are other jobs like going into business that offer better returns… so it is not only because there are no retirement plans," he said at a press conference in Kuala Lumpur.
He also said that MAF had many plans to prepare its personnel for retirement, including transition courses organised by the Armed Forces Veterans’ Affairs Department.
On the low percentage of non-Bumiputeras joining the armed forces, he said plans were made to attract them, including online applications and roadshows throughout the country.
"It does seem that the response is not encouraging and low. So we don’t want this to continue and hope that a career in the armed forces will be more attractive to all races," Mohamad said.
On the procurement of a 155mm self-propelled howitzer to boost the army’s firepower, he said the procurement process was cancelled but that the weapon would be bought through open tender.
"The cannon is needed by the army, especially the Artillery Corps, but we cancelled the procurement process as it was done through direct negotiation, so we need to use open tender.
"The procurement will be done to ensure that it really follows the specifications needed by the MAF," he added.