PETALING JAYA: An NGO comprising veterans and retired police officers has slammed PAS for presenting a guard of honour in attire similar to military garb at its general assembly and are urging Putrajaya to take action against the Islamist party.
The National Patriots Association (Patriot) said Section 140 of the Penal Code (Act 574) stated that it is an offence for anyone not in the military service to wear any attire, or carry any token resembling those used by the military.
Patriot president Brig-Gen (Rtd) Mohamed Arshad Raji said the sight of PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang inspecting a guard of honour dressed in an attire very similar to the Malaysian Army No 1 Dress and medals shocked veterans.
The Number 1 Dress, he explained, is usually won during ceremonial events or on very important occasions.
The guard of honour in the military and the police, he said, is performed in full ceremonial dress, usually carried out as a mark of respect for the royalties, prime minister, deputy prime minister, defence minister, and generals.
“It is a serious matter and not to be indiscriminately used by any organisation so as to make a mockery of the very dignified military tradition.
“Before things get further out of control, Patriot urges the defence ministry and home ministry to take appropriate action.,” he said in a statement.
The Malaysian Armed Forces, Arshad said, should be “jealously guarding the traditions of the military”.
He also said following this incident, Patriot had expected the armed forces chief or the chief of personnel staff to be among the first to speak out against the practice.
Arshad, who previously urged the defence ministry to stop the practice of politicians and celebrities wearing army uniforms, said 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 uniforms, as well as military ranks,” he said.