KOTA SAMARAHAN: Online gambling addiction is one of the reasons behind mental health issues among armed forces personnel, resulting in erratic behaviour, even fatalities, said army chief Gen Zamrose Mohd Zain.
He said a joint study by the Malaysian army and the Royal Air Force found that the mental health and productivity of some of its personnel were largely caused by financial problems due to online gambling addiction.
“Online gambling is the number one reason army personnel lose their money. The other is drug abuse.
“These are the two main reasons that cause our personnel to act out of control and do erratic things,” he said at a press conference today after an army commissioning ceremony at Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.
He said the army organised year-round counselling sessions to overcome the problem.
“Faith can help in this matter. It doesn’t matter what religion (they are).
“If their faith is strong, they can control themselves and not commit those acts. We also have psychologists and the armed forces religious corps to help,” he said.
Two shooting cases involving armed forces personnel shocked the country recently.
The first was when four armed forces personnel were killed at the Kota Samarahan camp, and the second was when an officer shot himself after shooting his in-law at Kampung Kolong 1 in Kuching.
Meanwhile, Zamrose said another 10 control posts would be built next year along the Malaysia-Indonesia border (Sarawak-Kalimantan).
“The government requested that we build these additional posts.
“We are not competing with Kalimantan but want to balance our control posts with the ones built by Indonesia.
“It also shows that we are serious about controlling our borders.”
There are currently 10 guard posts along the Sarawak-Kalimantan border, including four under construction in Papang Upan (Bau) Sungai Pauh (Serian), Batu Kaya (Lubok Antu) and Tapak Megah (Kapit).