PETALING JAYA: The armed forces are looking to recruit more non-Bumiputeras, says defence minister Mohamad Hasan.
Mohamad said the forces have taken several measures to diversify their ranks and raise awareness among non-Bumiputeras.
“The lack of Indians, Chinese and Orang Asli as armed forces members does not mean that they are unpatriotic.
“It means that they are more inclined to choose other sectors, especially the economic and business sectors, which promise greater profits and career opportunities,” he said.
He was responding to a question by Ti Lian Ker in the Dewan Negara on the breakdown of armed forces members based on gender and race since 2013, and the lack of participation by non-Bumiputeras.
Mohamad said as of March 6, Malays accounted for 85.8% of armed forces members, followed by Bumiputeras from Sarawak and Sabah at 7.6% and 4.3%, respectively, Indians (1.4%), Chinese (0.5%) and Orang Asli (0.4%).
He said the lower participation of non-Bumiputeras can be attributed to the high risk and dangerous nature of the service, strict health standards, low pay and a lack of military exposure.
He said the armed forces have organised career talks to promote joining the service, released promotional content on social media, and improved their service scheme to be more competitive with other government agencies and the private sector.
“The armed forces will also review their remuneration and allowance scheme as and when required,” he added.