By HAMDAN RAJA ABDULLAH
TANGKAK: Veteran freedom fighters, who fought for the country before and after the independence should continue to serve the nation with ideas and guidance.
Mentri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman said these patriots from the various races still had a role to play in instilling the spirit of patriotism among the younger generation.
Abdul Ghani, who was represented by Ledang MP Hamim Samuri, said many who could not join the police force, joined the auxiliary police.
He said they had been through a lot before independence and had to fight communist rebels for many years.
“These group of veterans, including Malays, Chinese and Indians, had served in defending the country against the communist insurgency.
“They joined the police force, the Home Guard, which later became Rela, and the army to defend the country,” he said before presenting awards and gifts to some 160 veteran Malaysians in Ledang on Friday.
He said along with the Home Guard, they looked after the security of the country and provided safe living so that others were protected from the communist rebels.
He said many were still alive today and he wanted them to contribute to the nation’s security needs by instilling patriotism among the younger generation.
He also urged the people to acknowledge, appreciate and value the contributions and sacrifice of the veteran patriots by giving them some recognition.
The Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak had recently announced a special cash payment of RM3,000 to every patriot or their kin for their sacrifice to the nation.
“And today, the Johor Special Affairs Department decided to present some gifts and awards to Johor veteran patriots for their contributions,” he added.
SOURCE: THE STAR, OCTOBER 18, 2011