DAP will not support any disbandment of the Royal Malay Regiment and will ensure that under Pakatan Harapan Federal Government, Royal Malay Regiment will reach greatest heights as a premier defence force of the country and all Malaysians

The Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Razak recently tried to fish for police and army votes when he peddled the fake news that if there is a change of government in Putrajaya, Malaysia’s police and troops may be out of jobs, and the Royal Malay Regiment may be disbanded as the Royal Malay Regiment “is not in line with the Malaysian Malaysia concept”.

He warned that the armed forces and the police may be trimmed in size as “the other side believes the civil service is too bloated”.

I advise Najib to tender a public apology for peddling such fake news to fish for police and army votes.

The president of the veterans group, Persatuan Patriot Kebangsaan (Patriot), Mohamad Arshad Raji had said that it would be "virtually impossible" for any party to disband the Royal Malay Regiment due constitutional safeguards, as well as the unit's long history.

Arshad Raji said he and other retired Royal Malay Regiment officers were left “puzzled, confused and apprehensive” over remarks made by the Prime Minister about the oldest unit of the army's infantry regiments.

Arshad Raji said in a statement today: "One has to understand the history of the establishment of the Malay Regiment to realise that it is virtually impossible to ‘spell the end’ or to declare the Royal Malay Regiment redundant.

"I say this with very clear conscience, that no government or any succeeding Malaysian government would want to make such a declaration, not only for historical reasons, but more importantly the special attachment the Royal Malay Regiment has with the Malay Rulers..."

The Royal Malay Regiment, established in 1933 by the British Colonial Office, is the oldest and topmost infantry regiment in the army, with its 1st battalion acting as a ceremonial guard for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

Arshad said Najib's remarks were clearly targeted at opposition parties and would not augur well for overall national unity.

I fully endorse Arshad’s statement, and I want to declare loud and clear that the DAP will not support any disbandment of the Royal Malay Regiment and we will ensure that under a Pakatan Harapan Federal Government, the Royal Malay Regiment will reach its greatest heights as the premier defence force of the country and all Malaysians.

In fact, we have with us at this kopitiam dialogue in Simpang Renggam a former officer of the Royal Malay Regiment, Col. Hj Mislan Saiman (Rtd), former Battalion Commander of the 17 Royal Malay Regiment and the first Malay officer who led the Malaysian military team for the UN Peace-Keeping Mission (UNTAG) in Namibia 1989-1990, who is as upset as Arshad at Najib’s talk of disbandment of the Royal Malay Regiment.

Mislan tells me that he is confident that RAMD (Royal Malay Regiment) will remain as the premier unit of the Malaysian army to defend “King and country”.

Arshad is also unhappy with the speech by the Armed Forces Chief Raja Mohamed Affandi Raja Mohamed Noor at the same dinner as Najib, urging members of the Armed Forces and the police to be loyal to the government led by the prime minister.

Arshad regretted that such a “political statement” dragged the two armed services into the realm of politics, thrashing the long-standing tradition that both the armed services are apolitical and have pledged to serve King and country.

May be some clarification is in order from both the Prime Minister and the Armed Forces Chief.

Lim Kit Siang DAP Parliamentary Leader & MP for Gelang Patah