KAPIT: Land Development Minister Tan Sri Dr James Masing is full of praise and admiration for army veterans who sacrificed their lives to safeguard the sovereignty of our nation.
He said it was for this deep sense of gratitude that he came over to meet them despite his busy schedule as a minister.
He made these remarks at the ‘Tabung Rayuan Hari Pahlawan Sambutan Hari Pahlwan Kapit’ at Meligai Hotel here yesterday.
“We must be thankful to the veterans. Now we celebrate the month of independence in peace, stability and prosperity because of their great sacrifices and struggle to defend the nation from foreign aggression and internal communist insurgency in the early days of independence.
“They built the foundation of modern and prosperous Malaysia,” he said.
Masing recalled that on July 31, when the Head of State launched the Hari Pahlawan celebration in Kuching, he was touched when he met many veterans who bore wartime injuries and loss of limbs, whom he said deserved admiration and respect.
Later, he announced a grant of RM7,000 to Persatuan Bekas Tentera Malaysia (PBTM) Kapit and handed out cheques to the veterans.
PBTM Kapit chairman Wilfred Billy Panyau said the association now had 875 registered members, with many more to register as he believed that there were about 1,500 veterans in the division.
Sarawak Veterans Affairs Department director Lt Col Monday Juhid said the function was to hand out welfare assistance to the veterans and launch the ‘Tahun Pahlawan’.
Kapit Resident Dahim Nadot, walikota Philimon Nuing and Rela officer Anthony Luged were among the people attending the function.