Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today announced an increase on the hourly service allowance for Territorial Army Reserve. Pic by NSTP/ L.MANIMARAN

BAGAN DATUK: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today announced an increase on the hourly service allowance for Territorial Army Reserve.

The allowance will go up from RM7.80 to RM9.80 per hour for officers and RM6 to RM8 per hour for other enlisted members.

In making the announcement, Zahid who is also Home Minister said the increase was made to reflect the government's appreciation to the Territorial Army units who also act to safeguard and defend the country.

"I announce today on behalf of the Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) and Defence Minister (Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein) ... this allowance is officially increased.

"The payment has started (same date) as soon as the Prime Minister announced on the increase of allowance for the Rela (People's Volunteer Corps). This means officers who were on duty before the date should receive their payment according to the date when their allowance should be received," he said.

Zahid said this in his speech during the launch of Territorial Army Reserve Wave (GAW) at Sekolah Menengah Sains Bagan Datuk (SABDA) here today.

Also present were Perak Menteri Besar, Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Johari Baharum and Army Deputy Chief Lieutenant General Datuk Seri Panglima Ahmad Hasbullah Mohd Nawawi.

GAW which was introduced by Hishamuddin is aimed at uplifting the spirit of patriotism among youth, students and National Service Volunteer Brigade (BSKN) through their participation in the Territorial Army Reserve.

A total of 4,000 participants were involved in the GAW program which was being held for two days since yesterday at the school.

Meanwhile, Zahid in his speech also described those individuals whose in their attempts to relate the Hutan Melintang Camp construction as a Barisan Nasional (BN) politic game as naive.

Zahid said the individuals who came out with such statement have apparently no inkling idea on the country's defence system and merely made an assumption in the light of 14the General Election (GE14).

"They are actually naive, they do not know the Defence Ministry's strategy. The closest camp is in Sungai Besi and Subang, while in the northern part, we have in Lumut but in the middle here, we have none.

"From the geostrategy point of view, Bagan Datuk needs to have Armed Forces Camp and at this moment, the construction of the camp is halfway done.

"This has nothing to do with General Election because the decision has been made before. We want to let those groups who against the armed forces, don't look down the army including Territorial Army regiment and PLKN (National Service Training Programme)," he added.