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Encourage children to join military, Chinese parents told

MIRI: The Chinese community should discard their old belief and encourage their children to join the military as a career.

President of Federation of Miri Division Chinese Associations Soo Mee Kong said this at the opening of the introductory seminar on the Armed Forces and educational opportunities organised by the federation’s youth section in collaboration with Sarawak Ex-Servicemen Association and Armed Forces.

“The old saying that ‘A good son does not become a solider’ should be ignored due to the negative connotation and is an affront to the Armed Forces which look after the security of our country,” he said.

Soo conceded that the Chinese community had been ignorant of the opportunities and fields under the Ministry of Defence, among which were openings for various university courses for school leavers.

His view was echoed by Sarawak Federation of Chinese Associations president Wong Aik Loung who said the community should regard joining the army as a national pride to protect the country’s sovereignty.

“This is a different world now where knowledge and technology, and not brawn, reign supreme in the military, and specialisation means that the criteria for entry is strict,” he said.

In expressing his agreement, Sarawak Ex-Servicemen Association chairman Thomas Ling commended Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Dr Zahid Hamidi for agreeing to the association’s proposal made in Sibu earlier this year for a road show and seminar to be held throughout Sarawak to attract more Chinese participation.

The two-day road show in Miri was the third after Sibu and Bintulu.

Members of the federation and parents who turned up for the seminar were introduced to educational opportunities in Malaysia National Defence University (UPNM) and Royal Military College (RMC).

The RMC campus shares its grounds with the National Defence University of Malaysia.

The courses offered include engineering, computer science and management, and graduates are inducted as full officers of the Malaysian Army, Royal Malaysian Navy, Royal Malaysian Air Force, government and private

The courses for next year will include actuary, law, music, oil and petroleum technology, textile and naval architecture.

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