KUALA LUMPUR - More than 100 Armed Forces personnel are living on a mere RM300 (S$118) a month because much of their salaries go towards paying debts.
This could be due to the personnel not spending wisely or spending beyond their means, said Royal Malaysian Navy Chief Admiral Tan Sri Abdul Aziz Jaafar.
"We have given a directive that every debt they incur has to be reported to the Armed Forces Salary Management (Ugat). The number is worrying," Abdul Aziz told reporters after awarding ranks to 30 personnel at the KD Sri Gombak in Jalan Padang Tembak here yesterday.
"Many personnel, not just in the navy but in the whole public service including the Armed forces, have very little take-home pay and very little left to spend because of their debts.
"If they have such a low take-home pay, it will affect their families especially their children. If there is an emergency, they could turn to loan sharks and even cheat or steal. This is not healthy.
"We will see how we can help those with debts. We have a divisional system where the division officers should know the situation of people under their supervision. If we know their problems, we can reduce the risk of other problems.
"I am also worried that these debts they have incurred are not necessary. We advise them to spend wisely only on important things."
He added that the navy previously helped some of its personnel settle their debts.
Abdul Aziz urged navy personnel to mind their discipline and stay away from unhealthy activities, especially drugs.