Minister discloses ethnic representation in Malaysian military

The Malays retain their majority participation in the military at 85.81% said Defence Minister Datuk Mohamed Seri Khaled Nordin.

“As of May 2024, the membership of the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) by major ethnic groups is 85.81% Malay. 

“The participation of Bumiputera from Sarawak and Sabah is 8.0% and 6.9% respectively. The participation from the Indian community is 1.5%, the Chinese community is 0.5%, the Indigenous community is 0.8%, and other ethnic groups make up 0.6%,” the minister said in a parliamentary written reply.

He was responding to Tan Kok Wai’s (PH-Cheras) request for the Defense Minister to disclose the current number of Malaysian Armed Forces members by ethnic group and whether the required strength of members adheres to the Defense White Paper guidelines.

He said the number of ATM personnel is considered confidential information vital to national defence strategy. 

“However, it is clarified that currently, the membership of ATM is sufficient and maintained at a high level of readiness,” he said. 

He added that the strength of ATM members currently also adheres to existing policies as outlined in the Defense White Paper (DWP), which emphasizes the recruitment of qualified and competent candidates, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering, management, and other related skills. 

“This ensures that ATM operates sustainably in achieving the national defence objectives outlined in the DWP,” he said.