National Service programme should be revived, says ex-DG

The National Service Training Programme was stopped due to the high cost involved. (Bernama pic)

KOTA BHARU: Former director-general of the National Service Department Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil says he supports the revival of the National Service Training Programme (PLKN).

He was responding to yesterday’s Dewan Rakyat discussion where Pontian MP Ahmad Maslan called for the revival of PLKN as it had been successful in instilling patriotism in youth despite the high cost incurred.

Hadi said national unity is more fragile without any structured programmes.

“PLKN was established as a result of the Youth Patriotism Convention held following the Kampung Medan riots in Selangor.

“Let’s not wait for another Kampung Medan incident to happen before the government begins to think of a solution,” he said in a statement to Bernama here today.

Hadi said a 2010 study undertaken by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, which involved 60,000 respondents, including former trainers, parents, community leaders and others, showed that all objectives of PLKN had achieved a more than 80% success rate.

The findings of another study conducted in 2013 by Universiti Malaysia Perlis, which involved 4,000 respondents in eight universities, showed that from a maximum score of 10, PLKN’s objective of “identity development” achieved a minimum score of 8.89, while “patriotism” scored 8.68.

“There is no denying that PLKN involves high expenses but the scope of training and the number of trainees can be restructured to suit the current capabilities of the government.

“However, stopping PLKN directly for the purpose of saving government expenses can be considered a waste of logistics and infrastructure expenses that have already been spent by the government and the private sector,” he added.

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