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Monday, October 27, 2003


National Service Programme

It has been sometime since the trainees have passed out of the dry run. This pilot programme must have been analysed but we are still kept in the dark regarding details. Meanwhile, those sitting for the SPM, have to have more on their minds apart from studying furiously for their exams which start on 13th Nov, will they be among the chosen ones. The first batch of actual trainees for the national service programme, consisiting of 17,000 to 18,000, are expected tol be notified by the end of December.
But details regarding the programme are still under wraps. Why is the need for such secrecy? If the programme is really welcomed by the people, the earlier the details are released the better for all---the trainers as well as the trainees and their parents, so that further imputs can be made before actual programme implementation.
According to a report in Malaysiakini the Deputy Defence Minister said details of the scheme - such as insurance coverage, allowances and names of members of the National Service Training Council - will be revealed only in December. This is probably to prevent further discussion and imputs from the people and alternative politicos and NGOs. Is this the right way to go about doing important things?
The National Service Training Council members have been identified, but the Deputy Minister has refused to reveal who they are. The council is empowered to oversee the training. It will consist of a chairperson, five members representing the government and between three and five members who will represent the country’s major ethnic groups.
The programme will focus on basic military training, patriotic training and personal development including community service. The Deputy Minister is also quoted to have said :: "At least the government is doing something to re-align the mentality and heart of youngsters, .this will definitely help in curbing social ills.". Now we must ask the Deputy Minister in what direction will these alignments of mentality and heart lead to and what will they achieve apart from curbing social ills like.....? More details please.



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