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Wednesday, April 14, 2004


NS Shirkers--Bagi Chan Lah says Pak Lah

The ill-thought out NS training programme has resulted in its present problems. What is confronting the MINIster-in-charge of Program Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN) presently is how to deal with the 10,000 PKLN shirkers. That it is not prepared to deal with these shirkers efficiently shows how poorly the whole programme has been planned and again show up the PKLN as a poorly thought out rush job.

First the NS Training Council Chairman Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Fawzi Mohd Basri said Friday that the shirkers would be charged in court. Did he consider how the Council was going to trackdown all the 10,000 shirkers, so far only 2,700 of them could be contacted? If rounding up all 10,000 was possible, how long would it take to charge all of them in court? What would be the expenses involved? For those among the shirkers who are among the nation's work force, imagine the number of work-hours lost and the loss of income?

Next we have the public coming out clamouring for these shirkers not to be taken to court, that they be given a second chance and a more friendly approach in coaxing them to attend the national service should be considered.

Finally Pak Lah came out with the decision to give these 10,000 shirkers a second chance. Did he really have any other choice after being aware of the problems which would be encountered if the 'charge them in court' decision was carried out and the feelings of the public. Again this had the mark of a hasty unthought out decision.

The decision to give the shirkers a second chance has lead to logistic problems of its own. The ball now is at the Council's feet to implement the PM's hasty decision. Where to house these shirkers, when to have the training programme, who would their trainers be? The council would hold an emergency meeting on this Friday to address these issues. Would more problems crop up or would there be solutions? Till today the he location of the proposed ‘special camp' for some 100 troublemakers has yet to be identified.

When the day comes to finally analyse results of the PLKN, would the stated objectives of the PLKN be achieved? Considering the amount of taxpayers' money spent and the energies expanded by the trainees and their parents, the answer better be in the affirmative. If the stated objectives are just a pipe dream with the present state that the programme is in, the PLKN should be suspended in its present form and be introduced later after a thorough overhaul and inputs from all concerned.




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