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Tuesday, April 27, 2004


PLKN :: Najib Satisfied; Kit Siang Wants It Made Voluntary for Girls

With the recent turn of events and brickbats for the PLKN, the MINIster in charge still says that he is satisfied with the overall achievement and conduct of the National Service programme despite the hiccups. Najib said the people must bear in mind that this is the first time the programme is being carried out and therefore, it is not wise to gauge its success based on some incidents that had occurred, he also claims that the weaknesses can be rectified.
When asked by reporters for his assessment of the PLKN so far, he had the following to say ::
"If everybody adopt a positive attitude and understand this programme is to further strengthen the nation-building process and to mould a solid Malaysian race, I believe we can make National Service work," he said.
In efforts to plug loopholes and shortcomings in the programme, trainees who are to complete their training would be given questionnaires to answer and would be interviewed to get their feedback, he said.
Feedback from their parents would also be gathered to make improvements to the programme, added Najib, who is also Defence Minister.

On the other hand, the DAP chairperson has this to say ::
"The national service training programme must be made voluntary for girls following the allegations of sexual crimes."
"The cabinet should allow parents to withdraw their daughters with immediate effect if they desired to do so."

Mr Lim also said although Najib promptly offered his condolence to the family of the trainee who drowned, he was quicker in trying to exonerate the PLKN from any responsibility for the incident.
"What Malaysians see is not a culture and ethics of responsibility, but that of evasion of responsibility by ‘passing the buck’ for the many flaws, defects and weaknesses of the programme," he added.
The latest PLKN related scandal is that of an allegation of molest of 2 male trainees by a male trainer. Shouldn't Mr Lim also be calling for the cabinet to allow parents to withdraw their sons from the PLKN. Or will he make this call only when there is an allegation that a male trainee has been raped?
What Najib should do is halt the PLKN, re-do the whole PLKN and then make it voluntary for parents and youths to participate in it, but then the stated aims of the PLKN might be defeated? So why not just kill the PLKN and restore the system to the time period before the one who is now a Tun made any mention of it. But then again it might mean the death of the latest cash cow for the connected.


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