MCA PRESIDENT Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting urged Chinese parents to give their children support and encouragement should they be selected to take part in the national service.
The three-month training is scheduled to begin in February. Some 100,000 candidates would be computer-selected from 480,000 youths born in 1986.
Ong, who is the Housing and Local Government Minister, said the Government would pick both males and females from the various communities.
Sin Chew Daily quoted him as advising Chinese parents to allow their children to join the service without hesitation.
He told parents that the national service was not a military service and that it was not an exercise to prepare their children for the battlefield.
“It is an ordinary three-month training course with one month spent in a military training camp and the other (two months) on the campus of universities or colleges,” he said.
Ong said the Chinese had in the past given other communities the impression that they were reluctant to become soldiers or policemen. He added that they would cause more misunderstanding if they stayed away from national service.
On an unrelated matter, Sin Chew Daily reported that Lion Group boss Tan Sri William Cheng was expected to head the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KLSCCCI) to replace Tan Sri Lim Guan Teik, whose term as president expires next month.
The paper speculated that Cheng, who was KLSCCCI deputy president 12 years ago before he stepped down to become its adviser, was the most appropriate candidate to succeed Lim, who is barred by the body's constitution from seeking re-election for a fourth term.
Meanwhile, a Nanyang Siang Pau report said the Education Ministry has approved MCA's request for a RM40mil allocation for the construction and relocation of four Chinese primary schools in Selangor.
Quoting MCA education bureau secretary Lee Seng Chooi, the report said the three new schools – SRJK (2) Desa Jaya in Kepong, SRJK (2) Taman Connaught in Cheras and SRJK (2) Ampang – would be constructed while SRJK Hing Wah in Klang would be relocated.
According to the daily, Lee said that despite the freeze imposed by the ministry on school development projects for this year, the allocation was approved after the MCA president made the request to the Cabinet.
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