National service ‘will be apolitical’


  • Nation
  • Sunday, 04 Jan 2004

BY NICK LEONG

KUALA LUMPUR: National service will be apolitical and is about the creation of a Bangsa Malaysia, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. 

He said parents should not be unduly worried about their children being brainwashed with political ideologies or doctrines. 

“National service is conceived as a tool for nation building. Its end objective is the creation of Bangsa Malaysia,” he said after a dialogue with leaders of the Student Representative Council for Public Institutions of Higher Learning (IPTA) at the Putra World Trade Centre here yesterday. 

Najib, who heads the Cabinet Committee on National Service, said he did not understand why PAS leaders wanted to organise special courses to prepare children of its members for national service. 

“We do not have any political indoctrination for (national service) trainees,” he said. 

PAS Youth chief Salahuddin Ayub had said the party would hold “intensive courses” to prepare its supporters' children for national service. 

He said the course was necessary to dissuade them from the culture of hedonism while undergoing national service. 

He said the party had also learnt that national service would be used to discredit PAS. 

Najib said the special committee on national service was tallying figures on trainees who were seeking postponement, and the list of trainees would be gazetted after that. 

“Trainees can only seek to postpone national service due to educational reasons,” he said. 

Najib said the 42 camps being built for national service were being prepared for the first intake in February. 

“We will seek other alternatives if the camps are not ready due to any reason,” he said. 

Commenting on the meeting with the IPTA student leaders, Najib said they pledged their support for national service. 

“They want to help by explaining national service to the people and clear any misunderstanding that may arise,” he said.  

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