PEKAN: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will come up with a full assessment of the national service programme, whose first batch of trainees concluded their stint recently.
He said the assessment would be a conclusion of all reviews made by the trainees.
It is important that the assessment is made based on the reviews of the participants themselves, he said after launching a sports event at SK Lepar near here yesterday.
Najib was asked whether he was satisfied with the achievements of the national service programme so far.
Let me come up with the full details next week. If I say I am satisfied then the public might say 'of course he is satisfied, he is the minister in charge', he said, adding that the participants would be the best individuals to rate the programme.
As it has only been held for the first time, there is room for improvement for the programme, he said.
Asked to comment on a recommendation made by DAP chairman Lim Kit Siang that a panel be set up to review the weaknesses of the national service, Najib said the Government was open to all views and recommendations, even from the opposition.
Asked also why the Malaysian national service did not follow in the likes of programmes in Singapore and Thailand, he said:
The mandate I received was based on a paper from a patriotism seminar two years ago and thus, our national service model is more inclined towards nation-building and not a military scheme like in Singapore, Sweden and Korea.
Based on that paper, the Cabinet decided on the current model.
Najib said turning the programme into one based on a military model would be a total policy change.
He also told reporters that the Government was looking into strengthening the skills and capabilities of the national service trainers.
To a question on the capabilities of the trainers, Najib said all had been trained and were not first-time trainers but were quite experienced in their areas of specialisation.
In Sitiawan, Perak Education, Human Resources and Multimedia Committee chairman Datuk Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said the state would propose to the National Service Department that a post-mortem on the performance of each national service training camp be carried out.
Dr Zambry, who is the state NS inspection board chairman, said areas to be looked at were improving control on the movement of trainees, having more qualified trainers with better salary schemes and ensuring all training camps were well-administered and managed.
He noted that one NS camp in Perak was constantly inundated with problems caused by trainees and trainers because it was not properly managed.
Apart from recording between four and five untoward cases, the camp also experienced a shortage of food supply due to poor administration.
We are monitoring the camp closely including suggestions that a few trainers who are not well-behaved be sacked to prevent similar problems from occurring, he said.
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