PETALING JAYA: National service (NS) trainees in the upcoming session will be able to spend time with their loved ones during major festivals.
NS Training Department director-general Kamaruzaman Mohd Nor, in outlining the new guidelines in allowing trainees to leave the camps, said the teenagers could take up to three days' leave depending on the distance of their homes to the training sites.
Trainees from Sabah and Sarawak sent to the peninsula and vice versa, might be granted a few more days.
“We believe in the importance of sharing festive cheer and joy with family members. This is applied to religious-related holidays and important celebrations of an ethnic group,” he said, adding that this included Christmas, Hari Raya Haji and Chinese New Year.
“Only those celebrating the festivals will be released while those remaining in the camps will be occupied with other activities, such as cultural programmes which will help them to form a better understanding about the festivals their friends are celebrating,” he said.
Several festivals will take place during the training period of the NS 2005 first intake between Dec 13 and March 6.
Christmas falls on Dec 25, Hari Raya Haji on Jan 21, Chinese New Year from Feb 9 and Awal Muharram on Feb 10.
Kamaruzaman stressed that parents must be present at camps to pick up their children or entrust a guardian to do so.
“Parents have to show documents, such as an identity card or passport, to prove their relationship with the trainees.
“In the case of guardians, he or she must have a written approval from the trainees' parents, who are required to call up camp commandants in advance to make arrangements,” he said.
A total of 85,000 individuals born in 1987 are enlisted for the 2005 session. They are divided into three batches to undergo the three-month training in stages. The second intake will be held from March 14 to June 3 and the third intake from July 10 to Sept 30.
To check the names of those enlisted, call the hotlines at 03-2681 3446/1554/2476/ 3771/ 5760/ 7298/ 8543/ 9070 between 8.30am and 6.30pm from Monday to Friday and between 8.30am to 2pm on Saturday.
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