Revised NS programme to include 45 days of army boot camp, says Tok Mat

KUALA LUMPUR: A revived National Service Training Programme (PLKN) will see youths undergo basic army training for 45 days, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

The Defence Minister said this was among the proposals submitted by the special committee set up to look at reviving the programme.

"This time round, we plan to do it in the army camps under the second phase as there are many Territorial Army (Wataniah) camps ideal for the programme," he said in reply to Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) in the Dewan Rakyat on Monday (Oct 9).

PLKN was introduced in 2004 involving the random selection of youths aged 18 for a compulsory three-month programme.

It was halted in 2015 and reintroduced the following year with participation to be made optional by 2019.

However, it was scrapped in August 2018.

In 2021, the previous administration agreed that the defence minister would set up a special committee to study the possibility of reviving the programme with a new template.

Unlike the previous PLKN which was more like a "summer camp", Mohamad said the revived programme will be geared more towards providing youths with army training.

Under the proposal, he said this training would be in the second phase of the programme, and involve those who had completed their SPM examination.

Under the first phase, he said uniformed bodies in schools would be empowered to prepare their members for the second phase.

"Some 90% at the camps will be more of army training while 10% will be on nation building," he said.

He said there are currently 13 Territorial Army camps nationwide which can provide training to some 20,000 youths annually.

Mohamad added that the proposal would also help save costs in running PLKN, bringing it down to less than RM100mil a year from the previous RM500mil.

He said a working paper by the committee would be presented to the ministry before being submitted to the National Security Council for approval.

However, Mohamad did not specify a timeframe for reintroducing PLKN, and agreed with the suggestion that the matter should be scrutinised by a Parliamentary Special Select Committee for further input.

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