YOUTH sitting for their SPM exams will not be selected for basic military training under the revived National Service Training Programme (PLKN 3.0), says Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
Although the new PLKN will be targeted at youth between 16 and 35, the Defence Minister said that those in Form Five will be exempted.
“Phase 1 of the PLKN will involve participants from schools whereas Phase 2 will be those who have left school, which is after their SPM examinations,” he said in a written reply to Dr Mohammed Taufiq Johari (PH-Sungai Petani) in the Dewan Rakyat yesterday.
Mohamad said that Phase 1 would involve Form 4 students and geared towards uniformed co-curriculum activities such as police and Bomba cadets, and scouts.
“The implementation will not involve Form 5 students to allow them to prepare for their SPM examinations,” he said.
Under the proposed PLKN 3.0, he said participants under Phase 2 will undergo 45 days of training where 90% will involve basic military training and the remaining time spent on nation building modules.
He said that 13 Territorial Army camps nationwide, including the Police Training Centre (Pulapol) in Kuala Lumpur, will be used for Phase 2 PLKN training.
He said that the revived PLKN 3.0 will cost RM100mil a year compared with RM500mil for the former PLKN schemes.
PLKN was first introduced in 2004 and involved the random selection of youths aged 18 for a compulsory three-month training programme.
It was halted in 2015 and reintroduced in 2016 before being 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.
On Oct 9, Mohamad agreed with MPs in the Dewan Rakyat for the new scheme to be scrutinised by a parliamentary special select committee.