Government Revives National Service With New Training Approach For SPM Leavers

The National Service Training Programme (PLKN) used to be a three-month initiative.

Cover image via Bernama & Berita Harian

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The government is bringing back the National Service Training Programme (PLKN) that was abolished in 2018

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said this time, the training programme will be for 45 days, where trainees will undergo training at military camps around the country.

"We are looking at reviving PLKN but with a new template instead of the old template, which is more to a summer camp.

"With this new approach, we believe that the cost of undergoing PLKN can be reduced from RM500 million per year to not more than RM100 million per year," Mohamad told the Dewan Rakyat today, 9 October.

Image via Bernama

The minister stated that PLKN 3.0 will be implemented in two phases

According to The Vibes, Mohamad said Phase 1 will be conducted at school level, involving Form Four students with a focus on enhancing existing uniformed body programmes.

Phase 2 will be the 45 days of training, held after students complete their Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM) examinations.

"We aim to create continuity in PLKN 3.0, where we can enhance the existing curriculum module for Form Four students in secondary schools, so that they are ready for the second phase, which involves undergoing training in military camps.

"After 45 days of training, they can become part of the existing workforce, ready to join government agencies, such as the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department (JBPM), the Malaysian Civil Defence Force (APM), and the police, for instance," he explained.

Image via Berita Harian

However, Mohamad said paperwork for the template still needed to be presented to the National Security Council (MKN) for approval

"We believe that PLKN is beneficial in terms of cultivating loyalty towards the country among the youth, but we also want a new template to ensure that we do not overspend," said the Defence Minister.

He added that the new approach could cut costs as it will be organised in existing military camps and by employing military personnel as instructors within these facilities.

PLKN, initially introduced in 2004, was a three-month programme meant to train 18-year-olds drafted from around the country to foster patriotism and unity in a multiracial environment. However, the programme was abolished in 2018 due to high operational costs.

It was previously reported that an average of RM85,000 was required to train a participant during the programme:

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