National Service And BTN Will Be Replaced With Cheaper, Politics-Free Youth Programme

Previously, it cost RM85,000 per trainee under National Service.

Cover image via Azneal Ishak for Malay Mail/Reuters

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman has announced that the framework for a new youth development programme is being drawn up

Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman.

Image via Azneal Ishak/Malay Mail

The initiative will replace the National Service (NS) and National Civics Bureau (BTN) programmes which were abolished in August

He added that the framework for the programme is already 70% complete.

The new programme will cost about RM70 million per year to operate, which is a fraction of the previous cost to run NS and BTN

New Straits Times reported the Muar MP saying that resources from NS and BTN will be combined to make this initiative more cost effective.

In comparison, NS had previously required an average cost of around RM85,000 to train a participant for two to three months.
Youth and Sports Minister Syed Saddiq Syed Abdul Rahman

He added in jest, "My law degree for four years was cheaper!"

Additionally, the Minister has promised that the programme will be "free from political indoctrination"

"It will be non-partisan and free from political indoctrination as BTN unfortunately was. In fact, we will be inviting representatives from all parties to be a part of this initiative," he said, reported The Star.

Currently, the Ministry is collaborating with sovereign national wealth fund Khazanah Nasional Berhad, accounting firm Ernst & Young, and Outward Bound School to create the youth leadership programme modules.

New Straits Times reported Syed Saddiq saying, "We are engaging all stakeholders, including schools and educators to pick the best and brightest to join the programme."

On August 13, the Minister announced the immediate abolishment of National Service and National Civic Bureau programmes

The move was welcomed, as the existence of National Service has been heavily contested over the years

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