A SURVEY on the National Service Training Programme 3.0 (PLKN 3.0) showed the majority of respondents do not agree with the reintroduction of the programme that was abolished in 2018.
The programme was the brainchild of the Barisal Nasional (BN) government in 2002. The aim was to foster a sense of patriotism among the younger generation, promote racial harmony and national integration, cultivate positive character traits through moral values among others.
However, the programme was marred by claims that it was a political attempt to rope in the youth to support BN and then former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
Out of 3,112 BH readers who participated in a Facebook poll organised by Berita Harian, 67%, or 2,085 people, disagreed with the implementation of PLKN 3.0.
The reasons given by respondents are that the programme is not suitable at the moment, given the country’s financial constraints, and it would be better to prioritise more essential matters.
Another view is that the government should consider more cost-effective programmes and develop a more comprehensive alternative programme that benefits the citizens involved.
On the other hand, 1,027 respondents agreed with the revival of the programme but emphasised the importance of age-appropriate participation.
Among the points raised in favour of the programme is the necessity of instilling discipline in today’s youth, who are seen as too focused on leisure activities.
The same survey on the X platform showed that 55.5% of 1,531 participants believed that PLKN 3.0 should be reintroduced, while 44.5% disagreed with bringing back the training program.
The Defence Ministry (MINDEF) clarified that only teenagers born in 2007 would be called to participate in PLKN 3.0 when it is implemented next year.
Participants will be selected based on their birth year and there is a specific starting year of birth for trainees to commence PLKN 3.0. – Nov 4, 2023
Main photo credit: Kosmo