THE re-introduction of the National Service ‘summer camps’ have raised a lot of questions to the extent of sparking heated debate among Malaysians. Not least that participants can be up to 35-years of age.
To recap, the Defence Ministry released a statement on Nov 3 to clarify the age limit for the re-introduction of the National Service Training Programme (PLKN 3.0).
It said trainees for the programme would be selected based on their year of birth, and that only teenagers will be enrolled when the programme is revived. It further noted that the maximum age for participation is set at 35 years. It would not however involve students sitting for SPM.
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said PLKN 3.0 sessions will only last for 45 days and can be organised at the existing 13 army camps and one police camp.
The age limit has sparked many humorous responses from netizens who have reacted with many side-splitting memes. These are among the best posted thus far (courtesy of the SAYS portal):
@iamdrjoe named Tiger Balm among the essentials for a PLKN start pack on X (formerly Twitter):
30y/o and above PLKN starter pack : pic.twitter.com/iUu9nn37lM
— Jœ 🦷🪥🇲🇾 (@iamdrjoe) November 2, 2023
He then followed that up with an image underlining the potential awkwardness posed by the age gap of participants:
— Jœ 🦷🪥🇲🇾 (@iamdrjoe) November 1, 2023
@meowdillo shared an image showing local girl group DOLLA in uniformed fatigues saying the band had to postpone the release of their album due being enlisted to join PLKN:
“Malaysian girlgroup, DOLLA to postpone their full album release amidst their enlistment in the national service (PLKN)” – Dispatch Malaysia pic.twitter.com/5u2AjQodyd
— 🐱🇵🇸 (@meowidolla) November 2, 2023
Even some organisations decided to join in the fun with TGV cinemas posting about participants’ wishful thinking on PLKN:
Boleh cari jodoh tak kat PLKN nanti? 😂 pic.twitter.com/VrxM1lUe0k
— TGV Cinemas 🇲🇾 (@TGVCinemas) November 2, 2023
@imemerang poked fun at fashionistas who were agonising over their choice of threads at these ‘summer camps’:
Me packing for PLKN pic.twitter.com/YhscJarRFe
— Imran Bard (@imemerang) November 2, 2023
Possibly best of the lot was @ijaicool’s take on a popular meme featuring an anguished lady and a bored-looking cat which underlined the silliness of the potential age gap of participants:
Trainer: Kenapa kamu bergaduh ni? pic.twitter.com/sDMIG9fS8c
— Faizal Rosly (@ijaicool) November 1, 2023
While the memes are hilarious, they do highlight that the PKLN programme has not been properly thought through. Will it once again be abolished after a host of issues pop up, not least of which the economic cost of having to grant leave to those already part of the work force?
In the meantime, netizens will continue to create more mirthful memes to entertain a confused and concerned Malaysian public. – Nov 7, 2023