THE Defence Ministry (MINDEF) has stepped forward to address the concerns raised regarding the age limit for the upcoming National Service Training Programme (PLKN 3.0). Responding to public confusion and outrage, the ministry clarified that trainees for PLKN 3.0 would be selected based on their year of birth, with a maximum age limit of 35.
“There is a starting point in terms of year of birth for PLKN 3.0 participants. For instance, if PLKN 3.0 is implemented in 2024, then teenagers born in 2007 will be called to attend the training. If the chosen teenager cannot attend the national service training due to reasons that are allowed, they can ask for a postponement,” MINDEF said in a statement today.
“The maximum age for a trainee is 35 years old. MINDEF hopes this clarification will clear the confusion and outrage among the public regarding the age limit for PLKN 3.0.”
The announcement regarding the reinstatement of PLKN had stirred controversy particularly on social media, where netizens expressed skepticism and even ridicule. Working adults voiced concerns about the potential disruption to their daily lives if they were called up for the programme.
In reply to Sungai Petani MP Dr Mohammed Taufiq Johari’s query, MINDEF Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan fondly known as Tok Mat stated that the revival of the programme was endorsed by a special committee’s recommendations to the cabinet. He assured that the programme would be implemented in a cost-effective manner with a new format.
Moreover, only individuals aged 16 to 35 can be drafted for training under the PLKN Act, as determined by a proclamation from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong. However, recent rounds of PLKN primarily involved SPM-fresh graduates aged 17 to 18, with some exceptions for those deferring service for further studies.
MINDEF’s clarification aims to dispel misunderstandings and quell public dissatisfaction regarding the age limit for PLKN 3.0. – Nov 3, 2023
Main photo credit: Bernama