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Malaysia to Revive National Service – PLKN 3.0

Kuala Lumpur: The National Service Training Programme (PLKN) 3.0 will be continued, but with a different training approach, including requiring youth to undergo training at army camps, said Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.

There are 13 Territorial Army (Wataniah) camps that can accommodate up to 20,000 trainees for the PLKN training programme lasting 45 days, he added.

“In 2021, the Cabinet has given the approval to continue PLKN as it is highly beneficial in providing our youth with basic knowledge on nation-building.

“A special committee has been established by the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) to study how we can revive PLKN, but with a fresh template, not using the old approach where it was more like a summer camp.

“But this time, we want to implement PLKN without spending a lot, but will greatly benefit participants,” he said during the question-and-answer session in the Parliament today.

He answered a question from Syed Ibrahim Syed Noh (PH-Ledang) who wanted to know whether the government was considering to revive PLKN as an initiative under the ministry.

According to Mohamad, PLKN 3.0 will be implemented in two phases, with Phase 1 conducted at the school level involving Form Four students, with focus on enhancing existing uniformed body programmes.

“After completing Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM), they progress to Phase 2. In this phase, they will be welcomed by other agencies.

“In the past, they just participate and enjoy themselves, but after that, there was no continuity. Their introduction to the programme was not acknowledged, and they were left in confusion and lacked proper guidance,“ he added.

Mohamad said the Phase 2 PLKN training will only take 45 days with its 90 modules being military-focused to build the participants into resilient, energetic, and healthy youths, while 10 per cent is based on nation-building initiatives.

PLKN 3.0 aims to prepare trained youths with strong character and a deep love for their country, which will equip them for future employment in crucial government agencies such as the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), the Malaysian Fire and Rescue Department, and the Civil Defence Force.

By organising PLKN 3.0 in military camps and police training centres, and employing military personnel as instructors within these facilities, the government could cut annual spending from RM500 million to RM100 million.

Instead of adopting templates from Singapore and Korea which are tailored to focus on manpower deployment, PLKN 3.0 will be using a customised version of our own template Mohamad said, adding that the paperwork was currently being prepared at the ministry level and will be submitted to the National Security Council (NSC) for approval before PLKN 3.0 commences.

PLKN was introduced in December 2003 featuring a three-month physical, patriotism, character building, and community service modules. Every year, 85,000 to 95,000 participants join, with an annual cost of about RM600 million.

It was ceased in 2015 to save cost and resumed in 2016 as PLKN 2.0 with around 20,000 trainees per year. However, it was abolished in August 2018.

Meanwhile, during a press conference at the lobby of the Parliament Building, Mohamad said construction of the first littoral combat ship (LCS) is expected to be completed by October 2026, with all major equipment ready to be installed.

After the construction is completed, the LCS will be taken to the dock for two tests: an assessment test in the port and an evaluation test at sea, which will take up to 11 months.

“It will be approved for use by the Royal Malaysian Navy (TLDM) to safeguard the country’s maritime sovereignty only if it passes both tests,“ he added.-Bernama

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