Thrust of PLKN 3.0 to enrich young Malaysians with values of unity, humanity - Experts

24 Oct 2023 10:28am
Photo for illustrative purposes only - Bernama FILE PIX
Photo for illustrative purposes only - Bernama FILE PIX

KUALA LUMPUR - The government is reviving the National Service Training Programme (PLKN) 3.0 as the core programme to produce young Malaysians inculcated with the values of unity, integrity and humanity.

Generally experts and former PLKN trainees are of the view that the government's initiative is seen as timely especially when the younger generation today is exposed to various negative foreign influences following the present technological developments.

Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Co-Curriculum and Student Development Centre deputy director Noor Mohamad Shakil Hameed said an integrated programme at the national level such as PLKN is essential in shaping the spirit of nationalism among youth according to the national model.

"We don't want the existing youth to drift away and become slaves to gadgets without paying attention to what is happening in our country or around them. I believe that such a programme would create awareness among youth of their responsibility towards religion, race and country.

"This will also help shape them into citizens who are passionate and have a strong sense of belonging and are resilient to future challenges," he said when contacted by Bernama today.

However, Shakil believes that the PLKN 3.0 training and learning module should be given due attention to ensure that the module provided is more holistic and meets the needs in facing the challenges of today.

According to him, in addition to training under a military concept, the preparation of modules such as physical modules, citizenship, character building and community service need to be given a new lease of life, especially in the aspect of respecting the Federal Constitution, issues involving the 3Rs (royalty, religion, race) and understanding of diverse culture of the country.

On Oct 9, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the government will revive PLKN 3.0 with different training methods, including requiring young people to undergo training at military camps.

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He said there are 13 Territorial Army camps that can accommodate a total of 20,000 trainees for PLKN training for 45 days.

On the proposed involvement of Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) veterans as trainers in PLKN, UPM Faculty of Human Ecology Department of National and Civilization Studies senior lecturer Dr Mohammad Nidzam Abd Kadir said it was a good move for the fostering of discipline among trainees.

"The selection of participants should also not be done randomly. There must be certain criteria. If the student has good morals, he should be removed from the list of participants. The selection also needs to involve students who have discipline problems at school, as one of the students' self-development efforts," he said.

Nidzam said the 45-day PLKN programme is also seen as adequate, but the content of the module and its implementation need to be focused and modified so that the training conducted is of high quality.

Meanwhile, a private sector employee Amiry Fahmi Muhammad Adnan, 31, said PLKN helps in the formation of positive personality and identity among youth, thus is seen as capable of producing a young generation that is not 'spoiled'.

"It is the best platform in applying the values of patriotism and sharing the knowledge of 'survival skills' which are difficult to learn these days and PLKN will also educate the young Malaysians about the science and art of defending the country.

"Taking the example of foreign countries such as South Korea, its national training is very focused on implementation. In fact, they (South Koreans) need to update their knowledge and pass national training within a certain period of time," he said, who joined PLKN in 2010.

A statutory body employee, Aina Natasya Zamri, 29, suggested that PLKN 3.0 be made mandatory for men only to avoid the occurrence of social ills as promiscuity which may occur during the training period.

According to her, the separation of training centres between male and female trainees is also a good move that needs to be considered by the government to reduce the risk of social ills and ensure more efficient and higher quality national training. - BERNAMA