DAPSY urges Datuk Seri Najib to set the month of May for public feedback for the national service proposal before submitting for Cabinet approval

Press Statement
by Loke Siew Fook

(Petaling Jaya, Saturday): Cabinet Committee on National Service chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has said on last Thursday that the proposal for national service will be brought up to the Cabinet for approval in May and the committee will deliberate on the proposal till the end of April before submitting it. Najib further revealed that the legislation governing national service would be drafted after the Cabinet approval and was expected to be finalized in June.

Going by Najib's announcement, it is clear that the Cabinet Committee is not going to allocate any time for public feedback on the proposal. Although the committee is still seeking the views of other groups on the national service
programme, there is no mechanism to ensure that these alternative views are taken into consideration and no process of appealing or to oppose the proposals by the committee.

The Cabinet Committee must realize that the proposed national service will be a very important national institution in shaping our youth and future generations in the process of fostering national unity. The government must ensure the success of the programme to achieve its intended purpose and objective that is to foster integration and unity among youth of different races and strengthen nation-building, not as a platform for brain-washing serving the political agendas of the ruling parties.

As the programme will involve hundreds of thousands of youth and a huge sum of public funds, the committee must ensure proper consultation and the participation from all segments of the society in the process of formulation of the programme. After the first draft of the proposal is completed, taken into consideration of all suggestions given by NGOs and political parties, the committee should give a time-frame for the public to understand the whole concept and to give their feedback.

DAPSY urges the Cabinet Committee on National Service to allocate the whole month of May to display the proposal of National Service in major public places nationwide to gather feedback from the general public. The committee shall review all feedbacks and make necessary changes to their proposals before submitting to the Cabinet for approval.

I will write to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to seek an appointment with the Cabinet Committee in early April to present DAPSY's suggestions and proposals on the National Service programme.


* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary