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