NO to Barisan Youth trainers for National Service programme

Media Statement
Loke Siew Fook

(Petaling Jaya, Friday): It was reported in the press today that the Barisan Nasional Youth Chairman Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein said the movement will initiate a recruitment drive to help the Government to fill thousands of vacancies for trainers in the National Service programme which is scheduled to begin next February.  

He said members from youth organisations associated with Barisan Youth would have skills in the field of community services, which is one of the modules under the three-month National Service programme, to qualify as trainers.


The Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak revealed a few days ago that public response to fill up the post of 5,000 instructors was lukewarm.


DAPSY expresses our strongest opposition to the move of allowing Barisan Nasional Youth to recruit trainers for the National Service programme especially from amongst its members. This must not happen at all as the National Service programme must be ensured to be completely free from political interests.


There are already a lot of reservations to the credibility of the programme as the modules were monitored by the Biro Tatanegara and giving the authority to Barisan Youth to recruit the trainers will only strengthen the notion that the National Service will be turned into “Barisan Nasional Service”


Although Hishammuddin said that “The objective of the programme is to realise racial harmony and unity; political issue does not arise here,” when asked by reporters if the recruitment of Barisan youth leaders as trainers would be construed as injecting Barisan’s political influence into the National Service programme, his assurance is not convincing at all as he doesn’t seems to be drawing a clear distinction between his role as a Minister and a political party leader.


If he is committed that “political issue does not arise here”, than all Barisan youth components should have nothing to do whatsoever with the implementation of the programme.


DAPSY calls on the Chairman of the Cabinet Committee for National Service, Datuk Seri Najib Razak to publicly disassociate with the Barisan Youth’s proposals. If the Cabinet Committee is unable to find professional trainers to fill the vacancies, than they should seriously consider postponing the programme and review their poor planning and learn the mistake of ignoring our past criticisms that the programme was bulldozed without proper public consultation.



* Loke Siew Fook, DAPSY National Secretary