M16 training for NS trainees serves little purpose but poses high risks for all

Media Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Kuala Lumpur, Friday): As it is, Malaysian taxpayers have to pay more than RM500 million every year for the biggest camping exercise in the country. The proposed additional M16 training for NS trainees may not serve much purpose, but it would inevitably increase the cost of the program besides posing high risks to the trainees and the society in general. I hate to think about the possibility of arms heists and vulnerability of accidents in the camps.

Malaysia is very much different from countries like South Korea, Taiwan and Singapore. These countries were facing very serious threats from their neighboring countries, and it certainly makes sense for their young citizens to go through the national service in order to acquire military skills and be prepared for the worst.

Malaysia is relatively much more secured than these countries. We certainly do not need to spend so much money to provide military training for our young citizens.

DAP Selangor has in the past argued strongly on the point that the National Service serves little purpose and have called for a total review including abandoning it all together in a public hearing session conducted by the Parliamentary Select Committee on National Unity and National Service.

We have proposed to replace the National Service with other programs in both primary and secondary schools because we believe that starting young would be more effective and practical if the objective was to inculcate discipline and patriotism among our young generations.

The authority has not explained why they have increased the intake to more than 90,000 this year. I hate to think that this has something to do with someone making bigger contracts and profits.



* Liu Tian Khiew, DAP International Secretary and NGO bureau chief