Why did the Malaysian Government introduce National Service? Discuss the advantages and the disadvantages of National Service. Which do you support? Why?
2. Advantages versus Disadvantages
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5. Appendix A: Summary of Major Incidents
6. Appendix B: Newspaper Cutting on a Coma Case
7. Appendix C: A General Time Table of PLKN
8. Appendix D: Budgets of PLKN 2004-2007
9. Appendix E: Distribution of PLKN‟s Camps
10. Appendix F: Pictures of Activities in PLKN
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Malaysian National Service Training Program, which is known Program Latihan Khidmat Negara (PLKN) in Malay, is our country‟s national service, which was first proposed in the year of 2001. In the following year, on the 30th of October, the Cabinet has finally agreed to establish a Cabinet Committee on National Service, which is chaired by the Minister of Defense to investigate matters related to legislation, curriculum, facilities and financial provisions necessary for implementation of National Service Training Program (quoted from PLKN‟s official website). As PLKN was first proposed, the target group was to be all teenagers who have just taken their SPM, or are 18 years old in the year of 2004, however, due to lack of resources and insufficient infrastructure facilities, the target group was then narrowed down to about 20 percent of the original number, chosen randomly through a computerized process. It is also notable that the program was originally planned as a two-year-program, but due to the mentioned reasons, it was later reduced to one year, then to half a year, and eventually ended up to its present three-monthlength. Following are the objectives of the program as published officially by the Department of National Service, or Jabatan Latihan Khidmat Negara (JLKN):
To enhance the spirit of patriotism amongst the younger generation.
To foster and to promote national unity and national integration.
To develop positive characteristics in the younger generation by the instillation of moral values.
To instil the spirit of volunteerism in the younger generation.
To develop a more vigorous, active, intelligent and confident young generation.
From the five objectives listed above, it can be plainly observed that the government is very keen in creating a healthy new generation. It is also observed that the government concerns a lot on the problems arising from time to time between different races, and that the government wish that by hosting this program, national unity can be enforced. This program was therefore started in December 2003 with 85 thousands teenagers participating, and it has continued for every year since then. The program had begun in the hope that it would be a successful way to encourage positive relationships between teenagers from different racial and ethnic groups. While the government is insisting that the program will help in developing a healthier new generation, however, there are other parties who suggest that the program has brought about many problems to the country and its people. In this paper, we are going to state both the major advantages and disadvantages of PLKN, and discuss if the program worth its cost. 2
Advantages versus Disadvantages
Everything has its pros and cons, so does the Malaysian National Service Training Program. Realizing that pros and cons are often interrelated and therefore cannot be understood separately, it‟s wise to discuss about them together.
Supposedly, the objectives of a program are to be the program‟s advantages, therefore let us start by looking at the objectives stated in the earlier section, and discuss if they have been reached. The first objective is to...
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