PLKN 3.0 might not involve those still in school – Khaled

KUALA LUMPUR, March 12: The government will consider exempting those in school from the reintroduced National Service Training Programme (PLKN), Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said. 

He said this matter, however, was still under consideration. 

“PLKN may not involve those who are in school… perhaps after (completing) school. We are considering all of this, and we take note of concerns for the adjustments to be made,” he told a media conference at the Parliament building here. 

The government had before this announced plans to reintroduce PLKN, which was abolished in 2018, through two phases. 

Phase 1 will involve Form Four students through the Education Ministry (MOE) curriculum that will include co-curricular activities such as police cadets, firefighters and scouts while Form Five students, exempted from Phase 1 to allow them to prepare for the Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia examination, would join Phase 2 at the territorial army training camps.

Elaborating, Mohamed Khaled said the programme, based on 80 per cent military training and 20 per cent on nationhood theoretical courses, could be implemented next year.

“The coursework for nationhood will be discussed with the Higher Education Ministry as it involves unity elements and so on, and that will be given due attention. As for the military aspect, it will be handled by the Defence Ministry,” he said.

Earlier, when winding up the debate on the Motion of Thanks for the Royal Address for his ministry,  said the current progress status for the littoral combat ship (LCS) construction project as of January was 67.57 per cent.

“Nearing the end of 2024, the progress percentages for the construction of LCS2 and LCS3 are expected to be at 78.17 per cent and 61.48 per cent, respectively.

“Meanwhile, the work progress for LCS4 and LCS5 is scheduled to be at 53.40 per cent and 44.11 per cent, contributed by equipment and block module elements that have been built,” he said.

Separately, he said the Malaysian Armed Forces (ATM) Council is subjected to circular directives or any public service policies issued by central agencies such as the Public Service Department and the Treasury from time to time.

He said this was because under Article 132 (1) of the Federal Constitution, the ATM is part of public service, while Article 132 (2) (a) states that members of public service hold office at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.

“All public services are subject to laws and various directives issued by the government (as per) Article 133 of the Federal Constitution,” he said.

He was responding to concerns raised by Datuk Khlir Mohd Nor (PN-Ketereh) that the ATM Council does not need to heed directives and circulars from the Public Service Department regarding the issue of ATM veterans’ pensions adjustments.