KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — Datuk Johari Abdul (Sungai Petani-PH) has suggested that a militarised national service should be set up to instil discipline in Malaysia’s youth before they enter university.
In his King’s speech debate in Parliament today, Johari said a sense of discipline will inculcate the will to survive among youth.
He added that this would lead to both “inner and outer strength” that supplants the mentality of depending on the government for jobs, citing countries such as Korea, Taiwan, Japan and China.
“Discipline is important. That is why I have been calling for the introduction of a military-style national service since becoming an MP in 2008.
“For example, our neighbours Singapore, Taiwan, Korea, and now China have been able to break out of the cocoon of poverty within 40 years.
“If you want the next generation to be disciplined and bolder, you should introduce national service,” he told Parliament today.
Datuk Seri Ahmad Maslan (Pontian-PN) then asked why Pakatan Harapan (PH) stopped the National Service Training Programme (PLKN) during their time in Putrajaya if Johari was so passionate about national service.
Johari, who was a co-whip for government backbenchers during the PH administration, said that the PLKN programme was bloated with dubious curriculum and contracts.
“Those who were involved only wanted to make money from PLKN. That is why I suggested we give it to the military,” he said.
Noor Amin Ahmad (Kangar-PH) then said introducing national service would be costly and not viable in the current economic climate.
“It is better if we focus on the problems of whether the youth have jobs or not.
“We have so many engineers, but government contracts are only given to F-class contractors that are controlled by politicians. Maybe we can change that,” he said.
Johari said although he agreed, he can’t see the country achieving its goal of becoming a high-income nation in 2030.
“If anything, we must have the courage to invest in our youth. We see our neighbour (Singapore) succeeding and we can copy it.
“If we do not change, we can set the goal (of becoming a high-income country) any year but we will never achieve it,” he said.