SIBU: The government spends millions each year on National Service (NS) programmes as it reckons the NS camps as ideal places to groom youngsters into future leaders.
“Our government spends about RM600 million each year on the programmes,” Deputy Minister of Defence Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad said when he visited the Junaco Park NS camp here yesterday.
“We’re prepared to spend so much because we want to have more capable leaders in time to come,” he added.
He thus called on the trainees to be serious in their training, and especially to grow in the spirit of patriotism. He expected trainees to leave the camp with their heads held high upon the completion of their training.
According to the deputy minister, the trainees are carefully picked by the government to be the country’s leaders in the future.
He said: “Since the establishing of Akta Latihan Khidmat Negara in 2003, the government has made a decision to select those believed to have the ability to excel in this course and become leaders in the future.
“All NS camps in the nation have been given a leadership module which has never been practised in other countries,” he said.
This module, according to him, was not practised even in the local universities as it involved the heart and soul of the trainees.
He urged all trainees in Junaco Park to cherish the opportunity and take all the learning experience seriously.
“This year, we received about 1,786 people who have volunteered to join the programme after their names were not found on the selected lists.
“They felt it was a great loss for them for not being selected, so they volunteered,” he said.
Dr Abdul Latiff assured the trainees that they would leave the camp very much different from when they entered, particularly in the perspective of nationalism.
He said they would know more about the cultures of different races and were able to live more harmoniously with one another in the concept of 1Malaysia.
Speaking to reporters later, the deputy minister said the government had invested 20 to 25 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the development of human capital compared.
“This shows that the government is really making an effort to create capable leaders to serve the country in the future,” he said.