PORT DICKSON - They never intended to "play truant" by skipping national service training. Furthering their studies had been their priority when they were previously called up for the three-month stint.
They have now returned with their degrees and new-found careers to voluntarily continue where they left off.
Wong Kuen Her, 26, who completed his law studies at Universiti Malaya, said he returned to complete his NS training voluntarily.
"The experience which I have obtained here has been invaluable and something that one cannot learn at lecture rooms," said the NS trainee from the Sri Perkasa Camp in Mantin.
Teacher Siti Zafirah Zulkapli, 23, said although she only started work in June, she had applied for leave to complete the NS training.
"I must admit that I was sceptical when I first got the call-up several years ago but decided to attend after hearing about it from friends," she said.
Another trainee, Madihah Mahzan, 23, who is now an accounts assistant at a private firm in Seremban, thanked her employer for allowing her to attend the programme.
"I began working immediately after completing my diploma. Attending this programme is one of the best things that has happened to me," she added.
NS Training director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil said more than 60 per cent of the 20,000 trainees in the third batch of the current training are those who had skipped the call-up the last time but had come back on their own accord.
Those who reported back were mostly youths who had graduated from the universities as doctors, lawyers and accountants.