PUTRAJAYA - The National Service Training programme (PLKN) for 2015 has been suspended as part of cost-cutting measures, says Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
The Prime Minister, who announced revisions to Budget 2015 yesterday, said the suspension of the programme would save the nation RM400 million (S$148 million), adding: "This will also allow the programme to be re-examined and improved."
Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said a discussion would be held to further enhance the programme.
"Next month, the Government will conduct a laboratory (discussion) involving all stakeholders, including parents, about reviewing the PLKN and its direction for the next 10 years," he said.
PLKN director-general Datuk Mohmed Asri Yusuf they would talk about matters related to administration such as standard operating procedures.
"We will discuss with the Performance Management and Delivery Unit (Pemandu) and we hope to implement our findings next year when training sessions resume," he said.
The current intake since last December will be the last batch for the year. This training ends next month.
Hishammuddin said the positions of all stakeholders including PLKN centre operators, trainers and permanent employees would not be affected by the move.
Cuepacs president Datuk Azih Muda hoped that none of the trainers and workers under the National Service would be terminated or given the option to take any voluntary separation scheme.
"We hope that they could be transferred temporarily to other relevant agencies or ministries as they have financial commitments," he said.
There are three intakes for PLKN involving 75,000 to 80,000 students every year. There are currently 32,000 trainers in the programme, which started in 2003.