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140,000 NS trainees in 2009

PUTRAJAYA, 27 Dec 2008: A total of 140,000 youths have been selected to undergo the National Service training programme (PLKN) for 2009.

Deputy Defence Minister Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop said for the first session, 37,000 trainees would start gathering at 106 centres before heading to their respective camps, starting today and tomorrow.

He said 1,099 buses and 47 chartered flights would be used to ferry the trainees to 81 training camps nationwide.

Abu Seman told reporters here today that for the 2009 intake, 1,002 trainees were granted exemption based on the three accepted reasons of pursuing studies at higher institutions, undergoing government-certified examinations, and facing extreme difficulties.

The 2009 session also has 684 exemptions because of reasons such as being under detention, undergoing training in the armed forces or police, and having a serious illness as certified by government hospitals.

Meanwhile, PLKN Department director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kecil said those who failed to attend training without valid reasons would face action under the National Service Training Act 2003.

Since the programme’s inauguration in 2004, about 6,000 have failed to report for training. All their names have been submitted to the police for further action.

“Under the Act, the penalty can range from a RM3,000 fine to three months jail. However, the Act is being amended to include community service as penalty,” he said. —  Bernama


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