Saturday, June 21, 2008

Review NS programme, says Lam Thye

Review NS programme, says Lam Thye
KUALA LUMPUR, June 21 ─ Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye, who retires as National Service (NS) Training Council chairman when his three-year term ends tomorrow, has called for a thorough review of the programme.

In a statement today, he said the review was necessary after five years of the programme's implementation and it should cover all aspects including training modules, training quality, health and hygiene, food quality and camp management.

He said he brought up the matter to the council and NS Training Department at a meeting on June 3, at the end of third batch of NS training.

"I proposed that the review should be conducted without fear and favour, involving not only the Ministry of Defence, NS Training Department, Health Department but also other stakeholders such as non-governmental organisations, the private sector, former trainees, concerned parents and other experts interested to offer their views and suggestions.

"The council accepted my proposal which will be implemented by the director-general (Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil) during the NS training break between September and December," he said.

Lee also said he had decided not to seek reappointment as NS Training Council chairman, and Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who is Defence Minister, had accepted it.

"I do not wish for my service to be extended because I feel I have done more than my fair share of national service.

"After five years of offering my service to the National Service Training Programme, I feel that the time has come for me to vacate my position and leave it to the minister concerned to find a suitable successor who can provide sterling leadership to the council and bring the programme to greater heights," he said.

Lee became a member of the NS Training Council when the programme began in 2004.

He said his retirement from the chairmanship of the council came with a sense of fulfilment, knowing that he had served his best without any conflict of interest and had acted according to his conscience.

"As I leave I still maintain that the NS training is a good programme for our youths in terms of building character, confidence, discipline, voluntarism and inter-racial understanding.

"This has been testified by the vast majority of the more than 300,000 trainees who have successfully undergone the programme," he said.

Lee said the NS Training Department required a more caring approach and attitude, strong camp management as well as total commitment from all those involved to ensure success in the future.

"Hopefully the programme will be further improved after the proposed review with more inputs from the various stakeholders," he said. ─ Bernama

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