I REFER to “Time to scrap national service” (Letters, June 23). I would like to reinforce what the writer stated about recalling national service (NS) “candidates” who are outside the form five leavers category.

I know of people who were selected to for NS but deferred it because they were already pursuing their tertiary education and are now being recalled even though they are working.

Despite the fact that they are working, the government wants them to put their careers on hold just to attend the NS and if the company interferes, the company risks getting sued by the government. What about jobs with training programmes stretching many months? Does the government expect candidates to simply put their careers and lives on hold while knowing opportunities wait for no man? Or should the candidates go ahead with NS and jeopardise their future?

I also know of another friend, bless him, who wanted to fulfil his NS requirements so that he could then focus on his career. He asked the NS administration if they could slot him into the earliest batch but to his dismay, he was told that nothing can be done and there may only be an opening in the January batch of the following year but even then there is no guarantee. To add salt to the wound, he lost a job offer from Bank Negara because he had not gone for his NS yet. Now his life is on a standstill; he can’t launch his career and lost a good job opportunity because of the uncertainty presented by NS.

So we get penalised (RM3,000 in fine or jail for six months or even both) for putting more importance on our future and career rather than “serving the country”? What about those who can’t afford to waste time not working as their families need to be fed?

Dear Mr Prime Minister, it’s time to rethink the NS.

Amanda
Via email

Source: The Sun – June 29, 2010