You're 17 and just finished your SPM? There's good and bad news for you. The (not very) bad news is; the National Service Training Programme (PLKN) is back after a one-year absence.
But the good news is; it's now not compulsary.
National Service Training Department director general Datuk Mohmed Asri Yusof told Malay Mail Online that under the brand new and improved PLKN 2.0 (that's what it's really called!), teenagers now have a say on whether they would like to attend it or not.
Therefore, moving forward, only volunteers would be selected for the programme, Asri said.
“This is not the army. We do not want to torture them.
“Those applying through their schools are aware of this and now, we have more volunteers than places,” he was quoted by the news portal as saying.
What if a volunteer, after joining the programme, has a change of heart and decides that he/she wants to stay home and play video games?
Well, under PLKN 2.0, they can decide to opt out of the programme, even when they're halfway into it.
Image: The Star Online
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein told The Star Online
that the new programme is now split into two phases to make it more streamlined.
"The first and mandatory phase lasting for eight weeks compared to the previous programme's twelve," he was quoted by the news portal as saying, adding that trainees will be taught life-skills in the first phase.
Phase two, according to Hishammuddin, is totally optional and would focus on technical skills.
He also added that they have so far received a total of 66,000 applications for this year's edition, so PLKN 2.0 is looking like a success.