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ARKIB : 14/04/2004

MCA Youth to send memo on improving National Service - Ong

KUALA LUMPUR April 13 - MCA Youth is to send a memorandum to the government soon on ways to tackle problems faced in implementing the National Service and proposals to improve the programme, its Head Datuk Ong Tee Keat said Tuesday.

He said the MCA Central Committee, which discussed the matter at its meeting Tuesday, decided that a special committee headed by youth secretary-general Loh Seng Kok be set up to prepare the memorandum.

"The memorandum will be on ways to address the problems arising from implementing the programme. We'll submit to the government in full detail," he told reporters after chairing the movement's two-hour meeting, the first after the March 21 general election.

Ong, who is Youth and Sports Deputy Minister, however, declined to reveal the problems and proposals.

"We have some insightful information from the public. What we want is to come out with something positive," he said.

Ong said the movement wished to thank Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi for giving a second chance to the 10,000 National Service dodgers.

Last week, National Service Council Chairman Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Fawzi Mohd Basri said the 10,000 youths who failed to attend the programme after having been called to do so woud be charged in court.

They could face up to six months in jail and fined up to RM3,000 or both under the National Service Act.

Ong said the Youth CC meeting also decided that state youth leaders to keep tab on the progress of non-Malay students offered places in Mara Junior Science Colleges (MRSMs).

"MCA Youth leaders will visit MRSM campuses in Balik Pulau, Muar and Bandar Muadzam Shah to monitor the progress of non-Malay students to ensure our intention to help the government and MRSM enhance racial integration is achieved," he said.

He said the movement would also help high achievers to appeal to enrol in matriculation programme in local tertiary learning institutions besides assisting other students with excellent results to get Public Service Department (PSD) scholarships.

"As at 2.45 pm today, the MCA Youth Education Bureau has received 365 appeals to enter matriculation programme and 173 SPM top students, many of whom with 8A's and above, have applied for PSD scholarships," he added.

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