LABUAN, Jan 23, 2015:

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said if National Service (NS) stakeholders do not come forward and attend the upcoming lab, they should only blame themselves if decisions were made and they were left out next year.

This year’s NS has been suspended due to budget constraints as well as to revamp the programme as announced by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

Following the move, accusations have surfaced that the operators and permanent staff will be undeservedly paid for services not rendered though Hishammuddin has denied this.

“Accusations that they will be freeloaders is not true because (the revamped) NS 2.0 requires them to be retrained.

“This means that this year, we will discuss in the lab I announced and all stakeholders must attend this lab,” said Hishammuddin while speaking to reporters at the Labuan air base today.

However, he called for the stakeholders, which include non-governmental organisations (NGO), parents, camp operators, trainers, alumni and former trainers to step forward and be involved in the decision making process.

“In January next year, we want to hit the ground running.

“This one-year suspension will not negatively affect them, but they must step forward. If in the new NS, you are not included, don’t blame me, blame yourselves,” said Hishammuddin.

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