Friday, May 16, 2008

Save the ringgit

Malaysia's National Service is a joke, according to some. Yet others refer to it as an "Outward Bound Course" - fun and meaningful. At 3 months, it is 27 months short of what Singapore's more serious National Service is. However, Malaysia does not claim its National Service programme as anything other than social bonding stints. But some Malaysians think the bonding can be deadly - already 6 lives have been lost in its 4-year history. That is perhaps one death too many and some Malaysian want the NS abolished. The newly minted Opposition is carrying the flag for these people in Parliament, which is the only place where abolishing the NS programme can take place.

Predictably the government is not budging, but if the numbers in the abolitionist camp grow, then DPM Najib may not be able to hold out. Frankly, the current Malaysia NS is a waste of time. Social bonding? In 3 months? There is no quicky route to long term genuine bonding. It probably would take a lifetime to bond adequately. I say, save the ringgit for other more pressing national causes. But don't let the ringgit saved go into anybody's pockets.