Use NS budget for education

The government should stop hounding the NS shirkers. They should be allowed to continue their schooling without interference. Doing national service would stress them out and this would affect their studies.

Besides, spending RM500 million on the NS is not a prudent investment. The money would be better spent on building more fully equipped schools in the rural areas and good roads connecting towns with the hinterlands so that the rural populace can better market their produce to consumers.

Or the RM500 million could be just placed in a fixed deposit account where it could generate RM20 million a year. Just by utilising the interest alone we could send hundreds of students, especially the poor ones, to universities or colleges. The impact would be better felt this way.

As of now, instead of solving problems, we are creating more. One of which is the tracing of these NS shirkers. Our overstretched police force could be better utilised to solve criminal activities throughout the country, snatch thefts among others.

Instead of NS, our youngsters should be encouraged to participate in voluntary organisations, non-governmental organsiations (NGOs), the Boy Scouts, the Girl Guides, the Boys Brigade, the St John's Ambulance and various charitable entities while waiting for admission to colleges or universities.

Participation in these organisations should be taken into account as one of the criteria for entry into colleges or universities. Later, when they apply for jobs, their stints in these organisations should also be taken into account.

If we are going to spend half a billion every year, in the next decade we are going to spend five billion ringgit. Think about it - how many thousands of our children can be sent overseas for further studies for 10 years with this sum? It's staggering.

As it is now, only a few connected people are laughing their way to the bank. They are the food and uniform suppliers, among others.

Spending the NS allocation on education instead could also be one of the best ways to improve race relations for it enables our students to further their studies either locally or overseas.

Their selection could based on the racial composition of the country: 45 percent for Malays, 20 percent for Chinese, 10 percent for Indians, 10 percent for bumiputeras from Sabah and Sarawak and the rest for others.