Hishammuddin rejects Patriots allegations on NS programme (Updated)

KUALA LUMPUR: Defence Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein has called an army veteran group to provide constructive criticism rather than hurling baseless allegations over the National Service (NS) programme.

In response to a claim by the National Patriots Association (Patriot), Hishammuddin said such allegations were made by certain groups to take advantage of the coming general election.

"Those who want to hurl allegations against us must make with constructive views," he said.

"Why must the issue be turned into a polemic? We are not perfect. If there are any issues, they need to bring it forward to us," he added.

Hishammuddin said this in a press conference after attending the soft launch of the International Exhibition on National Security Asia and the Defence Services Asia 2018 Exhibition and Conference at the Malaysian International Trade and Exhibition Centre.

Patriot had claimed that the NS training programme has not produced results and failed to inculcate patriotism among the youth.

The group had reportedly alleged that this was partly due to the programme being handled by inexperienced personnel.

Hishammuddin said his ministry had previously asked for recommendations from various groups to improve the programme.

He added feedback from the veterans he had met indicated that the majority of the group appreciated what the government was doing.

"(However) to point fingers at us, it is not something that is constructive," he added.