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Hey, NS! Leave our kids alone!

March 23, 2008

A Concerned Mom’s plea to Mr. Lee Lam Thye as published here in reference to The Star article: Family disputes dead girl’s post-mortem report

” I am very much against the National Service. If you have to loose a child like this you will understand the pain and suffering. Children who are raving forward to go into their future. Parents who have waited for 18 years to see their children grow up, imagine what they would have gone through to bring up the child. The financial burdens, the tuitions, the schools, and looking forward to see their children go to university and then to their careers….

” Think about the trauma these people go through. If law of Karma brings this upon your children or grandchildren, then you will understand Mr. Lee and the others who support the National Service. This includes the high and mighty Datuk Seri Najib….

” …. The least you can do is to LEAVE OUR CHILDREN ALONE!”

Despite its noble objectives, has the National Service programme become a ‘deathtrap’ for our children, as reported here? How many of our children have died since the pilot batch in 2004? Wikipedia has some facts and figures:

2007

  • Ili Ameera Azlan, 17, died on 18th January was attached to the Ayer Keroh, Melaka camp after suffering breathing difficulties.
  • 1 March 2007 P. Prema from Kajang, Selangor, attached to the Kisana Beach Resort Camp, Kelantan was found unconscious in a toilet at Jeram Linang (0230 hours). She was taken to the Tengku Anis Hospital where she was pronounced dead.
  • 3 September 2007, Mohd Rafi Ameer, 18, died at 10.30 pm after having fever for 1 week. Rafi called his sister and telling her that he had fever and that his leg had been swollen for nearly a week after he fell during training. Rafi death making a total of 20 death cases in the National Service training camps since 2004.

2005

  • Nurul Ashikin Karino, 17, died on 14th May at the Han Sui, Tawau, Sabah camp. Karino Jalani (father of the deceased) claimed that he was not allowed to meet his daughter who fell and was injured as part of a training accident.
  • S. Theresa Pauline, 17, died on June 11th was attached to the Karisma Camp, Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan. She was admitted to the hospital on May 23rd after having fits. Her death was attributed to viral meningoencephaliti. Her father, S. Sarimuthu was paid RM 32,000.

2004

  • Awang Mohd Fazil Awang Borhan, 17, Died on April 23 was attached to the Simalajau Camp, Bintulu, Sarawak. He was swimming with 36 other trainees at Sungai Cina, Matang, Kuching, Sarawak.
  • T. Saravana, 18, attached to the Ethnobotany Camp, Gua Musang, Kelantan. The trainee from 1614A Hospital Quarters, Taiping, Perak drowned while picknicking at Sungai Taman Wangi, Gua Musang, about 3 kilometres from his camp, with 250 trainees and 10 trainers.

Like all programmes initiated by the BN administration, when things go wrong the problems are conveniently swept under the carpet. There’s no serious investigation. No proper accountability. No determined will to review and improve.

One death of our precious children is one too many casualty for the programme to continue. How can the authority be so insensitive to the parents’ pain and plea? How do the people who are involved and profiting from the programme deal with their conscience and sleep at night?

i’d say let’s scrap the programme. Let not another anak Malaysia die needlessly. Hey! NS! Leave our kids alone!

This brings to mind one of Pink Floyd’s songs in their album “Another Brick in the Wall” which aptly captures our sentiments. The lyrics provided here have been modified to suit our feelings …

We don’t need no National Service
We don’t need no thought control
No dark sarcasm in the corrupt camps
Trainers leave them kids alone
Hey! Trainers! Leave them kids alone!
All in all it’s just another brick in the wall.
All in all you’re just another brick in the wall.

Original lyrics and video here:

From → Malaysia Upclose

17 Comments
  1. For me the issue really lies with the philosophy of NS in achieving its stated goals. It shows how poorly thought-through our policies are. First, does it have to be along military lines? How do firing bullets and jumping jacks make for a more integrated society?

    I understand a regimented NS in countries like Singapore, Taiwan, and Israel. It is tied to their national security. But Malaysia?

    There are other models we can learn from. i’ve written about this in a long posting at my blog. i don’t generally pimp, but it’s too long to elaborate… so if you’d oblige me this one time.

    http://bumiku.blogspot.com/2006/03/khidmat-negara-ver-20.html

  2. as one of concern parent (eventhough my kids still young), i agree that NS activities must be review…

    if they can’t give the best medical assistance to the participants than better abort the whole programme…

    if they want intergration, i believe there are many ways to do it… and one of them is the Sekolah Wawasan… what happen to these schools?

  3. Great information!

    But the govt are blind to the dysfunctional system. The NS has become an event that is fearful and scary. I won’t let my children attend. I rather they go to jail for 3 months.

  4. shrettel permalink

    We need to get together and start a movement to abolish the National Service. When we can gather enough momentum as we did to deny the BN their expected victory, we as a people of this country, parents with kids who do not want to send their children to these camps with serious problems in medical care. Only then will these people up there who are too far above start to hear our voices.

  5. rockybru permalink

    One of my favourite songs!

    And I agree. NS, leave our kids alone.
    If the Government is serious about having a National Service programme, let’s eat humble pie and study how Singapore has done it.
    Or get those who had gone through NS in Singapore to share their experience. I know one or two fellas, ex-Singaporeans, who will be more than willing to do national service for Malaysia by sharing what they know about the NS programme in Singapore.

    Cheers.

  6. Personally, I have no objection to National Service. However, the implementation of this program is totally screwed from its inception in 2001 to its execution in 2003.

    The training centers are more akin to Nazi concentration camps and the trainers are as poorly trained as the trainees. Where have the thousands that have been pumped into the NS program gone to?

  7. zhunxen permalink

    Well, the primary ‘objective’ for NS is to cultivate a racial harmony and the patriotism into the young minds of today. BUT… how can you train students when you cant even train yourselves?! But come to think about it, I dont really hear alot of ‘deaths’ in S’pore’s NS. Why? it is because their objectives are so much more clearer comparison to us. We are not sure what we want from the NS. Just tell me, what can you achieve in 3 months? I am pretty sure the kids will still be as goofy as they are. Racial harmony, patriotic mindset, and the spirit of caring and volunteerism among society can’t be achieve in this short period of time.

    All these ‘objectives’ needs to be cultivated not by trainers but by the parents. Good mindsets starts at home. Then it have to be follow up by the teachers, schools administrators and last but not least! our very own leaders!

  8. skwong permalink

    Please leave our kids alone, if you really need them to serve the goverment i would rather you send them to Penang to demontrasi for BN (soli also in kedah, selangor and perak, terenggnu ). This will give them the real meaning on “Gloggal”.The “hands on ” experience to “bersatu untuk malaysia”, Interaksi, one nation la… etc. The Gov of the day should allow RM600 m for weekly demontrasi so tat the new generation will understand the true meaning of demokrasi.
    We do not have the right to organise legal demontrasi, if we plan it it will be illegal. Only the BN demontrasi is legal. especially from umno. So Kidmat negara should include such activities and please get them to prepare insulting banners too. Get them rite at young. Get them to also behave like holigans. Umno well done.

  9. I have a different opinion on this.
    I went to NS this year (first batch).
    Yes, when I was chosen I was unhappy about it, I was thinking “why me?” all the time.
    But after experiencing the 3months away from home, with a bunch of newly made friends, I changed my mind about NS. It’s not about national security, you know.
    I found myself changed after that 3months, for the better. I became more independent, and I changed my mind about certain racial issues.
    It’s actually the things I’ve learnt in that 3 months, which made me think, well too bad for those who didnt get chosen or deferred NS, they’ve missed a once-in-a-lifetime lessons that you could only get in NS.
    I know the deaths and all those negative rumours about NS are mind-boggling. I know those can’t be ignored. But the percentage of unfortunate events in NS are very small. Nothing negative happened in my camp (Kem Geo Kosmo, Behrang, Perak)..
    Parents, you can’t protect your children forever you know. Why not allow them to leave your side for just 3 months to get some worthy experiences?

  10. w?k?9 permalink

    its time to rip off the national service plan, more unnecessary death is just awaiting.. i was there on year 2006 2nd batch kem kuala kubu bharu ..

    the not so good experience :

    -we dont have any cooked water to drink from – just filtered pipe water, alot of trainees was sick of course.

    – occasionally there were food poisoning reported, once my trainer accidentally ate a chick fetus from an egg !

    -i have friends from another room was sick with weird disease that made his face looks like being burnt, but he was fine weeks later.

    – one Iban friend i get to know from Sarawak, which got married at age 14. He was crying every weekends when he
    get calls from his wife.

    – btw i need to go college a semester late which starts on June but my 2nd batch starts on March, it gave me a long break which im not really looking for.

    – sometimes the punishment is way too strict, like one dude in the camp offended a trainer – ALL the boys was made to crawl on the floor as a lesson. Since were in NS Land everyone just obey and trying to pass the time quick.

    NS gave a pretty interesting experience to me, it has its good times but improvement should be made. Since from the public eye its just getting worse, its time to scrap it and use the money to make the country a lil more productive.

  11. Raymond Chan permalink

    The NS is just another excuse for the ruling government to pump more money into their own pockets at the expense of other people’s kids.
    They don’t give a damn about what happens to them, racism and ganging-up is rife, the so called trainers do nothing about it as they are not even qualified to take care of themselves.
    Personally, I think that it should be scraped, stop wasting taxpayers’ money and time, STOP THE MINDLESS KILLINGS OF OUR CHILDREN.
    I for one will not let my children attend these so called NS camps even if it means going to jail.

    Why force the Rakyat to depart with their beloved children.

  12. singaporeanboy permalink

    will be serving my NS this december. Proud to do so.

    Maybe Malaysian government should issue out videos of garang soldiers with advaced combat and cool graphic effects on tv, haha. Seriously, knowin’ that NS life is gonna be damn bloody hard and not that cool, I am still enamoured by the videos and of course, stories of teachers’ past NS-experience, ghosts lah, kena push up like mad lah and other stuffs which are morbidly appealling.

    2 years of NS life, I dread. Also, the reservist duties that one has to serve until one is 40yo (for NCOs) or 50yo (for officers), the interrupted life due to callbacks and mobilisations. However, the increased paycheck when working as civil servant is appealing. The bond of brotherhood, which is rewarding and I guess, NS in Singapore appeals to most of us boisterous youths due to its de jure status as a ‘rite to manhood’. And of course, *coughcough*, the ladies sure love the uniforms. =p

    Scary, this year there were a few incidents of death and almost fatal accidents. Every year, there will always be fatalities and grievous occurences. From what I know, 2 boys died this year. One police NSman got shot in the groin. Hell, there was even a grenade exercise that almost got ugly if not for a decisive 20yo officer. I am damn scared, my parents fear for me, but I guess I just have to grit my teeth and face adversity. Of course, reassurance by the government would be key.

    p.s. I’m quite surprised though that DAP opposes National Service.

  13. Alexwebmaster permalink

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