Najib should take serious view of mounting cases of fights, sexual harassment and breakdown of discipline in national service training camps to ensure that tragedies like beating to death of Farid Ibrahim at a religious school hostel in Seremban will never happen
Media Statement (2)
by Lim Kit Siang
(Ipoh, Friday): Deputy Prime Minister and Defence Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said yesterday that the disciplinary problems posed by a few national service trainees should not be blown out of proportion and that “we should not over-react”.
Najib should take a serious view of mounting cases of fights, sexual harassment and breakdown of discipline in national service training camps to ensure that tragedies like the beating to death of Farid Ibrahim, 16, at the hostel of the SM Agama Datuk Kelana Petra Maamor in Seremban will never happen under the national service training programme.
While I fully agree with Najib that fights in the national service training camps should not be seen as a racial conflict, as youth sometimes quarrel over small matters, such incidents should not be taken lightly in our multi-racial society.
Najib should also understand and appreciate the concerns of parents about the welfare and safety of their children with the increase of such incidents, which should not have taken place if there is adequate preparation for the national service training programme.
Najib must ensure that the national service training programme is conducted efficiently, fairly and professionally and that there is full accountability and transparency with no attempt to deny or cover-up unpleasant incidents at national service training camps when they occur – or there will be a slump of public confidence in the programme.
Furthermore, elected representatives like MPs and State Assembly representatives should be allowed to visit the national service training camps to get first-hand information from the camp authorities and the trainees concerned whenever there are untoward incidents, if the government is not to lose public confidence and support for the programme.
* Lim Kit Siang, DAP National Chairman & Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor