supplementary national service training programme should be suspended
indefinitely as the police should not be burdened with a manhunt and
prosecution of some 7,600 “re-dodgers” when its top priority must be to
make the streets, public places and privacy of homes free and safe from
by Lim Kit Siang
(Petaling Jaya, Friday): The entire supplementary national service training programme should be suspended indefinitely as the police should not be burdened with a manhunt and prosecution of some 7,600 “re-dodgers” of the national service training programme when the top police priority must be to make the streets, public places and privacy of homes safe and free from criminals.
It has been reported that some 90 per cent of the National Service “dodgers” who have been given a second chance to answer a supplementary national service training call-up had not responded, and that at the close of the last day of registration of a special course for 8,559 “shirkers”, only about 10 per cent of them have come forward.
The National Service Training Council Chairman Prof Datuk Dr. Ahmad Fawzy Mohd Basri has said that the names of the “shirkers’ would be given to the police to locate and institute prosecution.
At a time when the police have not been able to show results in restoring to Malaysians their two fundamental freedoms – freedom from crime and the fear of crime - the burdening of the police with the new task of going on a manhunt and prosecution of some 7,600 18-year-olds on the ground of being “re-dodgers” of the national service training programme is only calculated to further undermine public confidence in the police force, the public service and the Prime Minister’s pledge of trustworthy and people-oriented administration as well as good governace.
This is because it will be the latest and most powerful proof of the failure of the authorities to understand the most deep-seated concerns of the people and to be able to have a proper order of priorities as to what should be the top agenda of the government and the police.
DAP had advised against the special course for the national service training “dodgers” until there could be full public confidence in the efficiency and the objective of the progrzamme, with all the problems, flaws and defects of the programme resolved, including the question whether spending RM500 million on less than 20 per cent of the 18-year-olds is the best way to instil discipline, national unity and patriotism among the new generation of Malaysians.
DAP calls on the government to suspend the national service training special course for two reasons:
There can be no good public interest reason why the police should be burdened with the task of launching a manhunt and prosecution of some 7,600 national service training ‘dodgers” when the police is struggling to roll back the crime wave to check and reverse the double rise in the crime rate and the fear of crime – as if 18-year-old “dodgers” should be treated as bigger criminals than snatch-thefts, robbers, rapists, murderers; and
Priority should be given to a comprehensive review of the entire national service training programme, not only its flaws and defects resulting in assaults, gross indiscipline, gangsterism, crime, rape and two unnecessary deaths but the whole policy question whether the RM500 million budgetted for the programme could not be spent in a more effective way to instill discipline, national unity and patriotism among the young generation of Malaysians.
* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader,
Member of Parliament for Ipoh Timor & DAP National Chairman