Abdullah should direct that the background of all national service trainers be checked to prevent incidents such as the rape of a 18-year old trainee from occurring again

Press Statement
by Karpal Singh

(Ipoh, Wednesday): I call upon the Attorney General Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail to give his personal attention to the case involving a national service trainer suspected of raping an 18-year old trainee at the Suria Merang Training Camp in Setiu, Terengganu. 

The allegation is a most serious one as it involves a trainer who betrayed the trust reposed in him. There should be a top-level investigation to ensure justice is expressly and manifestly done. If what has been alleged by the girl is proven to be true, then there is not only criminal culpability, but also civil liability on the part of the director of the camp Mejar (Rtd) Abdul Rahman Samad for negligence in not providing for necessary checks and balances to obviate such an incident from occurring.


I am surprised National Service Training Council Chairman Professor Datuk Dr Ahmad Fawzi Mohd Basri has publicly admitted no background checks were done on national service trainers. His statement, “We did not have time to screen them but I would assume that the servicemen and ex-military personnel involved would be people of high discipline” lays wide open the possibility of civil liability on the part of the Government.


Professor Ahmad Fawzi says it was not possible for him to institute any immediate remedial measures because the National Service Training Council merely implemented Cabinet decisions. He adds, “The Council can only propose measures to the Cabinet Committee on National Service, which would in turn propose them to the Cabinet. It is the Cabinet that makes the final decision on any proposed measures to rectify the problems faced.”


Prime Minister, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should forthwith direct the background of all trainers be checked before other incidents occur which reflect adversely on the National Service scheme. The Prime Minister should take the lead in ensuring trainees, particularly girls, are accorded the necessary protection.


I have been approached by the father of the girl to look into the legal remedies available in the light of what has transpired. I am studying the position with a view to taking the necessary legal action.


The girl left for Kuala Terengganu yesterday to enable the police to take her statement. I hope the police will thoroughly investigate and expose any cover-up detected in the course of investigations.




* Karpal Singh, DAP Deputy National Chairman and MP for Bukit Gelugor