National Service authority owes families of trainees Noraini and Deng Wen Huan an explanation

Media Statement
Ronnie Liu Tian Khiew

(Petaling Jaya, Monday): While Malaysians are still waiting for a detailed report on the sudden death of National Service trainee Ye Jun Jie of Johor on 12 June 2005, they were shocked to see the "burnt out" face of Noraini of Kuantan on 18 June. And today, we saw Deng Wen Huan of Petaling Jaya walked out of the camp with a crutch (Nanyang, 20 June).

Noraini's father Abu Bakar has wanted her daughter to be released from the camp for immediate treatment when his family saw Noraini's serious conditions during one of the weekend visits. They were in the dark of Noraini's conditions after their application to leave the camp was rejected.

In the case of Deng Wen Huan, she was injured on 14 April this year at the Cancun Park near Pasir Mas, Kelantan. She received treatment only from a medical assistant as the clinic at the camp has no single medical doctors. Deng's parent was asked to send her daughter back to the camp after receiving a treatment at a hospital in Pasir Mas. Her conditions deteriorated further in the camp but her application to leave the Cancun Park was rudely rejected by the camp commandant. Even a letter to the Director General of National Service was in vain.

Deng's mother was said to be supportive of the RM500-million-a-year National Service program initially, thinking that the program would do some good to youngsters like her daughter. She's now of the view that NS was not a good idea. She feels that NS trainees should not be subjected to training under the scorching sun for long hours, and the meals should not be too spicy for the young adults.

The Director General of National Service owes an explanation to the families of Noraini, Deng and Ye. Those responsible for the inactions and poor management must be punished and sacked from the camps.

The time to review the entire National Service including abandoning it all together is long overdue.

National Service serves little purpose and has proven to be problematic. It certainly does not deserve an annual budget of RM500 million. We can use the money for projects and programs which are more useful for our young generations.



* Liu Tian Khiew, DAP International Secretary and NGO bureau chief