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Instant sacking of
“whistleblower” camp commandant Zulkarnain does not inspire confidence that
NS Training Dept prepared to give top priority to the interests and welfare
of the national service trainees as compared to the profiteering resort
(Parliament, Saturday) : Two news reports today do not inspire confidence that the trouble-prone national service (NS) training programme has learnt from all its weaknesses, defects, blunders, mishaps and disasters, including 12 trainee deaths in the past three years, viz:
The instant sacking of “whistleblower” camp commandant Zulkarnain does not inspire confidence that the National Service Training Department is prepared to give top priority to the interests and welfare of the national service trainees as compared to the profiteering camp and resort managements.
Zulkarnain, who received his dismissal letter from the NS Department on Thursday evening and was barred from attending the NS closing ceremony marking the end of the first NS programme this year, is clearly being punished for the New Straits Times report of the same day, “Trainees say it’s hell but company begs to differ”.
The report carried the trainees’ litany of complaints, which “run from boring exercises, run-down dormitories and grubby food to camp managers who just do not care”, with horror stories such as:
Zulkarnain said he had
repeatedly raised these problems with the camp management, which had ignored
This is a question Malaysians would want answer. Zulkarnain should be commended for speaking out against the deplorable conditions detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the trainees.
But this is another case of the whistleblower being punished for exposing weaknesses and defects of national service training camps, which will completely undermine public confidence that the National Service Training Department is serious about a full revamp of the national service training programme after the recent spate of mishaps and disasters, including:
Recently, public demands have escalated for the suspension of the national service training programme until there is a full review and revamp to overcome its weaknesses and defects, and even outright calls for its cancellation and for the programme to be introduced during the schooling period.
The latest developments, particularly the arbitrary sacking of whistleblower Zulkarnain, will reinforce the public demand for the immediate suspension of the national service programme as it demonstrates the incapability of the National Service Training Department to give top priority to the life, health, safety and welfare of the trainees above all other considerations.
Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic
Planning Commission Chairman
Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman