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May 16, 2008

National Service or Barisan Nasional Service?

betelnutchronicles - [...] To add salt to an already open wound, the Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak defended the hastily implemented programme by uttering these insensitive statements in Parliament yesterday.

He said since the programme started in 2004, there had been 16 death cases, of which 11 trainees died in their camps.

“The people are very happy with the programme despite the death cases. Their response is proven in the increased number of voluntary trainees from 929 last year to 1,137 this year,” said Najib.

I wonder how the people can be ‘very happy’ when there are cases of death in the camps. Did Najib meant ‘the people’ as the Malaysian people or the people running the programme? As I can recall, the general public have been up in arms against his baby project even before it was launched years ago. After four years and 16 deaths, can anyone seriously believe that Malaysians have turned around to support the National Service?

As for the increased number of voluntary trainees, 208 (ie 1137 minus 929) is too miniscule a number to be compared to 24,000 conscripted trainees. Najib must have thought that our mathematic skills were so poor that we could not see through his cosmetically covered up data.

Death can occur anywhere at anytime. It is sad that these people died at the prime of their youth. I could not imagine the sadness and loss that their family and friends have to go through.>> selanjutnya


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