In the wake of the 16th National Service trainee death, there has been a huge public outcry but the authorities have responded in a way that begs the question …. Is life really so cheap in Malaysia?
Check out these 2 excerpts taken from articles printed in our local newspapers …
1. NST – 10th of May on why the National Service will not be scrapped.
“National Service Training Department director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kecil reiterated that the training programme will not be scrapped “just because of one or two deaths (this year*)”. (Read full article here…..)
*Note: Mind you, we’re not even talking abt a full year… its barely half a year to date!
2. The Star – 15th of May on why the NS trainees death should not be debated in the Parliament:
“AN opposition MP expressed dissatisfaction that emergency motions tabled to discuss the death of a national service trainee and the Internal Security Act were rejected by the Speaker……..
….Manogaran was referring to Fong Po Kuan (DAP–Batu Gajah)’s emergency motion to debate the latest death of a trainee on Tuesday which was dismissed on the grounds that it was not urgent.” (Read full article here….)
I am saddened by the words used in relation to the deaths of the NS trainees. Is life so cheap in Malaysia that ‘just because one or two’ of them die, the figure is not significant enough to be classified as urgent? And, because it is ‘not urgent’, does it mean that it can be reduced to a mere statistic?
So what would a significant statistic be … obviously, not one or two, right? What about 16 deaths over the past 4 years, would that be a significant or an insignificant figure? An average of 4 deaths a year, significant or insignificant? Well, significant or not, even 1 is too many for the parents of the deceased children.
The youths of today represent the nation’s future. They could have been the leaders of tomorrow, they could have been mothers, fathers to the generation after. But… we will never know would we, coz they’re no longer here with us.
Aren’t we supposed to be warm, loving, caring Malaysians? I would like to think that the answer to my question is “NO, LIFE IS NOT SUPPOSED TO BE CHEAP IN MALAYSIA!” … So, would it be too much to ask for a little more sensitivity displayed ……..? To quote opposition MP Manogaran “If the death of a national service trainee is regarded as non-urgent to discuss in the Dewan, I do not know what else is urgent.”
Please have some HEART!!!!
P.S. A partial summary of 11 NS trainee names & the respective circumstances of deaths(including Too Hui Min’s – the latest casualty), is available in this link.