Monday, September 03, 2007

National Service Trainee Dies

I heard over the radio this morning that Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak has ordered an investigation into the death of 18 year-old National Service trainee Mohd Rafee Amir.
Mohd Rafee who died on Saturday night was an orphan but he had an older sister who must be so overcome with grief because it was to her that he informed of his fever that developed after his leg swelled following a fall during training at the Cheneh Cemerlang Camp in Kemaman.
Jubaidah was quoted by Bernama to have said that Mohd Rafee told her last Saturday that his leg had been swollen for a week.
She contacted the camp authorities but they more or less told her to buzz off because they knew better.
On Saturday (Sept 1) night she called the camp but was told that he had already been sent to the hospital.
Mohd Rafee died on the way to the hospital.
Read her story here.

I don't know what to say.
Another death?
Are we to expect that during every National Service session?
One, two or three death(s)?
Do statistics matter?

What are we sending our kids to?

Mohd Rafee had no parents. He had an older sister and four other siblings who are living with their uncle in Kuala Selangor.

Let's not pretend. If we had our way, we'd NOT send our kids to the NS camps.
I used to believe that there was good in this training because ......well because...

I'd really like to know if any of our national/political/high-flying leaders -- present and now - had their kids or grandkids sent to the NS camps since the programme started.

I bristle just knowing that some of our leaders send their kids to expensive exclusive boarding schools abroad.
I think they ought to be admonished!

Anyway, let's see what comes out of the invesitgations into Mohd Rafee's death.

18 comments:

A.John said...

This NS program is total a failure.You know it, i know it and the govt. knows it. But they still carry on this hogwash of an exercise for purposes best known to them. Students coming back from the NS camps are no better off than they were before. Only fellows benefitting from this are the suppliers / vendors for this NS camps. In the above case a police report should be made against the camp warden and he be charged for manslaughter. But my biggest disappointment is as to why Lee Lam thye is still associating himself with this progrma run by incompetent idiots! It is possible an idiot cannot recognize another idiot!

Hi&Lo said...

Malaysia is not good enough for those ruling elites, be it health, education or anything. They use power vested in them to serve themselves.

Malaysia is in shit now cos of misplaced priorities over the last 25 years or so.

If only we got our basics right, we would have been first world by now. I remember very clearly one Umno leader asserted Malaysia is not interested to forge ahead if Malays are lagged behind.

But does Umno care for the Malays whom they claim to champion? What is fit for the kampong folk is not fit for their families.

Anonymous said...

This is the very thing my friends and I were arguing about over the Merdeka break. My friends claim that I am not patriotic towards my country.

I told them no child of mine is going to attend this camp. If anything were to happen ,government will blame GOd first then followed by strings of excuses but that will not bring a dead body back to life.

I have decided when time comes and my child's name listed, I shall pay the penalty if not go in, sit and count the bars. By then I hope to pack her away in a far away land safe from all vultures claiming this ill planned camp promotes 'Bangsa Malaysia'

Lily

MARIANI said...

Kak Aina,

The only Minister that I have seen sending his son for the National Service was Datuk Shafie Afdal (am I spelling his name right?). I was visiting my niece at UPM Campus and he was visiting his son.

My niece is an only daughter, the eldest of all her cousins on his papa's side. The "kakak" to my children. She had a good time there and really enjoyed her stay. As for her little cousins and aunties, we enjoyed the picnics we had every weekend while visiting her....

Anonymous said...

"All are equal. But some are more equal than others" - from Animal Farm.

AHIRUDIN ATTAN said...

I believe that we don't have well-trained trainers for the National Service program. The government can say they do, but there have been way too many deaths since the NS program was introduced. It is a good program with good intentions but very, very bad results. You don't need a commission to tell you what could have gone wrong. If the trainers are all perfect, then there's only two other possibilities: 1/ our 18-year olds die way too easily 2/ it's God's will, so let it be.

No, it's not 1/ and it's not 2/. The PR people (I heard it's Fox Media or Fox Communications) should just come out with it: we don't know what the hell are doing or supposed to be doing in those NS camps.

Shelve the NS program and investigate but investigate not just Mohd Rafee's death but what makes the program such a flop. No need for Lee Lam Thye to shed another tear. Just find out the problems and solve them. We need the Singaporeans to train us on how to conduct the national service, go ahead. We need the Austaralians to do it for us, go ahead. Heck, bring in the Israelis if only they can ensure that they can come up with a NS program that won't cost us the lives of our young ones.

p.s. I hear the Education Ministry is thinking of re-introducing public caning in schools to overcome the worsening disciplinary problem among school children, or so the deputy minister Nor Omar said. Now that is an incentive for the ministers and deputy ministers and politicians to send their kids to the local schools, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

When its TIME for us to go guys, we will GO. No matter where or when..Blame anyone you all like, the fact remains, its just TIME to go and for this student, its HIS TIME. Al Fatihah and condolonces to his family.

Mr Bojangles said...

I can only begin to imagine the pain and anguish the sister went through as she frantically sought to help her sibling. Against the bullying and intimidating system what chance did she have? The camp commandant must have used all the authority vested in him by this NS scam and enjoyed his new found power to bully this helpless orphaned girl by telling her to buzz off.
And now we will wait for the report of the cause of death. And we will see Najib's NS executioner Mr LLT sheding some crocodile tears over this death.Mr Najib himself may appear on the news red eyed and sad on the news as he announces another investigation. And another committee will be set up. And another eyewash will occur. And the warm friendly Malaysians will soon forget. And BN will go on its merry way plundering
and gouging the malaysian landscape with its insidious brand of government.

Dancy said...

Assalammualaikum .

Another death .........sigh ...... Will it ever end ?

The first NS death was my colleagues's son .He was the eldest son and eldest cucu on both her and her husband's side .How their hearts broke .......

I do think the NS program is good.... only the trainers are lousy and perhaps incompetent ....and complacent .

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

dancy: i do believe we are not ready to implement this programme.
how can we run the programme when the trainers are ill-qualified to train the participants, who are all fresh out of school.

i hear horror stories of badly-run camps where indiscipline reigns.
i haven't confirmed the stories. i hope they are not true.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

a john: personally, i think it was implemented in a rush. definitely part of a political agenda.
very malaysian style.

they can't make up their mind -- military training or what?
and kids are picked at random which is really not fair.
so the point is -- whaaaat is the NS program all about?

hi&lo: i think some of our elected national leaders are shameless when they display their wealth.
will there come a time when our leaders are humble, incorruptible?

did i hear someone tell me to migrate to an other planet?

Lily (anon@4:26pm): frankly, when the govt anounced the NS program, I was all for it. I was thinking about the Spore program. All my male relatives (over 18) in Singapore are military-trained. If there is a war tomorrow, they can easily take up arms or whatever military assignment given them. I envy them.
I think that is good. But Singapore is a small nation and I suppose it needs as many ofits citizens to take arms when the time comes.
ours, of course, is diferent. no military. for male and female. trainees picked at random.
but that's ok.
what i and many malaysians oppose is the way it is run and the deficiencies that were present from the start. why start at all, then?

mariani: apa khabar, mariani?
it's good to know that shafie afdal had his son in the NS program.
I certainly hope that most of the NS camps are as fun as the one at UPM.
Good to know that yr niece was there.
Take care!

anon@7pm: so true! and this is 2007....way past the expiry date.

mr bojangles: indeed. let's hope najib and lam thye don't disappoint us.

anon@10:15pm: I agree. But, man proposes, God disposes.
Of course, if it is time to go, then we cannot defy that...
but I believe in Qada and Qadar - that while Allah is in complete control of our destiny, he has bestowed upon us freedom of choice. Allah still controls us in some way but has permitted us to choose between right and wrong, although it is still in His knowledge that we will do right or wrong.

"This is an admonition: whoever will, let him take a (straight) Path to his Lord. But you will not, except as Allah wills: For Allah is full of knowledge and Wisdom." (Surah Insan 76:29-30)
"And if it has been Allah's Plan, they would not have taken false gods: but we made you (O Muhammad) not one to watch over their doings, nor are you set over them to dispose of their affairs." (Surah An'am 6:107).

So, I believe that the ALmighty
does not will all our decisions but they are all in His knowledge.
I also believe that He executes our decisions (bad ones) not because He likes them but because of our freedom of choice.

So, yes...when our time comes, we have to go. But, we can prevent bad things from happening we are in position (because we have akal and etc) to make choices and execute them.
we have to be responsible for our actions... at the same time I do also believe that things happen for a reason.

Be that as it may, we cannot be fatalistic because it is the most convenient thing to be.

Just my humble opinion.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

rocky (ahirudin):

perhaps, those rich politicians did the right thing by sending their kids abroad, or to expensive private schools here.
i refused to send my kids to private schools because I am a product of the national education sytem, so are my siblings and my nieces and nephews. we turned out ok. no hang-ups.

but, gradually i saw a deterioration in our national education system. i read the text books. i studied the curicullum. i am not a teacher. i am not an educationist. but i am not illiterate. anyone like me -- fairly well-educated -- can deduce that there is rot there.
and then the teachers... not all but enough to make you worry.

so, yeah... perhaps private schools --here or abroad -- are the answer.

so when they have the NS program, I thought..cool. Maybe our kids could learn something there.

...aaah. so Malaysian. great plan, intention, idea... but poor implementation.

Anonymous said...

I think NS is a good idea but as always the implementation is questionables.

Unfit camps and trainers with no medical helps there make parents questioned the effectiveness.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ms Nuraina,

I am a Malaysian, and honestly when I heard of the national service , I got a bit excited and my dad assured me that the government will always do the best for our nation's building. But then being a mother I did ask myself did these fellows really sit and run thru the programme properly because to me it sounded like one guy got off from his bed one fine morning and said' yeah baby, we will implement this' and went ahead to tell a grp of '*******' and all nodded happily and went ahead.
I agree with why we oppose this programme. Will it be too much of pride lost if we seek help on this programme from other countries? Like I said earlier my mind is made up, no national service for my child, no way am I going to a submit to hell hole, call me arrogant but no way. I know and understand life can be taken away from us at any point but why should I send my child to a place where there is potential danger.

I am a product of national , did well and have survived so far. My child i send to private school, bukan nak menunjuk but I dont have faith in national school at all. what more with an racist Education Minister!!!! and right now thinking and deciding whther to go into homeschooling. After all what chances do we have in this country?

Lily

Raja Zarith Idris said...

How many more must die before the authorities decide enough is enough?
One army officer told me that some of the instructors were those that the army had rejected. I'm not sure how true that is but if it is, then Malaysians have put our faith and trust to instructors who are unfit to look after our beloved sons and daughters. My son went through the army cadet training - I felt he was in good hands. I'm not so sure about the NS training.
It's easy to sympathize and say ok, let's have an investigation. It's harder when it's someone in your family who has died : your son or daughter, your brother or your sister...

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

anon@9:57am: an idea that is realised but is poorly implemented defeats its purpose.

lily : i understand your fears. you have lost faith in the system.

RZI: the questions we have asked...far too many times.

NS will not be scrapped, we can be sure of that. the govt will not admit that it was wrong in implementing the programme.
but if its a governmwnt of the people, for the people and by then people, it will take a very serious view of the latest death!
and make sureni will no recur.

Anonymous said...

they always say that they will investigate and take actions, but after awhile, everyone will forget about it till the next ns training session and another same incident happen, and they will say, oh we will investigate and take actions, and the same old, same old.

and it is good to know the Datuks get to send their kids for ns in the comfort of upm campus in the city. try to send their kids to one of those 'end of the world camps'. i bet they wont. sigh!

there is nothing much we can do against this stupid system.

Scott Kohlhaas said...

The NS system in Malaysia has already failed and must end immediately!

Would you be willing to spread the word about www.draftresistance.org? It's a site dedicated to shattering the myths surrounding the selective slavery system and building mass civil disobedience to stop the draft before it starts!

Our banner on a website, printing and posting the anti-draft flyer or just telling friends would help.

Thanks!

Scott Kohlhaas

PS. When it comes to conscription, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure!