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Ministry planning for reform at military university

KUALA LUMPUR: The Defence Ministry plans to implement changes, including a major system review at the National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) following the death of cadet student Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain.

Minister Datuk Seri Hisham­muddin Hussein said the ministry viewed the matter seriously and noted that the UPNM management should not shirk their responsibility on the matter.

“I want UPNM and our military academy to be responsible. If there is a need to re-organise, we will review the system.

“They cannot wash their hands as we don’t want the victim to die in vain,” he told reporters at an event at PWTC yesterday.

Hishammuddin was asked about the action taken to curb bullying cases at UPNM.

The 21-year-old final year navy cadet officer died on June 1.

It was alleged that Zulfarhan may have been a victim of bullying due to a dispute over a laptop.

He was allegedly bound, beaten and burned with an iron.

Following the case, 13 students, all aged 21, were brought to court on June 14 to face charges under Section 330 of the Penal Code read together with Section 34, which provides for a jail term of seven years and fine on conviction.

Hishammuddin said he will announce the review and recommendations after he receives the full proposals from UPNM.

On a separate matter, he said the RMAF Hawk 108 fighter jet is still a good aircraft.

“We are not looking at other fighter jets,” Hishammuddin said, commenting on the crashed Hawk 108 in Chukai, Terengganu. Two crewmen died in the incident.

The Hawk 108 is a two-seater version of the Hawk 208 fighter, which launched airstrikes in Lahad Datu, Sabah, against an armed incursion by militants in 2013.


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