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Tuesday October 7, 2008 MYT 7:22:33 PM

National Service: Jane has to attend

KUALA LUMPUR: Jane Lim, whose brother Ricky died after National Service (NS) training, cannot be exempted from the programme as requested by her parents, said National Service Training Council chairman Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe.

Tiki said the council could only consider postponing the start of training of Jane, 17, after having discussed the matter with NS Training Department director-general, Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kecil, as it involved legal issues of the programme.

“The decision was not easy as we had to refer to several sections of the NS Training Act 2003 and as there is no specific provision for exemption for such cases,” Tiki told reporters after a ceremony to take over his duties at the NS training department headquarters here on Tuesday.

Ricky died on Sept 15, eight days after ending his training at the Asahan Melaka NS camp. Following his death, his parents requested that their sole surviving child be exempted from NS training.

The cause of Ricky’s death is not known.

Tiki said Abdul Hadi had visited Ricky’s family before Hari Raya Aidilfitri to extend sympathy and condolences on his death.

“The family does not blame the NS department for their son’s death but just requested that their daughter be exempted from the programme as they did not want to be separated.

“We understand their feelings and sympathise with them but we cannot make a different decision as it is written in the NS Act,” he said.

An another note, Tiki said three months were given to all NS camps’ operators to upgrade and ensure their camps were safe for trainees.

”I will make surprise visits to the camps to ensure they are safe,” he said. -- Bernama

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