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Friday May 9, 2008 MYT 7:19:22 PM

NS programme causing too many deaths, says DAP

IPOH: Several DAP leaders are calling for the suspension or even the scrapping of the National Service programme.

Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan said she had submitted a notice to table an emergency motion in Parliament following the latest death of another NS trainee.

“There have been many deaths, which goes to prove that the programme is a threat to the safety and health of those taking part.

“One death is already too many,” she told reporters Friday after paying a courtesy call to Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin at the State Secretariat here.

The latest casualty, 18-year-old Too Hui Min of Geo Kosmo National Service Training Camp in Kuala Kubu Baru, died at the Slim River Hospital on Wednesday at 10.45pm after complaining of constipation.

Meanwhile, Kem PLKN Jiwa Murni Semanggol has been placed under quarantine by the Kerian district health office due to an outbreak of a "mysterious" fever.

At least 10 of its 300 trainees have been warded at the Taiping Hospital while 80 others are being treated at the camp since early this week.

Fong said this clearly showed that there were weaknesses in the programme as even the most basic needs of health and safety were not fulfilled.

“I will also be calling on Defence Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to stop the programme immediately as some 110,000 young people will be taking part this year,” said Fong.

Reiterating her objection against the programme, Fong said it was impossible to achieve unity, instil love for the country and build one’s character in merely 90 days.

Meanwhile, Ipoh Barat MP M. Kulasegaran suggested that the NS programme be suspended for a Parliament select committee to conduct a thorough study to see if it was worthwhile.

“The whole programme has become questionable as to who actually benefits. No parent wants to send their child to an NS centre, only to have a dead body returned to them,” he said.

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