I REFER to your report, Three new parents among trainees reporting for NS(The Star, July 16).
I am both surprised and sad that these young parents, two mothers and a father, have to leave their babies for three months to attend national service.
One of them is Malisa Maningot from Kota Kinabalu.
She is leaving her three-month-old baby who is still breastfeeding to the care of her husband who, in turn, has to give up his job in a timber camp.
One wonders how are the father and baby going to fend for themselves financially during the three months and after that.
Yet another is Nurashikin Rosli who had to say goodbye to her eight-month-old son since “I have to go as I do not want to be charged in court.”
How painful the separation would be for her and the baby.
It is indeed sad to see such a good and well-meaning programme turning into something that becomes the reason for such a tearful and unnecessary separation.
Separating an infant from its mother or father unnecessarily is cruel.
More so since the Government, in its numerous campaigns, is all for the strengthening of family ties and preserving close bonds between parents and children.
Exempting the young parents from participating will not undo the good national service will do in general for our youths.
This single act of goodwill will resonate well with the Government’s caring campaigns and show its sincerity in organising such a programme.
I beg on behalf of Malisa, Nurashikin and Azuan Desa, who had to leave his nine-month-old son to attend the training, to either Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak who is in charge of national service or Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil to exempt them from the training and allow them to go home.