PENANG: May 11, 2008
The National Service (NS) programme should be scrapped if the Government cannot ensure the safety of trainees.
Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said the Government has no choice but to scrap the programme if trainees continue to die while undergoing the program-me.
“Isn’t this an indication of the failure of basic safety security measures that are supposed to ensure the safety of our children at NS camps?
“Imagine the sentiments of parents who sent their children off to NS camps in buses but re-ceived them back in boxes. How would you feel?
“It is inhumane and cruel to continue with the programme if the trainees safety cannot be en-sured,” said Lim.
DAP leaders like Batu Gajah MP Fong Po Kuan has also called for the suspension or scrapping of the NS programme.
Lim said that if the Government wanted to continue with the programme, it should make it non-compulsory by giving the selected trainees the option of attending the programme or make way for others.
Lim told this to reporters after opening his political secretary and Komtar assemblyman Ng Wei Aik’s service centre in Lorong Seratus Tahun yester-day.
He also announced the state would give out free rice to welfare aid recipients.
There are 7,735 welfare recipients in the state and each of them will receive a bag of 10kg of rice each.