Friday, 9 May 2008

Another death...

...to add to the statistics. Sigh.


Eighteen-year-old National Service trainee Too Hui Min (pic) died on Wednesday from a colon infection while undergoing training at the Geo Kosmo camp in Kuala Kubu Babru.

She was due to complete the programme on June 7.

According to media reports she had complained of a stomach ache at about 3pm on Wednesday after taking chicken rice for lunch together with other trainees. She was given medication. At 5.30pm she was sent back to the camp to be examined. Around 8pm she was taken to Slim river Hospital for further checks. At 8.30pm she was admitted for observation and at 10.45om she died.

Yes, just like that.

Her mother, Chin Kwee Choo, 52, has lashed out at the National Training Council for not taking her daughter to the hospital immediately after she complained of having a stomach upset.

The Health Ministry would investigate the case - how Hui Min could have died of infection just hours after complaining of a stomach ache- while the National Trainig Council said it would conduct its own investigations to determine if there were other factors.

Hui Min was the 16th National Service trainee to have died during training since 2004 and the second this year.

Read the story here.

(Another death... another tragedy. What can I say? Are we to expect that during every National Service training session? So how many more must die before the authorities decide enough is enough? Just shelve the programme, I say. There have been too many deaths since the proramme was introduced. Good intention yes, but bad implemention - typically Malaysian.)

9 comments:

beth said...

Tok mommy,

If I were a mother, believe you me, I will never send my son/daughter for NS. I just dont have trust and confidence in the training officers.

I dont want to send them to a death camp. An exaggeration, you may say.

Not if you look at the number of casualties

Hi&Lo said...

Kak Ton,

Like you said, just a statistics. Ordinary lives have no value to the authorities as to them the fatality is relative to the number of trainees in the camps.

I believe most of the deaths are avoidable if due care is given. Were the sickened trainees treated and attended by qualified medical officers? Correct diagnosis and treatment are paramount in saving lives.

pemerhati said...

Yes, Kak Ton. Another death and another tragedy. Another investigation. Where will all this lead to?

Someone must take responsibility and there should be accountability.

There has been too many casualities.

Whoever is in charge - the Ministry - must accept responsibility for this tragedy.

reporter said...

I wonder how Najib is going to respond this time around.

Remember how he defended the National Service programme the last time after a trainee died in September last year.

He said: "ONLY 14 trainees had died.."

Indeed the number of deaths is mere statitics to him.

Like Zorro of Zorro unmasked said: one more death...you think they care?

a mom said...

"Hui Min's mother lashed out at the out at the National Training Council for not taking her daughter to the hospital immediately after she complained of having a stomach upset."

I would too, you know. She has every reason to be angry.

I mean why couldnt they take her straight to the clinic?

Wont you do that if your child is unwell? If it is serious then take her to the hospital. You dont have to wait.

Dont they care about these kids?

If you cant run the programme properly then you dont have the f..king right to be there in the first place.

Now you know why most parents are against the NS.

The number of deaths is proof that the the personnel who manage these camps arent fit to administer the program.

postman said...

This is a letter from a concerned parent sent to malaysiakini which I would like to share with you guys.
-----------------------------------

NS deaths: Are you parents dead too?
Prof Dr M Tajuddin M Rasdi | May 9, 08 4:54pm

My heart goes out to the parents of Too Hui Min from Selangor. How many National Service deaths does that make? I have lost count. They are dying right in front of our very eyes. Wake up or are you dead too? Never mind our different races, religions and socio-economic status. We are parents and we are patriotic Malaysians who love our country dearly.

But that does not mean we automatically trust those who are in power. Far from it. I wish to do a content analysis of two news report today, one from The Star and the other from Berita Harian. We can see a clear pattern emerging on how the news media and their political masters think about these deaths.

In The Star report, the story was carried on page 3 with an announcement of the death made on the front page. The Star also made another report on a camp infested with dengue cases where many NS trainees were warded. The Berita Harian report was placed way back on page 19 with no announcement in the front page. The Berita Harian did not carry any other NS story.

This probably shows that The Star people are very concerned about the incident and the Berita Harian people mungkin tak berapa kisah sangat. Is it about ‘protecting the National Service or simply that the victim is - dare I say it? - is a non-Malay? Your guess is as good as mine.

The Star quoted the victim’s parents in saying that their daughter informed them several days ago about her stomach pains and the parents wondered aloud why the camp officials did not react earlier. The Berita Harian report contains no quotes by the parents.

But the Berita Harian report has a very interesting quote from an unnamed officer at the Slim River Hospital Forensic Unit as follows: ‘Pegawai Unit Forensik Hospital Slim River mengesyaki penyakit itu dihidapi Too sebelum mula menjalani latihan di kem berkenaan, 18 Mac lalu." which says that Too contracted the condition before joining the camp.

So very convenient! So very nice for the NS director-general! No investigation is done yet and the conclusion is probably half way made already! This, as usual, will absolve all the camp officials of responsibility of the death.

Listen parents. To me they seem to be intoning their standard mantra again - ‘It’s YOUR FAULT that your son or daughter died. Lain kali make sure dia sihat dulu sebelum masuk kem lah. What gall.

The story in Berita Harian seems to follow the same pattern as other reports I have read where it is made as if the victim ‘suddenly fell sick’ and suddenly died before the camp officials could react.

The Star report says that an internal investigation will be conducted. I don’t remember reading any report of all these ‘internal investigations’ in the media. Even if I did, as an academic I would not give much credence to a single source, totally non-independent committee report.

So parents, please, wake up. I send this message to YOU. The NS director-general is not going to listen. The political leaders don’t seem to care. So it is up to US. What should we do? Never mind the trainees are Malays, Indians, Chinese, Kadazans, Dayak, Iban or what-have-you. They are all OUR children.

We must demand a full independent and public inquiry made up of professionals selected by us and not appointed by those camp people. I am not anti-National Service. I am totally anti the camps’ leadership and management team. They should all be sacked and if they are proven cases of pure neglect, they should be prosecuted. No less.

In the mean time heed my words carefully. Call your children in the NS camps every two days. Don’t take any chances if your children call in sick. Go to the camp. Demand to see your children. Take them to your doctor. If the camp people refuse to give permission, camp outside the camp and make yourself a bloody nuisance until they do. These tips will probably safe your children’s lives.

Anonymous said...

What the fark is wrong with the Government> Why ev'ry batch of the NS trainee program must end with a tragedy?

How can I trust those running the camps with my kids? This is not the first time, mind you.

Anonymous said...

IS THERE ANY POSSIBLE WAY THAT WE CAN AVOID OUR CHILD FROM BEING SENT TO THE National-Sacrifice?....not all parents have the money to send them overseas !! what else can be done? pls help !! MY DAUGHTER IS 17 THIS YEAR !! I AM SURE THERE ARE A LOT OF PARENTS LIKE ME WHO IS VERY WORRIED AND YET WE DUN HAVE OTHER OPTIONS LIKE SENDING THEM OVERSEAS .

17 YEAR OLD said...

....CAN WE LIT CANDLES AGAIN IN MEMORY OF THOSE KIDS WHO DIED ? HOW ABOUT MARCHING UP TO THE YANG DI PERTUAN AGUNG WITH PHOTOS OF THOSE WHO DIED DURING THEIR NS STINT ? BTW...I AM 17 THIS YEAR AND MY FRENS AND I ARE REALLY WORRIED..!!!!!! WE HEARD A LOT OF " STORIES " FROM OUR SENIORS WHO HAD GONE THRU NS... LOTS OF INCIDENTS NOT PUBLISHED IN THE NEWSPAPERS INCLUDING RAPE N SEXUAL ABUSE....PLEASE...CAN SOMEONE PLEASE SAVE MY BATCH WHO ARE BORN IN 1991 N ELIGIBLE FOR OUR NS END OF TYHIS YEAR !!! UNCLE LEE LAM THYE...ARE U LISTENING ?