Dear YB Fong,
Coincidentally I tried to send a letter (see below) to the Star yesterday voicing my concern as a parent. Since it was not published, I hope you can publish my letter on your blog and hopefully it reaches the right ears. By doing so maybe we can prevent a cover up of problems more serious than we thought.
This is an open letter to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye.
My daughter has been selected for NS training next year. Naturally, reading of yet another NS tragic death in the STAR yesterday (”NS trainee dies of fever”) we could not help feeling worried for our daughter’s safety and welfare.
More worrying is the alleged complaint by the victim’s family of the apathetic attitude of the camp officials when the victim’s sister called to enquire on the victim’s health condition after the victim had contacted his sister to inform her of his poor health condition. It was a desperate cry for help to his family to save him. He had to die alone.
It is not enough just to investigate the cause of death. The allegations of apathetic attitude of the officials must also be thoroughly investigated. These investigations must be conducted by an independent party and NOT by the Training Operations Sector Deputy DG. It is an extremely serious matter and the credibility of the entire NS project is at stake. There must be an open, independent and transparent investigation and any wrong doing or negligence must be punished severely. Anything less is not acceptable as lives of young people are at stake here. As parents we support the NS scheme and entrust the safety and well being of our children to the Government for the three months they are in the NS scheme. Anything happening to them during this period is the sole responsibility of the Government and as such, it is incumbent upon the Government to take all necessary actions to ensure preventive measures are taken to ensure their safety and well being . Making apologies or monetary compensation after a trajedy has happened is no comfort to the families of those affected. And please do not quote statistics. These are human beings and even one trajedy is one too many. If the Govt. can ground an entire fleet of aircrafts after a few crashes until we know what is the cause, surely the same concern is applicable after a few NS deaths.
We sent you a child in good health and we expect the child to return in equally good health.