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Tuesday, April 20, 2004


The PLKN Debacle

The PLKN debacle continues, while some parents worry sick fearing for what their children may have to suffer and endure, the MINIster in charge rattles on about his not so assuring assurances that all would be well. Meanwhile PLKN council member, Tan Sri Lee is urging parents not to panic or speculate on the alleged rape incident as the council has taken steps to prevent a repeat of such an incident. Haven't parents heard all that before?
Requests by parents, the youths concerned, alternative parties and NGOs for a better planned PLKN and for the programme to be implemented later fell on deaf ears. Inputs and suggestions from them also fell on the wayside or were put in the garbage bin or put into cold storage. So hastily, surreptiously, in the most secretive and non-transparent manner, the PLKN was concieved and born. What can one expect of a 'baby' concieved under such conditions, but the mess it is today.
Much time must have been spent on concieving the 'cool uniforms', the transport contracts, the food catering contracts, the trainer sourcing contracts and yes the 'YES2NS' discount contracts. All these contracts smells of unhealthy activities. The PLKN now appears more a commercialized event than a programme to unite the youths of ours and to achieve stated aims of the PLKN, which seems to have faded into the background.
The latest incident is probably the last straw for many concerned parents. Many must have wished they could rush off to the various camps and bring their children home. The lastest incident is shrouded in mystery and smells.
From thhe media sources, the incident is said to have happened on the night of 28th or 29th Feb, in the trainer's car, after he had given her, a 17 year old trainee, a lift to the bank. How she left camp without the commandant's knowledge is a mystery. Why she went out at night alone with a male trainer is another. Anyway after the incident she had brought it to the notice of the camp officials. All these happened during the 1st phase of her PLKN training in Terengganu. Next mystery is why did she not bring it up to her parents' notice? It is only when she moved on to phase two of her training and after seeing that no action had been taken, she reported the incident eventually to the KL police when she moved on to her next phase of training on 13th April (some 6 weeks later). The police swiftly moved into action and the suspect, a 29 year old army man was apprehended.
From what has been reported the police has a cold trail to follow and much evidence may have gone missing. But with everyone from the PM down clamouring for fast action, police 'CSI' team may surprise us.
In the meanwhile, lets not speculate but allow the police to get on with their investigations. This incident has brought out in the open when many of us have suspected, the PLKN in its hasty conception has many aspects which has been overlooked and not subjected to stringent screening. The recruiting of trainers has been slipshod and has been contracted out, this has been admitted by none other than the PLKN Training Council Chairman Prof Datuk Dr Ahmad Fawzi Mohd Basri. He reportedly said no screening was done on the current batch of trainers, comprising servicemen and ex-servicemen, due to time constraint.
What should be done now is for all those involved in the PLKN, in its planning and development and implementation, to admit that the whole programme has been a sham right from the word go and with the present mess it is in, it should be suspended. It should undergo the process of being overhauled, thought through, brainstormed and put through the entire works with all rules and safety measures in place for the safety of all, before it is reintroduced.




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MALAYSIA, a great place to be in, BUT we can, will and must make HER better.
You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one
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IMAGINE:youtube::John Lennon

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