Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Government must ensure that all National Service Camps and their training equipments and facilities are safe.

Yesterday DAP Secretary General and Chief Minister of Penang Sdr. Lim Guan Eng, Pakatan Rakyat MB Dato Seri Ir. Nizar, Sungkai Assemblyman Sdr. A. Sivanesan, Keranchi Assemblyman Sdr. Chen Fook Chye party members includinng my political secretary Sdr. Tanabalan and I visited the scene of the incident at Kuala Di pang. After visiting the scene we also called over to meet the family who had lost a daughter in this incident at Mambang Di awan, Kampar.

The collapse of the suspension bridge across Sungai Kampar which has caused the life of a participant at the 1 Malaysia Camp is most shocking 2 pupils were still missing.

How could a newly constructed bridge gave way ? Was there design fault or was the construction carried out without complying to design specifications? Was the bridge given the safety green light by any department or agency? Or was the bridge subjected to any pre inspection safety check by the relevant department?
“We want to know how the bridge, which was built by a company for free, could collapse so easily,” Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin said yesterday, adding that the bridge was ready a month ago.

A new question that has now cropped up is why a company would build the bridge for free?
Though the government has set up a Committee to investigate the tragedy and suspend the Camp, the tragedy has frightened many parents in the country and many will in future be reluctant to send their children to participate in such Camps .

I have received calls from a couple of parents who have voice their concern and doubt as to whether the National Service Camps in the country are safe for participants.

Yesterday when we were at the scene we happened to meet the Director of Public Works of Perak. He told us that his department is totally unaware of this bridge and he only come to know about it after happening of this incident.

They claimed that the National Service pro gramme was implemented in haste and many Camps were also built in a rush. They therefore wonder if these Camps were given the Certificate of Occupation by the local authorities and whether their training equipments and facilities are subjected to regular inspection by the relevant authorities.

In this regard, I will ask the Defence Minister to provide an assurance that all National Service Camps and their training equipments and facilities are safe for all participants.

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