Basant Singh, 18 years old, was all excited when he was selected to participate in the National Service programme.
But on 15thJanuary, 2011, a most shocking incident had happened to him at the the dormitory at Kem Seri Impian in Sungai Bakap, Kedah. Basant's hair was cut when he was a sleep.
Today, YB Fong Po Kuan, Sdr Bala (lawyer) and Bala (my former secretary) and I made a visit and met Basant, his father Surinderpal Singh and his mother at their house at Gurudara Temple grounds in Buntong, Ipoh.
Basant's parents were upset that in this day and age, there could be such disrespect to the Sikh's religion. Some mischievous chap had 60cm of Basant's hair cut off. It seems Basant's never had a hair cut all his life as he strictly follows the Sikh religion. His father is the High priest of the Gurudara Temple of Buntong, Ipoh and his family follow the strict teachings of the Sikh religion.
From our discussion with Basant, we realize that there is a subject on "inter racial integration" which will be taught during their training.
Unfortunately this is the last subject to be taught before the trainees finish their training. We suggest that in a multi racial, muti lingual and multi religious country this said subject be given preference and taught to all trainees at the earliest time possible.
After a police report was lodged by Basant, police investigations have begun. Additionally, an internal investigation on the alleged wrongful hair cut was done by the National Service authorities.
However, Basant has not been called to help and or asked to provide any statement to assist the investigation.
Why the authorities did not call Basant at all? Yet the authorities have said there was no evidence of the "hair cut"!
We call on the authorities to reopen the investigation and conduct a full probe. They must call Basant and take his evidence. We are happy to note that notwithstanding all the trauma and tribulations Basant has gone through, he is still keen in continuing his National Service at a different camp.