Malaysia NS trainees want out of camp

BALIK PULAU - A group of National Service (NS) trainees from the White Resort camp here want to leave the programme over deplorable conditions such as insufficient food and broken toilet locks.

One of the trainees' brother, who declined to be named, said that he received a call from his sister on Tuesday night, asking him to pick her up from the camp.

"But, I was denied access after travelling all the way from Perak," he said. "I waited at the office for almost two hours, only to be told that I could not see her.

"She had told me that she could not stand the camp's unkempt condition. She even found worms in her food. It's a miracle no one came down with food poisoning," he said when met at the camp yesterday.

He added that his sister had also complained that some of the toilet doors were broken and could not be locked.

Reporters were not allowed to visit the camp's facilities and were instructed to wait at the office for more than two hours before being told to leave the site.

A source told The Star that the camp used to be one of the best NS sites in the country when it was opened about five years ago.

"It is now so badly maintained that it can be considered one of the worst in the country now," he said. "Clogged sinks and toilets are a daily occurrence here. Even the broken bed frames are not re­­placed."

The source said that the amount of food for trainees had also decreased, adding that in the past, each trainee had received around 125gm of chicken meat for their meal but this had been reduced by a third.

When approached, camp commander Mej Abdul Hamid Man refused to comment and said that the matter "will be dealt with internally".

Meanwhile, Pulau Betong assemblyman Farid Saad urged the National Service Department to immediately take action against the camp.

"I'm very disappointed with the condition of the facilities and equipment in the camp, which are broken and dirty," he said in a statement.

"After seeing the condition of the resort myself, I understand why the trainees are dissatisfied."