Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Najib: It’s straight to hospital for sick NS trainees

KUALA LUMPUR: All national service camp commandants have to immediately send trainees to the nearest hospital the moment they show signs of being sick, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said this would enable the programme to strive towards minimal incidents of deaths, or “zero deaths” in NS camps.

“If there are sick trainees, they (camp commandants) must take action immediately and send them to the nearest hospital.

“Even if it’s found to be just a normal fever, it doesn’t matter. It’s better for them to do that than to have something regrettable happen later,” the Deputy Prime Minister told reporters after a meeting with 80 NS camp commandants here yesterday.

Najib said that camp commandants “have to be more proactive and hands-on”.

“Parents place a very high responsibility on the Government to care for their children, which is why I stress that they (camp commandants) need to take their responsibilities very seriously. It’s more than just a normal job,” he said.

In Parliament last week, Najib said there have been 16 deaths since the NS programme started in 2004, with 11 trainees dying in camps and five during breaks.

On the search for other islands and marine features which could be eyed by neighbouring countries, Najib said necessary measures have to be taken to ensure Malaysia's sovereignty “will not be eroded”.

“We have to draw lessons from what has happened (with Batu Puteh). It is incumbent upon the departments concerned to take whatever measures to ensure Malaysia’s sovereignty will not be undermined,” he said.

On the ban on petrol stations from selling fuel to foreign-registered vehicles in border states, Najib the move should not hurt the tourism industry.

“Why should it hurt tourism? They have to buy petrol from their own country anyway.”

When asked how much this move would save the Government, he replied: “We can calculate the savings but most importantly it’s the question of principle.

“You’re talking about taxpayers money which is being used to subsidise those who are not entitled to receive the subsidy, and the level of subsidy is very high.”

When asked if new fuel prices would be announced on June 1, he replied: “We will have to wait for the Cabinet to decide." - The Star

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