Deaths at NS camps due to undetectable diseases, claims ministry 

(MM)“Since the programme started in 2004, actually there were only 20 deaths, and not 22. 

All 20 deaths at National Service (NS) camps, except for one, were caused by “undetectable” health problems such as leukemia, the Defence Ministry revealed today.

In a reply to Sungai Petani MP Datuk Johari Abdul in Parliament, Deputy Minister Datuk Abdul Rahim Bakri said the deaths were “undetectable” as they were due to health problems prior to the trainees’ participation at the camps.

“Since the programme started in 2004, actually there were only 20 deaths, and not 22. 

“There were various reasons for the deaths but the majority was caused by the trainees’ health problems like leukemia, heart problems, breathing difficulties, which were not detectable, while one death at the Muadzam Shah camp was caused by a serious misunderstanding, resulting in one person being charged in court,” he said.

On September 22, 2013, an 18-year-old trainee was bludgeoned to death at the Muadzam Shah, Pahang camp for allegedly cutting queue during breakfast earlier in the day.

However, there has been reports such as death caused by leptospirosis, or commonly known as the “rat fever” in March 2012, at a camp in Perak, a death due to viral infection in June 2005, in Negri Sembilan, another death in Sabah in May during the same year after allegedly being injured during training.

There was also a report on a trainee who died when he was swimming in Sarawak in April 2004.

“There is one rape case on February 24, 2004 when the programme had just started and the case has been tried in court and brought up to the Court of Appeal, the trainer has been punished 12 years jail with three strokes of the cane.

“As for arguments or fights, there are 442 cases misunderstandings in 10 years from 2004 to 2013 and 242 reported to police to be recorded and get counseling from the police while the rest were settled amicably.

“The government is always concerned about these cases and will take the appropriate action based on the law especially cases involving negligence and officers who did not follow the SOP,” he said.

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