Isn't just bloody typical in Malaysia? A photo of a group of young, innocent National Service Trainees who should never have been put into the danger of possibly dying lost on a jungle trek, grab front page coverage. While the bloody baargers who should have known better and done what they were paid to do were hidden in page 3 almost anonymously.
23 National Service trainees were sent on a jungle "orienteering" trek with nothing more than a compass, some biscuits and a dog-earred piece of paper which was shamelessly passed off as a map. Without a supervising trainer. Surprise! Surprise! They got lost. Some of them could have died. But none did and so in typically Malaysian fashion the media and the 'authorities' are all smiles and spout off about how a bunch of young Malaysians have survived a jungle ordeal.
An instructor should have accompanied the group said the director-general of the National Service Training Department.
No, the orienteering programme required that the instructors wait for the trainees at a point 1.2 km from the starting point said the camp commandant. And then some more the trainees had been trained and successfully executed their exercise while they were in camp. So what's the problem?
The right hand not knowing what the left is doing? Malaysia ma.
Of course, the chairman of the National Service Training Council Lee Lam Thye announced that a 'full report' on the matter must be submitted. Ho hum! We're still waiting for those reports on the bus screw ups, sexual harassment, food poisoning etc. So don't hold your breath, folks.
But the best statement came from the mouth of another Y.B. The Malacca Chief Minister suggested that at least one or two of the trainees should be allowed to bring along their mobile phones in case of emergencies. Does he know of a telco that provides service in the middle of the jungle that we don't?
NO wait, there is a better one. The parents of the lost orienteering flers were not informed that the youngsters were lost. Why?
Camp Commandant Mejar Japari Ujang said:
“We tried our best first to find the trainees first. We did not want the parents to worry."
Okay, we await the next National Service screw-up with bated breath. Just pray that your child isn't going to be in that story.