Kuala Lumpur, Jan 25 (ANI): Just days after an Indian-origin Sikh trainee alleged that his hair was cut off while asleep in the Malaysian National Service (NS) camp, the Training Department Director General Abdul Hadi Awang Kechil has said that more Sikh trainers would be recruited in the NS programme.
The Star quoted General Kechil as saying that the Malaysian Sikh Union are allowed to visit the camps and get feedback about problems from the trainees belonging to their community. He also urged other groups belonging to other communities to visit the camps for the same reason.
"In NS training, there is a module on integration which educates trainees on the different practices and cultures of various races. Sikh culture is also taught in the module but Sikh trainers can offer a better understanding to the trainees," he added.
Speaking to the press after meeting with representatives from the Union of Perak Sikh Organisations, Malaysian Sikh Union and Sikh Welfare Society Malaysia to discuss the case of Basant Singh, the 17-year-old Sikh trainee whose hair was cut, General Kechil said that his department is also ready to meet with former Sikh NS trainees to see if follow-up action could be carried out to uphold the 1Malaysia spirit promoted by the programme.
Talking about Basant's case, he said that the teenager could either go back to the Sungai Bakap camp in Penang to continue his training, or change camp, but he cannot be exempted from the NS.
"We hope that no party will play up this incident and manipulate it as it is a serious issue," he said.
Meanwhile, Union of Perak Sikh Organisations media liaison officer Jaspal Singh urged the Sikh community to be patient and wait for the results of the police investigation into Basant's case.
"This case (Basant's case) is the first of its kind that we have come to know of. We understand that there is no guarantee that it won't happen again but at least we have taken steps and discussed with the department to prevent similar situations," Jaspal added. (ANI)