trainees say it’s hell but co begs to differ?

source – nst

Trainees say it’s hell but company begs to differ

08 Mar 2007
Sheridan Mahavera

PASIR PUTIH: Camp hell. This is what the first batch of National Service trainees at the Kisana Beach Resort are calling the camp. Ironically, the resort claims to have three-star status.

The trainees’ litany of complaints run from boring exercises, run-down dormitories and grubby food to camp managers who just do not care.

Even camp commandant Major Zulkarnain Abdullah has his own list of complaints against the management company, Rimbun Kisana Development Sdn Bhd.

He criticised the management for providing defective equipment and not looking into the welfare of the trainees.

Topping the list of complaints was that the management failed to acquire the certificate of fitness for the training equipment which was required under the NS module.

As a result, trainees were unable to carry out several exercises in the module such as the flying fox high-wire exercises.

More than half the exercises in the physical training module had to be scrapped, with trainees doing marching drills instead.

“We feel cheated and extremely disappointed with our NS experience. My friends in other camps said they had such fun doing the flying fox, kayaking and other activities but I spent my time doing marching drills,” said Mohamad Zulhilmi Rosdi, from Bachok, Kelantan.

About 400 trainees had started their stint on Jan 1 and will go home on March 10.

Another problem was the squalid dormitories which had faulty electrical appliances or no regular supply of running water, said another trainee, Rohan Tankaraj.

“There are six fans in the dorms, but only two work. The faucets let out air and mosquitoes when you open them and the only water to bathe in is groundwater.

“When we take our bath with the groundwater, which is infested with mosquito larvae, we will come down with rashes,” Rohan claimed.

Sharifah Nurul Iza Habib Zam Zam described the food served as “atrocious and laced with insects and maggots”.

“My friends often find flies and maggots in their food. What is worse, the food always arrives late, especially now that the dining hall has been shut down, and we are given nasi bungkus (packed rice).”

The camp’s dining hall was sealed by Pasir Putih district council authorities on Feb 26 after inspectors found that it did not adhere to guidelines.

Zulkarnain said he had repeatedly raised these problems with the camp management.

“I am so frustrated. We told them these problems but they ignored our pleas.”

Rimbun Kisana Holdings chairman Tengku Azran Badrul Tengku Mohd Adnan denied the claims, describing them as “personal and ill-intentioned”.

“We have never had problems with the National Service Training Department. In fact, our camp has a three-star rating from the department.

“If the camp was substandard, how did we get a three-star rating? If the commandant had any complaints, he should have channelled them to the department.”

He said the camp had acquired the CF and there was no problem with the equipment.


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