Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Wednesday June 30, 2010 Mindef replaces RMC commandant after student’s death

PETALING JAYA: The Defence Ministry has replaced Royal Military College (RMC) commandant Kapt Alias Baharuddin following the death of student Mohammad Naim Mustaqim Mohamad Sobri last Thursday after he was allegedly bullied at the college.

Defence Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi told mStar that the drastic action on the commandant was justified as he was responsible for the safety and wellbeing of the students there.

“The decision to change the commandant was under my orders. This does not mean he did not perform his duty, but he has to bear the responsibility in this case and be punished for it,” he said.

Ahmad Zahid said a new commandant had been appointed and stricter guidelines would be drawn to prevent similar cases in future.

He also dismissed reports that parents were afraid of sending their children to study at RMC after this incident.

“No such issue will surface. The demand and applications received to join the college is clearly more than the places available,” he said.

On Monday, an RMC student was expelled while four others were suspended in connection with 16-year-old Mohammad Naim’s death.

Zahid Hamidi said the decision to remove the student with immediate effect was made after investigations showed he allegedly carried out the bullying since the beginning of the year.

Last Thursday, Mohammad Naim was found unconscious and rushed to the Armed Forces Medical Centre at the Sungai Besi Camp, but was confirmed dead soon after arrival.

The following day, the five students were arrested for questioning under Section 302 of the Penal Code which carries a mandatory death sentence upon conviction.

In Alor Setar, Mohammad Naim’s parents Mohamad Sobri Mohamad Sofian, 41, and Fauziah Abdul Wahab, 45, said they would wait for police to complete investigations before proceeding with legal action against the college.

“We will let the police finish investigations because we do not want to interfere. Furthermore, we are still traumatised by the incident,” Mohamad Sobri said yesterday.

He said police had informed him of the action taken against the four boys.

“The police have assured me that although the boys had been expelled or suspended from the college, they are still being investigated over my son’s death. The police also told me that they would let me know the cause of my son’s death,” he said.

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