KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 19 — The Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development (KPWKM) is prepared to offer counselling to a group of students involved in an incident where a snake was thrown into a pond during a training camp in Kuala Kangsar, Perak, recently.
Its minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said it was important to give support and guidance to the affected students in an effort to restore their spirit after the incident.
“I am very disappointed with what happened, throwing the snake into the pond to test the students’ courage wasn’t supposed to happen. The students would be traumatised,” she told reporters at Parliament lobby today.
A video recording of the incident, which went viral and received criticisms from netizens, featured several schoolchildren who were screaming and crying after a snake was thrown into a pond they were in.
The video recording also showed several Civil Defence Force (CDF) trainers spraying water and yelling at the students to test their resilience. Rohani said she had met with the Deputy Minister Education Datuk P. Kamalanathan personally for the latter to take appropriate action on the matter.
Meanwhile, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim said the move to throw the snake into the pond where the girls were was done spontaneously and not in accordance with Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs).
“The use of a short python in the module was spontaneous and outside the knowledge of management of the state Civil Defence Department (APM) and the headquarters of APM,” told a press conference Parliament lobby today.
“I was made to understand that the coach was doing so with the intention of increasing the success of the training module. We admit it was not the right move.”
He said from 2012 to 2016, a total of 23 schools with 1,622 participants underwent the training module and this was the first such incident.
He said the programme was aimed at measuring the level of cooperation among members in the group, compliance of instructions and communication among students.
Asked whether the training module should be dissolved immediately, Shahidan said it was unfair to make decisions based on one incident alone. — Bernama