APM uniformed unit modules for primary schools to be reviewed: Shahidan

KUALA KANGSAR: All self-development modules for the Civil Defence Force (APM) uniformed units in primary schools will be reviewed, said Minister in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Seri Dr Shahidan Kassim.

He noted the need to review the modules were to ensure that only appropriate modules were implemented to avoid any untoward incidents.

"We may conduct training (modules)for school teachers and then they (the teachers) can implement it for the students in extra-curricular activities.

"It is undeniable that there are constraints to implement this, but we will find the best solution," he told reporters after a meeting with parents, teachers and pupils of SK Beluru here, today.

The special meeting was held to provide information and explanation on the case of snakes cast into the pond during a "cross the pond" module in the school's APM uniformed unit camping programme.

A few days ago, a video recording of about two minutes went viral on social media showing students in the muddy pool crying and screaming after trainers threw snakes into it, drawing ire from netizens.

The footage also showed some members of the APM spraying water and shouting at students throughout the module.

A total of 45 students from a primary school in Kuala Kangsar participated in the camp held within the compound of the APM office in Kuala Kangsar.

Elaborating further, Shahidan said the government did not intend to stop APM uniformed unit camping programmes, however, the module involved (cross the pond) would be suspended immediately.

"This programme has a lot of modules, not only physical activities, there are also spiritual modules. We cannot suspend it because it has been organised to raise the self-esteem of students," he said.

On the action against the APM members involved, Shahidan said 10 personnel had been suspended from duty so far.

"One of them who threw the snakes into the pool has been suspended from participating in all APM activities.

"Nine others were suspended from participating in APM exercises involving schools," he said, adding that all those involved were volunteers.

Meanwhile, APM deputy commissioner (Operations) Datuk Selamat Dahalan denied several media reports which claimed that the students were also taken to a cemetery.

"This did not happen at all," he said. — Bernama