Press Statement by DAP Secretary-General and MP for Kota Melaka, Lim Kit Siang, in Petaling Jaya on Friday, 9 .7.1982:
Call on Defence Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, to order a full-scale inquiry into the ‘traditional ragging’ in the armed forces which had led to deaths including Leftenan Muda (Udara) B. Sugudev
The Defence Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamed, should order a full-scale inquiry into the so-called ‘traditional ragging’ in the armed forces, which had led to deaths, including the latest victim, Leftenan Muda (Udara) B. Sugudev.
Lt. Muda Sugudev arrived in Kuching last Saturday for his first posting, and between 11.30 a.m. and 8 p.m. that day, he was ragged to death.
It is understood that Lt. Muda Sugudev had fainted at least four times and that on one occasion, he had to be revived by an officer who splashed water on his face.
It has been reported that the post-mortem revealed that Lt. Muda Sugudev had multiple abrasions, bruises, some lacerations externally while internally, he had several fractured ribs, hemorrhage of the lungs and swelling of the brain.
Those who had perpetrated such atrocities on Ltd. Muda Sugudev had not been indulging in a friendly orientation, but were guilty of the most heinous and callous crime.
If to fellow service officers, there are those in the armed forces who could perpetrate such atrocity, it is unthinkable what atrocities such officers would perpetrate on members of the public when they are in full command of the situation.
The armed forces should not be a hiding ground for sadists and criminals, but must be peopled by those who are disciplined and committed to their duties as members of the armed forces.
The so-called ‘traditional ragging’ incident shows that there is a complete breakdown of discipline in the armed services.
There must be no cover-up in the investigations into the tragic death of Lt. Muda Sugudev, and all those, regardless of their rank, who had been guilty of causing Sugudev must be several punished.
Clearly, the top officers in the armed services had been remiss and rather negligent in their command responsibilities in allowing such ‘traditional ragging’ to get out of hand without check, as Left. Muda Sugudev is not the only officer believed to have died because of such excesses.
The must be a full-scale inquiry into the ‘traditional ragging’ and all aspects of discipline in the armed services, if the armed forces is not to be feared and hated, but respected and loved by the people.