Does The Government Have The Guts To Prosecute National Service Dodgers?
Hypothetically, if a religious authority were to give an opinion or even a fatwa that the selection method itself is haram, will all Muslim dodgers be exempt from prosecution? Who is to say that parents won't resort to any sort of excuse, or exercise any option available to them, to prevent their children from counting bars?
One tried and tested method is to use the influence of politicians to somehow save their kids from prosecution. NS training programme chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye is very acutely aware of this possibility when he urged politicians not to interfere. He said that if there is any interference, it will only defeat the whole purpose and make a mockery of the law. How true.
Having said that, what can an MP or State Assemblyman do if a constituent approaches him and gives him a convincing sob story? He simply cannot dismiss the concerned parent by saying that the kid deserves it or that he is forbidden from interfering. He has to somehow try or pretend to try to get the child off the hook. Somewhere along the way he is going to be accused of not lifting a finger to help and that's when the pressure will be applied to the relevant authorities to go easy. A wise guy or lawyer is going to advice that they try the 'selection is haram' route and then some heavyweight is going to lean on the religious authorities to pronounce on the matter favourably. In short things can get messy.
Of course, if it also means that the BN may lose a lot of votes in the next elections because of this treatment of young adults, please fully expect the government to turn tail and forget about the whole issue of prosecution. Unless some determined person like Lee Lam Thye persists in his actions. But then again Lam Thye doesn't have to stand for elections, does he?