There's a ghost in the toilet!

Associated Press/April 9, 2004

Kuala Lumpur -- Exorcists were called in to get rid of ghosts allegedly haunting a national service camp in Malaysia after 20 students became hysterical claiming they had seen apparitions, a newspaper reported Thursday.

Sixteen trainees were treated in hospital after claiming to have seen ghosts and panicking Sunday night in a toilet block at their camp near Port Dickson, about 70 km south of Kuala Lumpur, the New Straits Times said. Two nights later, four more trainees claimed the same thing and were taken to hospital for treatment of hysteria.

All the students were released soon afterward.

Instructors at the camp - one of dozens across Malaysia - called in a faith healer and his crew, who spent several hours "cleansing" the toilet block. The leader said "he had caught the spirits and thrown them into the sea," the New Straits Times quoted an unnamed instructor as saying.

The national service programme, which is calling up some 28,000 17-and 18-year-olds for boot-camp style training, is designed to instill civil values and patriotism.

The programme, however, has been plagued with problems since it began in February, with brawls breaking out in some camps.

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