MP Ugyen Dorji’s question was directed to the minister for home and cultural affairs, Lyonpo Minjur Dorji. He said the whole system of Orderly should be removed and compensation in terms of allowance could be given to the officers.
MP Ugyen Dorji said with limited military force, reserving few as orderlies makes the situation worse. “These orderlies could be sent to guard the borders if needed,” he said.
The Entitlement Act for military personnel was passed three years ago but the system has not changed when it comes to the implementation. The MP said “this question has been on the minds of most of the observers “.
Lyonpo Minjur said the home ministry cannot ‘do-away’ with the system in an ad-hoc fashion. The ministry would have to weigh the pros and cons in the system first. The minister explained that the system of orderly has been around for a long time which makes it difficult to just remove it.
“Countries like America and India have not fulfilled acts which were drafted long time back, the Act for Military was drafted in 2009 and it requires enough time to study the situation,” said Lyonpo Minjur Dorji
The orderly system in Bhutan was a hot issue for discussion after an officer at Paro manhandled and beat up his orderly. Goongloen (Army General) Dasho Batoo Tshering in his previous interview with The Bhutanese said, “To be honest, we are planning to get rid of the orderly system but we cannot change things overnight”.
Gasa MP Damcho Dorji said, the bill was put forward long time back and still the orderly system has not changed.
“Despite the ample time given and taken the implementation has been prolonged. It will make a bad example out of everyone involved. As such, issues need immediate action,” said the Gasa Opposition MP Damcho Dorji.
The health minister Zangley Dukpa said it would be wise not to implement things in haste and try put-to practice within a short period of time.
Lyonpo Zangley Dukpa reminded the parliamentarians not to use the word “Ata” since it sounds derogatory and makes tag-bearer look like he’s doing all kinds of manual work.
Punakha MP Tshering Penjore supported the idea of removing orderly system because many orderlies are mistreated and misused.
Stories of orderlies who are assigned to drop school-going children of the senior officers, attend to the personal appointments and schedules of the wives and do such things as beautify kitchen gardens have made newspapers and television headlines – one time, too many!
On the contrary, an aspiring politician, Dorji said that it is difficult to pass the judgment without really knowing the true nature of the system. He said instead of doing away with the system, there should be some specific Dos and Don’ts so that there will not be a problem or misuse of personnel.
Orderlies who earlier spoke to The Bhutanese said they were not happy with their work because when they first decided to join the army, they dreamt of serving the Tsa-Wa-Sum, to guard the nation’s security and not the Dasho’s flower gardens.