An army officer was recognised on Monday for his selfless act of valour which saved at least two lives. Second Lieutenant Kamalasivam Shanmuganathan, 25, became the eighth soldier to receive the Singapore Armed Forces Medal for Distinguished Act.
He was awarded the medal by Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen at the SAFTI military institute during the annual SAF Day parade on Monday. His award puts him in the ranks of officers who were deployed to conflict zones in Afghanistan, Iraq and Kuwait and also showed exceptional courage over regard for their personal safety.
In 2LT Kamalasivam's case, he bravely handled a situation where a recruit accidentally released a hand grenade lever while pulling out the safety pin. He did not panic and told the recruit in a calm voice to throw the grenade, adding that he did not reach out to try and pull the live grenade from the recruit's hands as he could not risk dropping it. Fortunately, the recruit managed to throw the grenade over the bay, where it detonated in mid-air.
"It's the nicest way to end it (my national service)," said 2LT Kamalasivam who is a Ngee Ann polytechnic diploma holder and aspiring teacher. He will be attending the National Institute of Education (NIE) when his two-year national service commitment ends in a fortnight's time and hopes to become a physical education teacher.