Death of NSF

Hold the blame, give investigators enough time for thorough probe

I am deeply perturbed by the social media "trial" of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) following the death of full-time national serviceman Dave Lee Han Xuan (900 bid farewell to late NSF in military funeral, May 6; and NSF's death to be investigated by independent panel, police, May 3).

I offer my deepest condolences to the family of Corporal First Class Lee for their loss. The family members need to be given private space to mourn their loss, and the authorities need time to conduct a thorough investigation.

Without all the facts, laying the blame on the SAF and the commanders will only demoralise our men in green.

We train hard in peacetime to fight well in war.

The commanders of the SAF try to make sure the recruits are well prepared for war.

Death and injuries can be minimised, but may not be totally avoided.

While safety standards must be adhered to, our military commanders must never become soft because of fear of public opinion and criticism.

Let the professionals do their job in the investigations. But let's continue to support our military, which has a tough task of turning boys to men.

Patrick Tan Siong Kuan

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 07, 2018, with the headline 'Hold the blame, give investigators enough time for thorough probe'. Print Edition | Subscribe