No reprisals against whistle-blowers

Recruits undergoing weapon-handling practice at the SAF Basic Military Training Centre on Pulau Tekong.
Recruits undergoing weapon-handling practice at the SAF Basic Military Training Centre on Pulau Tekong.PHOTO: ST FILE

We thank Mr Terence Lim for his feedback (Who protects SAF safety whistle-blowers?, March 7).

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) treat safety with utmost seriousness.

Servicemen are encouraged to openly report unsafe practices or near misses, whether through the unit or the safety hotlines.

Mindef and the SAF will investigate each case thoroughly and take corrective actions where necessary.

Any serviceman can call for an immediate stop to training when they spot a safety breach or unsafe practice.

By reporting unsafe practices to their trainers, safety officers or through the chain of command, ground commanders can take immediate actions for any safety issues.

Servicemen can also provide anonymous safety feedback, through the Mindef Feedback Unit and the various safety hotlines, e-mails and websites.

Servicemen can also surface concerns through their counsellors and para-counsellors.

Servicemen are assured of confidentiality when they make reports on safety lapses and near-misses.

Providing such feedback via channels such as the safety hotline does not constitute an offence.

The SAF does not condone commanders who punish these servicemen.

Commanders who are found guilty will be disciplined.

The health of the SAF's open reporting system is one of the key focus areas for the recently established Inspector-General Office (IGO).

The IGO will be visiting units across the SAF to reinforce the importance of the open reporting system to all our commanders and servicemen.

We have spoken to Mr Lim and will be addressing his concerns.

Tan Chee Wee (Brigadier-General)

SAF Inspector-General

Singapore Armed Forces

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2019, with the headline 'No reprisals against whistle-blowers'. Print Edition | Subscribe