Teach all NSFs to swim

The untimely death of Corporal Kok Yuen Chin is indeed saddening (Jail for SCDF officer who gave NSF fatal push into pump well; Oct 24).

We can only hope that the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) learns from this unfortunate incident so that the same fate will not befall anyone else.

The report stated that Cpl Kok could not swim.

I remember that when I was doing my basic military training (BMT), there was a swimming proficiency test and those who did not pass it had to attend compulsory swimming lessons until they passed the test.

Being able to swim was a requirement to pass out of BMT.

To my knowledge, this is still the practice today in the Singapore Armed Forces.

Do the Singapore Police Force and the SCDF have the same policy for their full-time national servicemen?

As swimming is an important life skill, all NSFs should be taught to swim, if they do not already know how to, by their respective national service branches.

Perhaps such a tragic accident could have been prevented if Cpl Kok knew how to swim.

Sim Eng Cheong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 30, 2018, with the headline 'Teach all NSFs to swim'. Print Edition | Subscribe