Tragedies can occur in daily life too, not just during national service

The death of full-time national serviceman Dave Lee Han Xuan pains not only his family, but also all Singaporeans.

The incident has sparked talk, speculation and even irrelevant comments about the validity of our national service among the public.

I urge all Singaporeans to react calmly and have a sense of proportion when it comes to commenting about something that is concerned with our country's survival.

Corporal First Class Lee's death, like similar incidents earlier, wasunfortunate.

But, we need to understand that tragedies can happen in our ordinary, daily lives as well, not just during national service (NS).

NS is a duty performed by all male Singaporeans to protect our country. In the process, not only are our bodies toughened, but also our minds and souls.

In wartime, injuries and deaths will happen, especially to front-line soldiers. If the public and our young men are not psychologically prepared for this reality, we cannot count ourselves as ready to protect our country.

We should move on from this sad incident, but we should ensure that something similar doesn't happen again.

Roy Goh Hin Soon

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 08, 2018, with the headline 'Tragedies can occur in daily life too, not just during national service'. Print Edition | Subscribe