Two NSF deaths, two different responses

Just as we are awaiting the outcome of the investigation into the death of national serviceman Dave Lee Han Xuan, who died during training about two weeks ago, another death has occurred.

This time, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) national serviceman Kok Yuen Chin was found unconscious inside a pump well.

The two incidents are similar in that the deaths occurred while they were serving their country.

However, there is a stark contrast between the way the two ministries handled the incidents.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam took a serious view of the matter and sprang into action. SCDF was clear about activities that are allowed and prohibited, which prompted them to pinpoint the violation quickly. Swift action was then taken, arrests were made and the victim's family was informed and given assurances.

I appreciate Mr Shanmugam for being upfront in handling the incident. The public is assured that the authorities are doing their best to prevent a repeat of such incidents.

We trust that SCDF will reveal the full details of the investigation. This is the best consolation for the family of Corporal Kok.

Hung Siow Ping (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 16, 2018, with the headline 'Two NSF deaths, two different responses'. Print Edition | Subscribe