An entrenched rite of passage despite repeated warnings

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that the incident which led to the death of a Singapore Civil Defence Force full-time national serviceman was unacceptable and two regular officers have been put under arrest.

Throwing firefighters into water at important junctures of their training is a tradition passed down over the decades in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).

The practice, often involving pump wells, stems from a belief that firefighters should be comfortable with water. Some personnel go to great lengths to observe this, and it has become a key part of a ragging culture in the force, despite regular reminders and warnings from their commanders not to do so, former civil defence servicemen told The Straits Times.


Thank you for reading The Straits Times

You have reached one of our Premium stories. To continue reading, get access now or log in if you are a subscriber.

What is Premium?

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2018, with the headline 'An entrenched rite of passage despite repeated warnings'. Print Edition | Subscribe