Mother of CFC Dave Lee hopes for deterrent punishment

Parents of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee Han Xuan, Madam Jasmine Yeo and Mr Dennis Lee, crying before the cortege leaves the family home for Mandai Crematorium during CFC Lee's military funeral on May 5, 2018.
Parents of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee Han Xuan, Madam Jasmine Yeo and Mr Dennis Lee, crying before the cortege leaves the family home for Mandai Crematorium during CFC Lee's military funeral on May 5, 2018.ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

The mother of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee Han Xuan, who died in April after suffering a heat injury, said she hopes punishment for personnel responsible would be significant enough to deter future violations of army rules.

"Punishment should be significant enough to make sure future commanders will not dare to repeat 'tekan' sessions," she told The Straits Times last night, referring to traditional, outdated punishment.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen told Parliament yesterday breaches and lapses were found to have occurred in the April 18 incident which led to the death of CFC Lee, 19.

These include how his platoon was given unauthorised physical punishment such as leopard crawls and push-ups for about 30 minutes the night before the fast march where he had heat injury, which compromised their required minimum seven hours of rest.

Dr Ng said the preliminary findings by the Committee of Inquiry cited the insufficient rest as a possible factor contributing to CFC Lee's heat stroke, while the inadequate on-site casualty management and delayed evacuation were likely reasons for him succumbing to the injury.

Madam Jasmine Yeo told The Straits Times last night that she was not surprised by revelations of the unauthorised punishment as she had revealed this previously.

She said CFC Lee's last words to her were that he and his platoon had received informal punishment.

 
 
 

At his funeral in May, Madam Yeo had called for outdated traditional "tekan", or punishment sessions, to be put to an immediate stop.

Madam Yeo, who declined to give her age, said she could not understand how evacuation could have been delayed.

She said many thought she was very strong, judging from the media interview that she, her husband, property agent Dennis Lee, and daughter Joey Lee, 23, had given at CFC Lee's wake on May 2.

"I am not," she said. "It has been hell for my entire family as Dave was very close to us."

"I just want to let all officers involved know that my son means the world to me. My family portraits will never be complete.

"They can never imagine the pain a mother has from losing a son whom she had cared for and nurtured since he was born."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 07, 2018, with the headline 'Dead soldier's mum hopes for a deterrent punishment'. Print Edition | Subscribe