SINGAPORE - The full-time national serviceman who died on Monday (April 30) after being warded for heatstroke will be accorded a military funeral, said the Chief of Staff (General Staff) of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
In a statement released on Tuesday evening, Brigadier-General Siew Kum Wong added that the dead soldier, Private Dave Lee Han Xuan, 19, had received posthumous recognition of the rank of Corporal First Class.
He also said that Pte Lee, a Guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, will be awarded the Guards and Recon military tabs, as well as the Guards beret he had been training for.
"The Army will do our utmost to support his family in this time of grief," BG Siew said.
In his statement, BG Siew reiterated that an independent Committee of Inquiry, chaired by a senior civil servant from outside the Ministry of Defence or the SAF, will investigate Pte Lee’s death.
The committee has full powers and access to both information and personnel to investigate what led to the death, find out the contributing factors, and make recommendations to correct any lapses or inadequacies uncovered.
“Should there be training safety violations, the personnel responsible will be held accountable,” said BG Siew.
Earlier on Tuesday, a Facebook user claiming to be from Pte Lee's battalion published a post detailing what had happened the night before, as well as during and after the march that preceded his collapse.
After that, a woman who said she was Pte Lee's aunt shared the post, and asked for clarity from SAF.
Pte Lee died on Monday, almost two weeks after he was warded for heatstroke on April 18.
He was admitted to Changi General Hospital, almost an hour after first showing signs of distress, where he was warded in the intensive care unit. He fell into a coma and his condition worsened.
He was pronounced dead at 5.32pm on Monday. His 19th birthday was just 10 days before.
Pte Lee enlisted on Jan 5 and completed his Basic Military Training on March 11. He was the only son of property agent Dennis Lee and spa manager Jasmine Yeo.
He attended Jurong Junior College, Yuhua Secondary School and Rulang Primary School.
The incident triggered a safety time-out on Monday morning, where SAF servicemen were briefed on the incident and told to take precautions.