Ministerial statement on NS training deaths to be delivered by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen will deliver the statement on May 17, 2018.
Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen will deliver the statement on May 17, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen will deliver a ministerial statement on Thursday (May 17) on National Service training deaths, according to the Parliament order paper.

This follows the deaths of Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, after he was found at the bottom of a pump well on Sunday, and Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee, 19, last month after he displayed signs of heat injury.

In a Facebook post on Wednesday evening, Workers' Party Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan said he had filed a question on the death of Third Sergeant Gavin Chan, 21, who died after a Bionix II infantry fighting vehicle landed on its side in September 2017 during a training exercise in Australia.

Mr Tan said his questions,which would be answered on Thursday, asked for the cause of the fatal accident, the lessons that were learnt, and whether the Singapore Armed Forces has adopted or will adopt measures to prevent similar tragedies from happening.

Cpl Kok, who died after being found unconscious at the bottom of a pump well at Tuas View Fire Station, had been celebrating his impending operationally ready date with his squad mates.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said the activities were in clear violation of the Singapore Civil Defence Force's rules.

A Board of Inquiry will be convened to investigate the incident and to make recommendations to prevent similar incidents. The police have arrested two SCDF regular personnel and are investigating the involvement of other officers.

CFC Lee, a Guardsman from the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards, died on Apr 30, close to two weeks after being admitted to Changi General Hospital for heatstroke.

He had just completed an 8km fast march at Bedok Camp on April 18 when he displayed signs of heat injury, after which he was hospitalised.

A Committee of Inquiry has been set up to probe the death while an external review panel comprising government doctors will also independently review the existing strategy in the Singapore Armed Forces for heat injury prevention and management.