NSF's death to be investigated by independent panel, police

MOE cluster superintendent to head panel; there may also be a coroner's inquiry

An independent committee has been formed to look into the circumstances that led to the death of full-time national serviceman Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee Han Xuan.

The police will also investigate his death and a coroner's inquiry may also be held, depending on the outcome of the police investigation.

The Committee of Inquiry (COI) will be headed by a cluster superintendent from the Ministry of Education.

A medical specialist from the Government will also be a member of the committee, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said in a statement yesterday.

The statement did not provide any more details, such as whether the committee's findings will be made public.

But it added: "The COI has full powers and access to information and personnel to investigate the circumstances leading to the death, determine the contributory factors and make recommendations to rectify any lapses uncovered."

The ministry noted that recommendations from previous COIs have made Singapore Armed Forces training safer.

The recommendations included setting up external panels comprising safety experts to review and advise the Singapore Armed Forces on safety policies, systems and best practices.

CFC Lee died on Monday after he was warded in Changi General Hospital on April 18 for heatstroke. He was a guardsman in the 1st Battalion Singapore Guards.

The 19-year-old enlisted on Jan 5 and completed his Basic Military Training on March 11.

Mindef said on Tuesday that he had received a posthumous promotion to the rank of Corporal First Class.

It is Mindef's practice to convene COIs to investigate unnatural deaths involving national servicemen.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 03, 2018, with the headline 'NSF's death to be investigated by independent panel, police'. Print Edition | Subscribe