At least 5 ragging incidents in SCDF in past 8 years with detention as punishment meted out: MHA

The pump well at Tuas View Fire Station, where full-time national serviceman Corporal Kok Yuen Chin was found unconscious on May 13, 2018.
The pump well at Tuas View Fire Station, where full-time national serviceman Corporal Kok Yuen Chin was found unconscious on May 13, 2018.PHOTO: SINGAPORE CIVIL DEFENCE FORCE

SINGAPORE - Ragging rituals entered the spotlight on Sunday (May 13) after one stunt went awry at Tuas View Fire Station, leading to the death of a full-time national serviceman.

Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, entered a 12m-deep pump well as part of a stunt to celebrate the impending end of his conscription. Two regular personnel have been arrested in relation to his death, and investigations are ongoing.

In a factsheet on Tuesday (May 15), the force said it does not tolerate unauthorised activities such as ragging. Punishments can range from detention at its barracks to prosecution, depending on the activity.

It regularly reminds its officers and enlistees not to haze and has a whistle-blowing policy.

Here are five cases of ragging that ended with offenders being sent to the force's barracks:

1. In August 2015, four officers sprayed white paint on a new officer's chest, thighs and back as a form of welcome. A witness reported the hazing stunt. The four officers had to serve 10 days' detention.

2. In March 2015, three officers applied toothpaste and used a squeeze bottle to spray water at their bunkmates who had recently finished their training. One of the targets reported the incident. The three errant officers had to serve between three and 14 days' detention, depending on their involvement.

 
 
 
 

3. In January 2015, three officers used a water hose on their new colleague as a form of initiation. The victim's father complained to their higher-ups. The three officers were slapped with detention ranging from 30 to 40 days.

4. In April 2014, two officers used a water hose to welcome two new colleagues. They also forced them to do push-ups and used a dirty mop to rub and hit their heads and bodies. The victims complained. One officer was slapped with a 30 days' detention while his accomplice served 40 days' detention.

5. In May 2010, officers forced two newcomers to enter a fire station's pump well. The victims did, and one of them complained to management afterwards. Seven officers were punished with 15 to 23 days of detention.