SCDF investigating 2 videos showing alleged ragging

Two videos showing what appears to be a 2017 ragging incident, in which a Singapore Civil Defence Force personnel is being dragged along the floor and struggling in a water-filled well, are being investigated by the SCDF.

The existence of the videos was reported by Channel NewsAsia (CNA) yesterday afternoon, less than a fortnight after Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, an SCDF full-time national serviceman, died after being thrown into a pump well at Tuas View Fire Station.

CNA said the new clips came from a member of the public who did not want to be named. The person claimed the videos were taken between January and February last year at the old Jurong Fire Station, CNA added.

Its report included screen shots of the video that showed a uniformed personnel being dragged on the floor and struggling in a water-filled well.

Yesterday, SCDF reiterated it "will not tolerate any ragging or unauthorised initiation activities".

On May 13, Cpl Kok had entered a 12m-deep pump well as part of a stunt to celebrate the impending end of his conscription. He was later found unconscious inside it.

A board of inquiry has been convened to look into the incident, and two SCDF regular personnel have been arrested in relation to his death.

The duo - a warrant officer 1 and a staff sergeant - were Cpl Kok's colleagues who worked in the same shift duty at the station.

Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam said in Parliament last week that "there will almost certainly be criminal proceedings".

He also said the SCDF and Home Team agencies are relooking the rules and coming up with a new set of measures against ragging or unauthorised conduct.

Since then, the SCDF has said it will implement new measures, including the installation of metal grating across the openings of fire-station pump wells to prevent unauthorised access, and the expansion of closed-circuit television camera coverage at SCDF premises to deter and detect unauthorised activities.

Mr Shanmugam, referring to Cpl Kok's case, had said in Parliament: "What I can say is that the conduct was unacceptable. It was a clear and serious violation of the rules, and there can be no excuse for the conduct."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 25, 2018, with the headline 'SCDF investigating 2 videos showing alleged ragging'. Print Edition | Subscribe