5 SCDF Personnel Are Being Charged In Relation To NSF’s Death In May
Ranked in order of seniority, the 5 men are:
- LTA Kenneth Chong Chee Boon, 37, will be charged with abetting a rash act causing grievous hurt by illegal omission. This carries a maximum jail time of 4 years, as well as a fine of up to $10,000 or both.
- 1SWO Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 40, will also be charged with abetting a rash act causing grievous hurt by illegal omission. Like LTA Chong, he faces an imprisonment of up to 4 years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- 1WO Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh, 34, will be charged with abetting a rash act causing death. He faces a prison sentence of up to 4 years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both.
- SSG Adighazali Suhaimi, 32, will be charged with intentionally obstructing the course of justice.
- SSG Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, 33, will be charged with committing a rash act causing death. The maximum sentence for this is a jail term of up to 5 years or a fine, or both. He will also be charged with abetting the obstruction of the course of justice by instigation. The maximum penalty for obstructing the course of justice is 7 years’ jail and a fine.
Criminal charges were almost certain
The news confirms an earlier statement by Minister for Home Affairs K Shanmugam. Earlier this year, Mr Shanmugam told Parliament that criminal charges were “almost certain” in the case of CPL Kok’s death.
CPL Kok, 22, was days away from ending his National Service when he was found unconscious at the foot of Tuas View Fire Station’s pump well in May.
Initial investigations suggest he was forced to enter the well as part of a ragging activity, despite him not knowing how to swim. The well contained 11m of water.
CPL Kok was later pronounced dead at Ng Teng Fong General Hospital.
Setting things right
As criminal investigations continue, the SCDF is taking steps to abolish its disturbing culture of ragging. A Board of Inquiry has been convened to look into the incident and make recommendations.
And SCDF Commissioner Eric Yap told personnel that there will be “zero tolerance for any officer who contravenes the rules”. Metal gratings over pump wells and more CCTVs were installed in order to deter a repeat incident.
“We owe it to CPL Kok to ensure that this must never happen again,” COMR Yap said.
Featured image from Facebook.