The death of a Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) full-time national serviceman (NSF) Corporal (CPL) Kok Yuen Chin on May 13 sparked media attention nationwide.
The ragging, or euphemistic “rite of passage” according to former NSFs, had taken place at Tuas View Fire Station’s pump well. He was found unconscious in the 12m-deep well, then pronounced dead at the hospital.
To make matters worse, CPL Kok could not swim. In a bid to convince his colleagues not to rag him, he brought snacks back from Malaysia for them.
On Wednesday, according to The Straits Times, five SCDF personnel were charged in relation to CPL Kok’s death. These men are Mohammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, 33; Mohamed Farid Mohamed Saleh, 34; Kenneth Chong Chee Boon, 37; Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 40; and Adighazali Suhaimi, 32.
First Warrant Officer Farid had allegedly instigated the situation by instigating Staff Sgt Nur Fatwa to push CPL Kok into the well. Next, Lieutenant Chong and First Senior Warrant Officer Nazhan allegedly did not impede a group of servicemen from pressuring CPL Kok to carry out the ragging. Finally, Staff Sergeant Adighazali deleted a video on his phone of CPL Kok being pushed into the well.
All of them except Staff Sergeant Adighazali were charged with committing a rash act causing death or abetting a rash act causing death. Staff Sergeant Nur Fatwa was charged with intentionally obstructing the course of justice.
If they are found guilty, the officers will “face public service disciplinary actions, which may include dismissal from service or demotion in rank” under the Civil Defence Act. If they are convicted of a rash act causing death, they may face a jail term of up to five years, a fine, or both.
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