Unnecessary death of NSmen
In Parliament yesterday, Eng Hen spoke about the death of two NSmen while under training. Pte Dominique Lee died from inhaling smokes from smoke grenades. Third Sergeant Tan Mou Sheng was pinned down by a jeep. Both accidents were unnecessary and caused by lapses in safety procedures. “Any commander who ignores safety regulations, whether wilfully or negligently, puts his soldiers at risk and is not fit for command,” said Dr Ng. “These two deaths could have been avoided if safety instructions had been followed”. Is that all Eng Hen could say? How much compensation is enough to the parents of these young NSmen for the loss and grief of their precious sons? No amount is enough for such unnecessary death. Mindef was not born yesterday. The SAF is a highly professional army with more than 50 years of history and training accidents to remind and caution every officer in the field not to make silly mistakes. And silly mistakes are still being made with the lost of lives. Unbelieveable! Unacceptable. What is in it for the NSmen to risk their lives for? Relating the account of Pte Lee's mother, Felicia Seah, when the death was told to her was heart wrenching. The Minister should be on his knees to beg for forgiveness. This is not a case of sorry not enough. Explanation also not enough.