The death of Dominique Lee and the revelation of a law that said SAF soldiers cannot be sued for negligence in the course of duty for tort even causing the death of NSmen is very disturbing indeed. Has the govt forgotten the meaning of National Service? The govt is conscripting the sons of
citizens to be trained to
defend this country, to die for this country in the defence of this country,
not to die because someone is negligent and irresponsible, or doing something
rash or stupid. Singapore
The govt and the SAF owe every NSman and their family an unqualified duty to ensure that the NSmen are in good and safe hands, in responsible hands, that the people looking after them, training them and leading them to war, are professionally trained, responsible and NOT negligent in the conduct of their responsibility. The last part is the least that the govt and the SAF must do, to make sure that no one is negligent or thinks he can be negligent and get away with it when the lives of NSmen is at stake.
The NSmen did not volunteer for National Service. They are not professional soldiers, ‘tan chiak peng’, who joined the SAF for a salary. They are conscripted and paid a miserly allowance for their service at the prime of their lives. The govt and the SAF must take absolute care to see to it that negligence is not to be condoned. The parents brought up their sons for 18 years. Do return their sons healthy and alive at the end of their NS. Accidents cannot be prevented, but negligence can and cannot be encouraged or protected.
A law that said negligence cannot be sued is like protecting people who are negligent and that negligence is acceptable. Negligence is UNACCEPTABLE. Not in a NS military organization when young people are conscripted by law to serve. A law that protects negligence has no place in a NS army. It compromises the safety of the NSmen. The rationale for such a law is unbelieveable! It cannot be justified under any ground.
The sons of our citizens deserve better protection from the state, from the SAF. They did not ask to be NSmen. Don’t forget this.