Below is a letter by Felicia, a mother who lost his son in National Service during an accident. She went to court to sue the officers and SAF for negligence but the case was thrown out as there is a law that says officers/men of the SAF cannot be sued. Here is the law.
‘Section 14 of the Govt Proceedings Act precludes a serviceman from commencing any action in tort arising from any (and all) negligence during their active service, against the SAF.’
Taking this act literally, and now a court judgement, the SAF and its officers/men are above the law. If they killed or maimed anyone out of negligence, they cannot be sued. My God, I thought only an emperor or a dictator is above the law. Would such an act compromise the standard of professionalism. safety and the lives of soldiers in the SAF when officers/men think they are immuned from the law and thus acted less diligently?
Now we have a mother crying desperately for justice. The SAF said they have compensated her with $50,000 which some commented could not even buy a COE for a car. How much did the mother and many mothers paid to raise a child, and the pain and aches and love cost? $50,000, that’s all? Ok, sorry to make this comment. Please don’t ask me how much I want or think should be enough.
Read the mother’s letter and keep quiet. Do not say anything or express your grief, compassion, empathy for the mother. It did not happen to your loved ones so let it pass. It happened, let’s move on. The law that provides for the SAF and its officer/men to be above the law shall remain. Would they even think of a COI to review this law like the Benjamin case?
My dearest Dom, my heart continues to bleed for you. It has been 3 years and 10 months since you were taken from me and still, I haven’t been able to get any closure.
Today, Honourable Judicial Commissioner Kannan Remesh ruled that I have no case against those responsible for your death – the SAF and the 2 officers who did not follow the training exercise SOP. He also ruled that I have to pay for their legal costs. Dom, how can I possibly pay them for taking away your life? Where is the justice? It seems, the price I paid has not been enough. Your death has not been high enough a price for SAF and the 2 officers, and now, not enough for Honourable Remesh, it seems.
They must be right, of course – the judge, the ministers, the SAF and their officers. They are experts in their fields. Individuals who studied and trained for years to be in their current positions. What do I know? I’m only a mother to two sons. I only know to love my sons, to nurture them to become young men who will do right by others, to live with dignity, decency and human compassion. What do I know? They are the experts in their fields. They must know best. They do no wrong.
Dom, in these past 3+ years, I have been worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very government I taught you to trust; worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very system I counseled you to have faith in; worn-down, beaten and defeated by the very people I advised you to respect and honor.
Dom, forgive me. I taught you wrong.
An article on the above is posted in TRE.