Singapore

Deaths of national servicemen must be explained to public: MPs

The deaths of two full-time national servicemen (NSFs) must be explained to the public.

The chairman for the government parliamentary committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs Vikram Nair said: "Every death must be taken seriously... (The NSF's well-being) is something every parent worries about."

Parents of current NSFs and members of Government Parliamentary Committees (GPC) called for greater scrutiny of training measures and safeguards, saying more can be done to prevent similar deaths.

Their call follows the recent deaths of two NSFs.

Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, died on Sunday after a ragging ritual went awry at Tuas View Fire Station.

On April 30, Corporal First Class Dave Lee, 19, died in hospital after he displayed signs of heat injury during training.

Investigations into both deaths are ongoing.

Cpl Kok's death clearly showed that safety systems need to be improved, said Mr Desmond Choo, who on the GPC for Home Affairs and Law.

He hoped that the Home Affairs Ministry will look out for "systemic supervision gaps" and remedy them quickly.

Those responsible must be taken to task, said his GPC colleague, Mr Patrick Tay, adding that whistle-blowers must be encouraged to come forward.

Mr Henry Kwek, a Defence and Foreign Affairs GPC member, said safeguards must be put in place to detect problems early. Ms Joan Pereira, deputy chair of the same GPC, said scrutiny can take place in Parliament.

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