SCDF ragging death: Officer says they were not told to stop ritual
Nur Fatwa says he would have listened to supervisors if asked to stop 'kolam'
If their commanding officers had told them to stop the "kolam" or ragging ritual that involved Corporal Kok Yuen Chin getting into the 12m-deep pump well, the group of servicemen would have listened.
This was the testimony of fellow Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, 34, yesterday.
During the May 13 incident last year, Cpl Kok, 22, was pushed into the fire station's pump well as part of activities to mark the completion of his national service and drowned.
Nur Fatwa was testifying on the second day of the trial in which the officers in charge of Tuas View Fire Station on the night Cpl Kok drowned are contesting charges.
The two on trial - Kenneth Chong Chee Boon, 38, a lieutenant, and Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 40, a first senior warrant officer - were Rota commander and deputy Rota commander, respectively, that night.
The commanders were each charged in July last year with aiding a rash act that caused grievous hurt by illegal omission. They had allegedly failed to prevent officers from pressuring Cpl Kok to enter the pump well, thereby endangering his life.
Three more officers were charged for their involvement, of which two - including Nur Fatwa - have been dealt with.
Yesterday, Nur Fatwa, a staff sergeant, said he would have listened to Chong and Nazhan had they told him to stop "because they are (my) supervisors".
Nur Fatwa, who in October last year had been sentenced to one year and four weeks' jail for pushing Cpl Kok into the well and telling another officer to delete footage of the incident, is currently on home detention.
Nur Fatwa said he brought up the kolam ritual twice on the day of the incident; once in the morning and again at night when the officers on duty - including Chong and Nazhan - gathered to celebrate Cpl Kok's impending operationally ready date.
He could not remember if Chong or Nazhan had heard him or responded.
Following the celebration, some officers carried Cpl Kok to the pump well across the yard and others, including Nazhan, gathered around. At no point did anyone tell them to stop.
When questioned by Chong's lawyer Wee Pan Lee, Nur Fatwa said he brought up the kolam ritual to tease and scare the NSF.
He agreed the act of pushing Cpl Kok in the well was unplanned and nobody, including Chong, could have known the teasing would result in the push.
The trial continues today, when the officer who found Cpl Kok at the bottom of the well, Staff Sergeant Ng Meng Kiat, is expected to take the stand.
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