SCDF ragging death: Witness says he could have remembered details wrongly
A Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer testified that before Corporal Kok Yuen Chin was pushed into a fire station pump well on May 13 last year, another colleague had tried to "kolam" him earlier that day.
However, he said he could have remembered wrongly.
Taking the stand during a trial where two SCDF officers linked to Cpl Kok's death are contesting charges against them, First Warrant Officer Mulifatullah Atan said rota commander Kenneth Chong Chee Boon, had stepped in to stop it. But he was unable to back some points up or said he had remembered the details wrongly when grilled during cross-examination.
Cpl Kok, 22, drowned on May 13 last year after he was pushed into the Tuas View Fire Station pump well, or kolam, in a ragging ritual.
1WO Mulifatullah said that about four hours before this, they were playing football and Staff Sergeant Al-Khudaifi Chang had held Cpl Kok and said the word "kolam" to get him to enter the nearby pump well.
He thought Staff Sgt Chang would have made Cpl Kok enter the well based on his actions.
Chong's defence lawyer, Mr Wee Pan Lee, pressed him and brought up differing testimony by Staff Sgt Chang. On Monday, Staff Sgt Chang testified he got into a "friendly tussle" with Cpl Kok during the game, but did not mention saying "kolam" then.
This prompted 1WO Mulifatullah to say: "I heard someone mention kolam... but I don't remember if he's the one."
The trial involves Chong, 38, a lieutenant, and Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 40, a first senior warrant officer who was deputy rota commander. The two were in charge of the station that night.
They were charged with aiding a rash act that caused grievous hurt by illegal omission.
That evening, those on duty had gathered in the control room to hold a cake-cutting ceremony for Cpl Kok.
1WO Mulifatullah said he left the room after the celebration and was talking to Nazhan outside. When he returned, he saw Chong and Sergeant Mohamed Hanis Mohamed Hussain.
On Wednesday, Sgt Hanis testified he had left the room during the ceremony and when he returned, only Chong was there.