Singapore—The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) announced in a press release today that two SAF servicemen will be charged in a military court in connection with the death of national serviceman Aloysius Pang.
The death of Mr Pang, a well-known and beloved actor, shocked the country in January. Only 28, he had succumbed to crushing injuries from a military accident while on reservist training in New Zealand for the Singapore Army, despite multiple surgeries to save his life. The accident occurred on January 19, and the actor passed away on January 23.
According to MINDEF’s statement, the two SAF servicemen, Military Expert 2 (ME2) Ivan Teo, aged 35, and Third Sergeant(NS) [3SG(NS)] Hubert Wah, aged 31, are to be charged in military court today (July 31) in connection to the death of Corporal First Class(NS) [CFC(NS)] Aloysius Pang.
A serving State Courts judge will preside over the military court martial.
The statement says that ME2 Teo will be facing three charges. These are as follows: one charge for disobedience of general orders under section 21 of the SAF Act; and two charges for causing death by negligent act under section 304A(b) of the Penal Code.
If he is convicted of disobedience of general orders, Mr Teo could face a jail sentence of up to two years. And if he is convicted of causing death by negligent act, he will be liable for imprisonment of up to two years, be made to pay fine, or both.
As for 3SG(NS) Wah, he is facing two charges in court today. These are: one charge for causing death by rash act under section 304A(a) of the Penal Code, and one charge for causing death by negligent act under section 304A(b) of the Penal Code.
Should he receive a conviction for causing death by rash act, Mr Wah will be liable for imprisonment of up to five years, be made to pay a fine, or both.
The statement from MINDEF further says that since Mr Pang’s death happened in New Zealand, the Singapore Police Force does not have jurisdiction to conduct investigations into his death. However, it added that the SAF’s Special Investigation Branch (SIB) did conduct investigations into Mr Pang’s death, and based on their findings, the Chief Military Prosecutor decided to prosecute Messrs Teo and Wah.
In May, it was announced that the Committee of Inquiry (COI) discovered that the training accident which led to the death of Mr Pang was due to lapses from him, as well as two other servicemen as they were handling a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer (SSPH).
In a parliamentary ministerial statement on May 6, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen announced that the COI, which was composed of five members who interviewed over 20 people involved in the incident, found no evidence that linked the accident to foul play or deliberate acts.
Dr Ng said there “was no mechanical fault with the gun that had directly caused the accident.
The incident, in this case, was not due to the serviceability of the SSPH.”/ TISG