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Another blow for suicide NS man’s family

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There will be no insurance payout for Ganesh Pillay, the national serviceman who committed suicide last year after his officers didn’t pay enough attention to the young’s mental illness.

This is because the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Group Term Life insurance, which is bought by most NS men, does not cover suicide.

Magindren Reganathan said: “My son suffered from a mind injury. He had a relapse. The officers pushed him and they punished him. They also made him write pages and pages of instructions in his notebook. And that was why he went berserk and jumped.”

Ganesh was diagnosed with schizophrenia when he was 18. His father said his son’s mental state had stabilised, but took a turn for the worse last year while in Katib Camp. Ganesh was found dead at the foot of his family’s home in Sengkang on July 5.

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Magindren added: “I did not know till now how he was treated in the camp, the days before he died. I want to know how he was treated. Did Captain Jessie Goh [Ganesh’s manpower officer] shout at him?

“He did not have a girlfriend problem. He did not have personal debt. My point is he was pushed mentally. This is an injury done to my son in his camp.”

An Aviva spokesperson said, “We extend our condolences to Mr Pillay’s family for the loss of their son. Suicide is not covered within the first year of coverage for our SAF Group Term Life plan. This is common practice in the industry for life insurance plans.”

Magindren intends to appeal to Aviva’s chairperson to reverse the decision.

Litigation lawyer Choo Zheng Xi from Peter Low LLC said: “The fact is, especially in the Coroner’s report, it points towards suicide. It is unlikely you can challenge the term suicide.”

Another litigation lawyer who does not want to be named said: “If someone murders someone under the influence of a mental condition, they may not be liable for the crime.

“But if you kill yourself, the fact remains you took your own life, regardless of underlying reasons, unless you challenge if the person has the prerequisite intention to take his own life? That would be very difficult.”

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