Singapore — A companion of Corporal (CPL) Kok Yuen Chin, who drowned last year during the celebration of his coming Operationally Ready Date (ORD), said that before the full-time national serviceman (NSF) was pushed into the well where he met his untimely demise, he gave a “scared smile” and resisted while being brought to the well.
On June 12, Wednesday, CPL Kok’s fellow NSF, 23-year-old Mohamed Rabik Atham Ansari, was called on as a witness for the prosecution at the trial of station commanders Lieutenant Kenneth Chong Chee Boon and First Senior Warrant Officer (1st SWO) Nazhan Mohamed Nazi.
On May 13, 2018, CPL Kok drowned after he was pushed into a 12-meter deep pump well at Tuas View Fire Station by Staff Sergeant Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood.
In October, Mr Fatwa received a jail sentence of one year and four weeks. He is currently on home detention and also stood as a witness in court for the prosecution on June 11.
Mohamed Rabik Atham Ansari’s testimony
Mr Ansari said that he, Corporal Sok Leng, and CPL Kok were the only NSFs at Tuas Fire Station at the time of the incident. He also decried himself as close to CPL Kok.
That night, CPL Kok had been presented with a plaque in the control room in the presence of Messrs Chong, Nazhan, Fatwa, as well as First Warrant Officer Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh.
The group of men also had some cake as part of the celebration of CPL Kok’s ORD.
Mr Ansari said that when some of the men started yelling “kolam, kolam,” which refers to entering the well, he saw the expression on CPL Kok’s face, saying, “He was smiling, but (it was) a scared smile.”
Because they are friends, Mr Ansari was familiar with the expression on CPL Kok’s face, and therefore he could tell that night that the smile he gave showed that he was fearful.
”I know Cpl Kok well, I know his scared smile,” he said.
When CPL Kok attempted to leave but was held on to by two men, including Mr Ansari.
Four men in all carried him to the well, with CPL Kok resisting, according to Mr Ansari.
When they got to the well, Mr Ansari said that CPL Kok “kept refusing to go in.”
“I thought of two possibilities. I thought since everybody was urging him to go in, he would just go in and come out. Second, I thought since he kept refusing, everyone would say, ‘Since you keep refusing, never mind, we will just go up and have our dinner.’”
And then, Mr Ansari said that Mr Fatwa came from the back and pushed CPL Kok into the well, and when he fell in, he did not come up again.
Thirty-six minutes later, after many attempts to rescue the NSF, the men were able to bring him out of the well, but he was already unconscious. He was brought to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital, where his death was later declared.
Charges against Messrs Chong and Nazhan, other officers
Mr Chong was the rota commander and Mr Nazhan the deputy rota commander on May 13 of last year. The two men have been charged with aiding a rash act that caused grievous hurt by illegal omission, for reportedly having failed to prevent a group of officers from forcing CPL Kok into the pump well, which endangered his life.
Aside from Mr Fatwa, Staff Sergeant Adighazali Suhaimi has already gone on trial. By next month, the trial of First Warrant Officer Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh is expected to commence as well.
In addition to the five officers facing charges in court, there are eight other officers who will be investigated by their departments in connection with the incident. Two of these eight officers are full-time NSFs, and the other six are regular officers. -/TISG