Singapore—On October 31, an officer of the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) was convicted over the May 2018 death of a full-time national serviceman.
Thirty-six-year-old First Warrant Officer Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh was found guilty of telling Staff Sergeant Nur Fatwa Mahmood to push Corporal Kok Yuen Chin into a pump well at Tuas View Fire Station, which is known as committing a rash act not amounting to culpable homicide.
Corporal Kok, age 22, drowned in the incident. He did not know how to swim, and his body was finally removed from the well half an hour after he had been pushed into it.
Mr Farid is currently still out on bail, and will be back in court for sentencing.
It was part of Mr Fatwa’s statement that he had pushed Corporal Kok into the well because Mr Farid told him to do so.
However, Mr Farid refuted this over and over in the course of his trial.
Messrs Farid and Fatwa have both been suspended without pay starting from four days from Corporal Kok’s drowning, which occurred on May 13, 2018, three days before his National Service was supposed to end.
According to Mr Fatwa, Mr Farid said, “Wa, tolak dia” to him, and he pushed Corporal Kok in. The two men had an argument about this when interviewed by the police and when the two men were spoken to by the fire station commander, Major Huang Weikang, after the incident occurred, Mr Fatwa said he felt betrayed by Mr Farid.
Second Principal District Judge Victor Yeo said on October 31 that he accepted what Mr Fatwa’s said, and that he found him to be a credible witness who “candidly admitted to his involvement” in the incident and that “his testimony contained a ring of truth”, TODAY Online reported. Judge Yeo added that he was “not entirely convinced” by the explanations of Mr Farid.
“Instead, I was persuaded by Fatwa’s honest answer that there is no reason for him to lie about this and that he spoke the truth only because he wanted those responsible to take responsibility as he himself had done.”
Judge Yeo said that he found Mr Farid’s reaction was “consistent with guilt.”
“He was shocked that his good friend had spoken the truth and implicated him… I was unimpressed by his attempts to downplay his involvement in the whole episode, and minimise his role to one of a mere spectator which is not borne out by evidence,” the District Judge added.
Judge Yeo also said that Mr Fatwa’s testimony was consistent with the video clips that were shown at the trial.
Five officers of the SCDF were charged concerning the death of Corporal Kok. Mr Fatwa was charged with one count of causing death by a rash act and one count of abetting the obstruction of justice. Mr Farid was charged with abetting a rash act causing death.
Staff Sergeant Adighazali Suhaimi was charged with intentionally obstructing the course of justice. First Senior Warrant Officer Nazhan Mohamed Nazi and Lieutenant Chong Chee Boon were charged with abetting a rash act causing grievous hurt by illegal omission.