The public backlash against the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) over the death of Corporal First Class (National Service) [CFC (NS)] Pang Wei Chong, Aloysius has been raging on. More Singaporeans are now calling for heads to roll at the top echelons of the military.
CFC (NS) Pang, an armament technician, had been undergoing their reservist training in New Zealand and had been carrying out repair works inside a self-propelled howitzer with his team last Saturday when the gun barrel was lowered, crushing him. Despite the best efforts of medical professionals, Pang succumbed to his injuries and passed away.
CFC (NS) Pang’s untimely passing is the fourth training death in the past 16 months alone, without counting the suicides of active servicemen in the same period.
Yesterday, as news of Pang’s death broke, countless Singaporeans called on MINDEF and SAF to be accountable over CFC (NS) Pang’s death.
A press conference called by military chiefs yesterday to explain the circumstances of the late NSman’s death did little to stave off the people’s furore and many have now agreed that harsher punishments for the top brass are due:
Ex-Presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has also called for SAF chiefs to take pay cuts for every training death. The former NTUC income CEO suggested today:
“For each death of NS man, SAF should deduct 5% of the salary of the chief of defense and chief of branch, up to 30% a month. They will know what to do.”
Opposition figures like Goh Meng Seng and Lim Tean are among those who “liked” Tan Kin Lian’s suggestion.