Home News Featured News WP’s Pritam Singh to MINDEF: No organisation 'can realistically promise zero fatalities...

WP’s Pritam Singh to MINDEF: No organisation ‘can realistically promise zero fatalities or training incidents’




- Advertisement -

The head of The Worker’s Party (WP), Pritam Singh, said in Parliament on Monday, February 11, that the aim of the country’s Defence Ministry’s (MINDEF) to achieve no training deaths during National Service, is both ‘unrealistic’ and ‘wishful’. The fact that training military forces carries considerable risks must be taken into consideration, he added.

Pritam also said that after the publicised death of actor Aloysius Pang in a National Service (NS) training incident, MINDEF seems to be concentrating on a “zero-accident mindset.”

He said, “As a result of the expectations created, every time a training fatality occurs, the public pressure on MINDEF and SAF commanders down the leadership chain takes on a very corrosive edge. This damages not just the SAF, but the institution of National Service too.”

The WP MP’s point was that with emphasising a “zero-accident mindset,” the public would concentrate on the “zero” aspect, which even in sectors that have tight safety requirements, Pritam says is impossible to achieve.

- Advertisement -

“No organisation, let alone one that is in the business of war and defending Singapore’s sovereignty, can realistically promise zero fatalities or training incidents even as the public must insist on the strictest training safety parameters for the SAF, and MINDEF strives for the same.”

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen answered Pritam by saying that even though the goal to achieve no deaths during NS training, it still needs to be MINDEF’s aim. He said, “Our own experience shows, some years we may be able to achieve it. Can anyone guarantee that it will be zero fatalities for the rest of our future? Surely not.”

Ng had said that in the years between 2013 and 2016, there had been zero NS deaths after tighter safety measures were put in place when there had been four fatalities in 2012.

He added, “But that zero fatality sears into the consciousness of every commander and every soldier that to get there, you better be careful about what you are doing. That safety lapses will not be tolerated, that it will be safety first because, at the end of the day, I want to train you, and I want you to be alive, to be able to fight when Singapore needs you.”

Read related Ng Eng Hen on Aloysius Pang’s death: Gun lowering mechanism had no malfunctions




Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg 

- Advertisement -

Man attacks teen, calls him a virus, damages his phone

Singapore—A sudden attack took a teen by surprise when one man started yelling at him, physically harming him, and throwing his phone into a nearby drain at around 10.30pm on Tuesday (Feb 23) on a section of the road near the...

3 migrant workers die after 10 injured in Tuas industrial building blast

Singapore – Three of the 10 workers injured in an explosion at an industrial building in Tuas on Wednesday (Feb 24) died on Thursday. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) responded to a fire at No. 32E Tuas Avenue 11 at around...

Film producer says Myanmar maid called her family, wanting to go home, two weeks before she died

A video producer who visited the family of Piang Ngaih Don, the Myanmar maid beaten and starved to death by her employers in 2016, says Ms Piang somehow managed to call her family just two weeks before she died. She told...

Send in your scoop to news@theindependent.sg