LAW PROTECTING SAF OFFICERS FROM CIVIL SUITS TO STAY DESPITE SPATE OF NSF DEATHS

Minister of Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen spoke in Parliament on Monday to reiterate the ministry’s stand that no ammendment would be made to laws protecting members of the armed forces for causing death or personal injury during training.

Dr Ng was responding to the Workers’ Party’s NCMP Dennis Tan, who proposed a motion to amend Section 14 of the Government Proceedings Act, which allows soldiers and commanders to train without worrying about being sued by servicemen when injuries and fatalities occur.

He cited the example of the Individual Physical Proficiency Test and said that commanders might feel deterred from pushing their units to train harder if the law did not protect them from being sued, for example if it is found that a serviceman collapses and dies and it is found after the fact that he had an undetected condition.

The WP NCMP had brought up the case of Private Dominique Sarron Lee who died in April 2012 due to a fatal allergic reaction to zinc chloride fumes from a smoke grenade exercise.

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