SINGAPORE – Two Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officers were sentenced to 10 weeks’ imprisonment on Tuesday (Sept 15) over their involvement in a 2018 ragging incident that led to the death of a full-time national serviceman (NSF).
Following a trial, Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 42, was sentenced to 10 weeks’ jail after he was found guilty last month of acting negligently by failing to prevent his subordinates from carrying out the ragging activity on the night of May 13, 2018.
His colleague, Kenneth Chong Chee Boon, 40, who was the commander, was given a similar sentence on Tuesday.
He had pleaded guilty to a similar offence in July.
Nazhan’s lawyer Mr Singa Retnam told the court that his client intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence.
The pair were the last two to be dealt with in court after the tragedy.
Some of their subordinates had pressured the NSF, Corporal Kok Yuen Chin, 22, to enter a 12m-deep pump well at the fire station that evening to mark the impending completion of his national service.
He drowned after another of his colleagues, Muhammad Nur Fatwa Mahmood, 34, pushed him in.
Three SCDF regulars, including Nur Fatwa, had earlier been convicted and sentenced over their involvement in the tragedy.
Nur Fatwa was sentenced to a year and four weeks’ jail in October 2018 after he admitted to the fatal push.
Nazhan and Chong were originally charged with intentionally aiding a group of SCDF servicemen to cause grievous hurt to Cpl Kok via a rash act endangering human life.
Those convicted of this offence can be jailed for up to four years and fined up to $10,000.
But after an earlier trial, Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun reduced their charges to the current one – that of performing a negligent act by failing to prevent their subordinates from carrying out the ragging activity on May 13, 2018.
Those convicted of this offence can be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.
In delivering his reasons in July for amending the charge, the judge had noted that it was Nur Fatwa who pushed Cpl Kok into the well that evening.
The judge had also said that Chong and Nazhan were not present at the well, adding that the pair did not have the opportunity to intervene or take preventive action at the time.
He, however, stressed that there had been a “dereliction of duty” on the part of both men.
The judge had said that Chong and Nazhan were obliged to ensure Cpl Kok’s life was not endangered while he was on duty.