SINGAPORE: A recent message from the Ministry of Defense (MINDEF) to die due to zero training is not only unrealistic, but also desirable in light of the risks involved in training the military force, the Labor Party President (WP) said on Monday (February 11th) Pratam Singh).
He said in the Parliament about the proposal to discontinue training in civil service training, he said that after the death of the national soldier (NSman) Aloysius Pang, the MINDEF narrative slightly shifted to the "mindset of zero accidents".
"Due to the generated expectations, whenever a training fatal accident occurs, public pressure on MINDEF and SV leaders over the leading chain has taken on a very corrosive edge. This does not only harm the SAF, but also the national service, "said Singh.
READ: "Loss of NSman's colleagues near home": Pritam Singh WP on the death of Aloysius Panga
Although it is clear that the underlying message, which stands for the "zero-accident mentality" that security is seriously addressed, the public will focus on the word "nothing" and this is an objective that can not be achieved even in industries that have a strict security. said Mr. Singh.
"No organization, let alone the one who is at war and defending the sovereignty of Singapore, can not realistically promise any fatalities or incidents in training, although the public must insist on the most stringent safety parameters for the training of the SV and MINDEF is striving for the same," he added .
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In response, Defense Minister Ng Eng Hen acknowledged that the goal of zero fatalities was "very difficult" and perhaps even "impossible", but MINDEF must continue to guide it.
"Our own experience shows that we can achieve it for several years. Can anyone ensure that there will be no fatalities by the end of our future? Certainly not, "said Dr. Ng.
"But this zero mortality spills into the consciousness of every commander and every soldier in order to get there, you better take care of what you are doing. That safety deficiencies will not allow us to be safe first because we end up wanting to train you and I want you to be alive so that you can fight when Singapore needs you, "he added.
READ: "I'm deeply saddened": Ng Eng Hen on recent deaths with training in the NS, undertakes to be responsible for each soldier
Earlier on Monday, Ng in his ministerial statement stressed that between 2013 and 2016 there were no fatalities due to four deaths in 2012.
"This is probably due to several factors, but I believe that the new security measures that were introduced after the devastating events of 2012 had an impact," said Dr. Ng. "If we strive to achieve zero deaths in training, this can be achieved."
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In addition, Mr. Singh suggested that Article 14 of the Law on Government Proceedings be examined to allow soldiers to bring civil action if MINDEF or a soldier of negligence violated security.
This would "direct the homeland to the center of peace-keeping in the SV mission" and create a space for the government to impose more responsibility in its protocols and processes, he said.
Mr Singh explained that any possible exception to Section 14 for training security would apply only if the master behaves disorderly, maliciously or deliberately ignores security reasons.
"For example, if the master deliberately decided to give up the safety instruction, failure to observe the safety training regulations, he did not provide sufficient rest before or during training and missions without an appropriate reason or risk reduction previously approved by the superior commander, followed by a blanket the immunity provided for in Section 14 should not apply. It follows that the court should be left to decide whether MINDEF or the master concerned should be held liable, "he said.
Mr Singh added that such a change would make the national service more responsible, rather than undermine it.
"This would enhance public confidence in the importance of the national service, why security is crucial, MINDEF and any government on that day would go to protect the institution, even if it means that MINDEF's own reputation and its commanders available. line. This would send a clear and unambiguous message to MINDEF – which stops at first. "
Dr. Ng said that Mr Singh's proposal is a "very tangential argument" that "is late in the matter," since MINDEF is responsible for prosecuting the commanders.
READ: Death of NSman Aloysius Pang: SV investigating unit looking for possible military and criminal prosecutions
"I do not need those who want to sue the government before the commanders do it.
"We took commanders or men of NS who were abandoned, who did not fulfill their duty of law enforcement. Not only civilian payments to the courts – they go to prison, "said Dr. Ng.
"Their lives and career are destroyed. And right, they deserve it, "he added.
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Within a few days after Aloysius Pang died, Singh wrote on Facebook that his death "hit her at home" because he was at that time in reserve.
In Parliament on Monday, Mr Singh reiterated that every time each soldier falls, everyone feels collective pain "for a life with so much hope and promise."
"We also suffer loss of family members who live with sadness and regret over the loss of a son or daughter in peace and in the service of the nation," he said.
He pointed out that security is a crucial key to the Slovenian Armed Forces, as this is "a largely mobilized force".
"There are potential security gaps that need to be considered and improved to be implemented. I hope that they can be quickly and thoughtfully introduced with the expertise that the SAF is known for, so that the Singaporeans can rest easy in that they know that our military women and men are operationalally ready to keep Singapore safe and safe all the time. , "He added.