After the news of a National Serviceman Full-time (NSF) drowned in a “ritual celebration” held by regulars in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), several NS men came out to verify that such abuse is very common.
According to former conscripts, the “ragging rituals” range from a battery being pushed into the anus of the NSF to getting pushed into a 1.8m-wide and 12m-deep water pump well. Other abuses include being locked in a cage, being beaten up while asleep, known as the “blanket party”, having their belongings being thrown onto the roof, being forced to be put on intravenous drip done by junior medics, or putting shoe polish wax on their skin from head to toe.
Yesterday (May 14), 22-year-old NSF Kok Yuen Chin from Malaysia Malacca, was celebrating his last day of conscript service at the Tuas View fire station. There is no details on what happened but the NSF later drowned in the water pump well. Two SCDF regulars superiors , a Staff Sergeant and a First Warrant Officer, were arrested.
The Malaysian girlfriend of Kok Yuen Chin, posted on her Facebook profile writing a comment stating that her boyfriend was always afraid of water and that he did not know how to swim.
A former NSF told media reporters that he went through the similar “kolam ritual”, requiring him to jump into the water well filled with algae and getting out. Another former NSF said that some “kolam rituals” would require NSFs to wear heavy bunker gear before being “carried and thrown” into the 12m-deep well.
This is the second NSF death in two months, following the death of Dave Lee who died from heat stroke. According to an unverified account, Dave Lee was abused and denied immediate medical attention which led to his death.
Power abuse against NSF conscripts is prevalent in Singapore as they are easily subjected to imprisonment due to a corrupted military judiciary system.