Photo of NSF funeral from Mediacorp

A Singapore Armed Force (SAF) commander has unwittingly committed sub judice contempt on an ongoing investigation over the death of NSF Dave Lee, by writing a letter to state media CNA detailing on the case. Cmmander of the Army Training and Doctrine Command, Brigadier-General (BG) Kenneth Liow was responding to three forum letters criticising the SAF.

In his letter, the army general cleared the commanders and himself of any wrongdoing by declaring that safety measures were dutifully carried out.

“In the event of heat injury, cooling measures such as the removal of clothes and application of ice or water will be taken for the affected soldier. The SAF medical centres also have custom-built evaporative body cooling units. If the soldier’s condition is severe, he will be evacuated to the nearest hospital. All these measures were taken for CFC Dave Lee.”

Clearly, the self-clearance by BG Kenneth Liow has the tendency to interfere with the investigation. Despite the blatant display of sub judice contempt, there is no response from the Singapore Police or Law Minister K Shanmugam, who has previously invoked the law to silence criticisms on high profile police cases.

There are currently two investigations ongoing over the case – one internally by the SAF and the other by the police – and a public inquiry led by a cluster superintendent from the Ministry of Education. According to an online account claiming to be written by a platoon mate of the deceased, the platoon was abused and the commanders ignored safety protocols on the day prior to his demise.