SCDF investigating two videos showing ragging incident at fire station

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) said yesterday (May 24) that it is looking into two videos showing what seems to be a ragging incident in 2017, where an SCDF personnel is seen being dragged along the floor and struggling in a water-filled well.

According to The Straits Times, Channel NewsAsia (CNA) first reported on these videos yesterday afternoon, about two weeks after Corporal (Cpl) Kok Yuen Chin, an SCDF Full-Time National Serviceman died during a celebration for his impending Operationally-ready Date (ORD) at Tuas View Fire Station.

CNA said that the person who contributed the videos refused to be named, and claimed that the clips were taken between January and February 2017, at the old Jurong Fire Station. 

A uniformed personnel is seen being dragged across the floor despite his protests, before he was appeared to be hanging on to the side of a well, in video screenshots posted by CNA.

The SCDF has restated that it has zero-tolerance towards all forms of ragging or unauthorised initiation activities, with existing measures in place to deter and detect such activities.

To "celebrate" the end of his conscription, Cpl Kok was made to enter a 12m-deep pump well, and was later found unconscious. According to family members, he could not swim and was afraid of water

Cpl Kok had returned to Malaysia to vote in the general election last week and had reportedly even bought snacks back for his colleagues in an attempt to persuade them not to rag him. 

However, the "celebration" still proceeded.

When he did not resurface, several SCDF personnel jumped into the well to look for him but could not find him.

He was then rushed to Ng Teng Fong General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Two SCDF personnel - a Warrant Officer 1 and a Staff Sergeant - were arrested following Cpl Kok's death and shall also be suspended from service on half-pay pending the outcome of police investigations. The duo were colleagues of Cpl Kok who shared the same shift duty at the station.

Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam later said that the SCDF and Home Team agencies will see what went wrong, and learn the lessons, examining what more can be done to stop this behaviour. 

Regarding Cpl Kok's case, Mr Shanmugam said: "What I can say is that the conduct was unacceptable. It was a clear and serious violation of the rules, and there can be no excuse for the conduct."

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