Six servicemen fined by military court in relation to death of CFC Dave Lee

Staff Writer, Singapore
·Editorial Team
·3-min read
A photo of CFC Dave Lee at his wake. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Facebook)
A photo of CFC Dave Lee at his wake. (PHOTO: Screenshot/Facebook)

SINGAPORE — Six national servicemen were sentenced by a military court in relation to the death of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee, and were fined between $1,800 and $4,500.

In a media release on Thursday (24 September), the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said that the servicemen pleaded guilty upon being charged on 20 February, after the completion of investigations by the Singapore Armed Force’s (SAF) Special Investigation Branch.

The sentences for the servicemen are:

  • Corporal(NS) Tan Jin Yang was convicted of two charges of negligent acts endangering life under Section 41(b) of the SAF Act. He was fined $4,500.

  • First Sergeant Chia Zhi Xuan was convicted of one charge of disobedience of general orders under Section 21 of the SAF Act. He was fined $2,500.

  • CPL(NS) Chng Pheng Heng, CPL(NS) Jonas Ang Kai Jie and CPL(NS) Yep Ren Jie were each convicted of one charge of disobedience of general orders under Section 21 of the SAF Act and one charge of abuse of authority under Section 29 of the SAF Act. They were each fined $2,500 and demoted from the rank of Third Sergeant(NS) to the rank of Corporal(NS).

  • Second Sergeant Koh Ren Zhong was convicted of one charge of negligent performance of a lawful duty under Section 17(2) of the SAF Act. He was sentenced to a fine of $1,800.

Supervising officer died of cancer

Lee, 19, died two weeks after being admitted to Changi General Hospital for heatstroke. He had completed an 8km fast march in Bedok Camp on 18 April 2018 before he showed signs of heat injury and had to be hospitalised.

The supervising officer of the fast march, Captain Tan Baoshu, was charged in the State Courts on 31 October 2018 for causing Lee’s death by a rash act. On 8 January this year, CPT Tan was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal, due to his terminal cancer condition. Tan died on 13 February.

Mindef said in the media release that, since the 2018 incident, the SAF has introduced enhancements to existing heat injury management and prevention measures.

These include: implementing a simplified evacuation protocol, improving heat injury awareness for commanders and medics, enhancing existing cooling and heat injury prevention measures and strengthening an open reporting culture.

Over the past two years, the SAF has seen a 40 per cent decline in the number of heat injury cases, and there have been no cases of heat stroke.

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