Ng Eng Hen to deliver ministerial statement on NS training deaths, SAF safety

Ng Eng Hen to deliver ministerial statement on NS training deaths, SAF safety

Minute of silence for Aloysius Pang
Servicemen bowed their heads for one minute of silence and bade farewell to actor Aloysius Pang. (Photo: Matthew Mohan)

SINGAPORE: Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen will make a ministerial statement on National Service (NS) training deaths and safety enhancements for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) when Parliament sits on Monday (Feb 11).

This comes after Singapore actor Aloysius Pang died from serious injuries sustained during an SAF training exercise in New Zealand last month. 

READ: Actor Aloysius Pang dies after sustaining serious injuries in SAF training accident

READ: Aloysius Pang was crushed between howitzer gun barrel and cabin

The actor's death and the safety of SAF training in general will be in the spotlight when Parliament sits, with at least 20 related questions tabled. 

MP Alex Yam has asked how the defence ministry (MINDEF) intends to reassure Singaporeans that "safety in the SAF is paramount", given that Pang's was the fourth SAF training fatality in 18 months.

MP Leon Perera has asked whether any common causative factors could be discerned in these deaths and whether any "systemic changes in policy, guidelines or approaches to training" would be undertaken to address the root causes of these deaths.

Non-constituency Member of Parliament Daniel Goh has asked whether national servicemen go through adequate training and safety refresher courses immediately before participating in exercises, and whether these courses need improvement.

He has also asked whether the design of the Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer - in which Pang was carrying out repair work when he was injured - would be reviewed to determine possible flaws.

READ: Final farewell as actor Aloysius Pang is given military send-off

Other issues on the Parliament agenda include GCE examination papers, after 32 O-Level Additional Mathematics exam scripts from Singapore went missing in the United Kingdom.

Parliament will also discuss the service quality of national postal service Singapore Post, regulations concerning compensation for significant flight delays and licensing requirements for pet boarding businesses.

READ: Regulation of pet boarding facilities a "grey area", say operators

Several Bills will also be introduced, including the Criminal Law Reform Bill. 

Source: CNA/nc(hs)

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