Physical punishment allowed in SAF, but strictly prescribed: Ng Eng Hen

Physical punishment allowed in SAF, but strictly prescribed: Ng Eng Hen

saf soldiers wearing new hybrid uniform 2
Infantry soldiers doing jumping jacks in the new uniform. (Photo: MINDEF)

SINGAPORE: Physical exercises and non-physical punishment can be meted out by Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) commanders to discipline soldiers for disorderly behaviour and improper attire.

In a written Parliamentary reply on Monday (Sep 10), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said physical exercises in the form of push-ups, sit-ups, or foot drills, as well as non-physical punishment such as additional duties and weekend confinements, are forms of discipline that are strictly prescribed in the SAF’s Joint Manpower Directive.

The directive also states the number of repetitions that are allowed for specific exercises, the number and duration of additional duties or confinement, and the seniority of the commanders who are allowed to mete out such disciplinary measures.

Dr Ng was responding to a question from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Dennis Tan, who asked whether physical punishments of servicemen by way of enforced physical exercises or drills for disciplinary infringements are still allowed in the SAF.

“SAF personnel who mete out unauthorised punishments, or have willfully or negligently infringed training safety regulations in the conduct of punishment, have been dealt with and prosecuted within the SAF or criminal prosecution in the State Courts,” Dr Ng added.

In July, Mr Tan had also asked Dr Ng if any form of ragging was allowed in the SAF.

The Defence Minister said then that informal punishment in the form of additional physical training was allowed in the SAF provided they followed stipulated guidelines. The punishment meted out should also commensurate with commanders' seniority.

Source: CNA/zl(ra)