Recent deaths of 2 SAF servicemen due to unnatural causes 'not related to service': Ng Eng Hen

Recent deaths of 2 SAF servicemen due to unnatural causes 'not related to service': Ng Eng Hen

Ng Eng Hen file
File photo of Singapore's Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen. (Photo: Koh Mui Fong/TODAY)

SINGAPORE: The deaths of two Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) servicemen last July and September on SAF premises were "due to unnatural causes not related to service", Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said on Monday (Apr 1).

An off-duty regular serviceman was found hanging from a rope in his bunk at Nee Soon Camp last July. In September, a full-time national serviceman was found dead in his office at Sembawang Air Base.

"Police investigations to ascertain the causes and circumstances connected with these two deaths have been completed and submitted to the State Coroner," said Dr Ng. "The State Coroner found that there was no evidence of foul play and that the deaths were deliberate acts of suicide."

Dr Ng was responding to a parliamentary question by Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Dennis Tan, who asked about the causes of the two men's deaths, and whether they were related to issues experienced in the course of service.

Mr Tan also asked whether prior to their deaths, the two men's commanders or colleagues were aware of any problem or difficulty which had a bearing on their deaths.  

In his written reply, Dr Ng said: "The State Coroner did not identify any contributory factors related to their commanders or colleagues, (National Service) or work that could have led to the incident."

READ: ‘I am deeply sorry for the loss’: Ng Eng Hen on recent NS training deaths, vows accountability for every soldier

SAF deaths have been in the spotlight in recent months.

They include the death of actor Aloysius Pang earlier this year - the fourth SAF training fatality in 18 months. The actor died after sustaining serious injuries during an SAF training exercise in New Zealand.

Where to get help: Samaritans of Singapore operates a 24-hour hotline at 1800 221 4444, or you can email pat@sos.org.sg. You can also find a list of international helplines here. If someone you know is at immediate risk, call 24-hour emergency medical services.

Source: CNA/nc(gs)

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