SINGAPORE: The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) is investigating two videos that show a "ragging incident" at the old Jurong Fire Station in early 2017 and which were brought to its attention by Channel NewsAsia.
The videos, lasting 16 seconds and 40 seconds, respectively, were provided to Channel NewsAsia by a member of the public on Monday (May 21), and come after news of the drowning of SCDF Corporal (CPL) Kok Yuen Chin in the Tuas View Fire Station pump well on May 13.
The person who sent the videos to Channel NewsAsia did not want to be named, and said that they were taken between January and February 2017 at the old Jurong Fire Station, which closed late last year. In a Facebook post on Thursday (May 24), SCDF confirmed those details, describing the content of the videos as a "ragging incident".
The first video shows what appears to be an SCDF officer being dragged along the floor by several colleagues. The second involves what appears to be the same officer struggling in a water-filled well.
In the first video, an officer wearing a "crew" T-shirt, work pants and boots is seen being dragged along the floor by two similarly dressed officers. Two other officers, one wearing an SCDF T-shirt, are seen following them.
When they reach a flight of steps, the officer being dragged sits up and appears to raise his hands, saying: "I'm not doing it."
But his colleagues continue to drag him by the arms and ear down the steps and past a fire engine. Laughter can be heard in the background.
The second video also opens with laughter, with what appears to be the same person struggling in a well, with water reaching up to his neck.
The officer can be seen holding on to edge of the well with one hand, while holding onto an SCDF life jacket with the other.
A voice in the background can be heard saying: "You're still operational you know."
Later in the video, voices can be heard saying: "ORD (operationally ready date) already is it?"
The video ends with the officer in the well grimacing and saying: "This is deep."
Someone is heard replying: "Do you know how deep it is?
"Deeper than what I told you."
Replying to questions from Channel NewsAsia, an SCDF spokesperson said on Wednesday that it is "aware of the videos, and are investigating into the matter".
In its Facebook post on Thursday, SCDF said it "will not tolerate any ragging or unauthorised initiation activities".
While investigations into how CPL Kok ended up in the well are still ongoing, SCDF has said that it was part of activities to celebrate his impending ORD.
Following the incident, Channel NewsAsia reported on SCDF ragging rituals that former personnel said were associated with milestones like ORD.
One of the rituals, called "kolam" (Malay for pool), involves pushing ORD personnel into station pump wells.
SCDF announced on Wednesday that it would introduce stiffer penalties and other measures to guard against unauthorised activities like ragging.
The person who sent the videos to Channel NewsAsia said he was a fireman during National Service.
"These rituals are a real act of nuisance and fun to those who are the bullies. It has never been fun to those who are getting bullied or the victim of the hazings," the person said.