Thursday, November 15, 2012

Why Was My Son There?

This is one post that has to be simple, in case someone misses the point. Private Dominique Sarron Lee was put in harm's way unnecessarily, and he died. Let's make it clearer, he was killed.

Dominique's pre-enlistment medical screening record clearly showed a history of asthma, yet the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) deemed his medical certification suitable for a vocational assignment that involves close proximity to toxic smoke. Dominque's life was snuffed out in a barrage of six smoke grenades, when the safety recommendations stipulated no more than two, thrown at least 20 metres apart, and at least 10 metres away form the closest troops.

Platoon commander Captain Najib Hanuk Muhamad Jalal was there, so was Chief Safety Officer Captain Chia Thye Siong. They were aware of the Training Safety Regulations (TSR). They knew it, they broke it. Dominique's mother had to ask, "Why was my son there?" Mindef made a pathetic attempt to deflect responsibility by saying Domnique had been on field training where smoke grenades were used and "did not display any adverse reactions to the smoke during training". In other words, Dominique was exposed to a similar life threatening situation before. That he survived the earlier attempt on his life is no excuse for Mindef's lip service to safety for our young men.

Worse, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, a medical doctor by earlier profession, sounded pretty cavalier about the statistical average of two training deaths a year for the last 10 years. That's two sons, brothers or male relatives. More disturbing, Professor Lim Tow Keang who chaired the Committee of Inquiry said: "We're quite sure asthma is not the cause of death." In other words, the inhalation of zinc chloride fumes from six smoke grenades could have killed any other healthy son, brother or male relative. If you believe the Prof, there is no way to check possible allergy to zinc chloride, and the smoke alone could have caused the asphyxiation.

There is one more disturbing question: Why did Dominique have to die? To protect a country which is one third occupied by foreigners?

56 comments:

  1. Our sons are fighting for the country,They are are now fighting with imported foreigners for a job.Terrible country

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. How true and yet so sad. We are the masters of this tiny dot once (I think we were) and now the little dot is taken over by millions of so-called FT.

      Delete
  2. To the other anonymous commentator (and to the many more who will follow, I'm sure):

    This is a human tragedy. There's no need to politicise it by conflating it with the FT issue.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Has anyone taken accountability? NONE! That is the BIGGEST AND MOST HORRIFIC TRAGEDY! So life goes on as usual except for the killed soldier's family and loved ones.

      Delete
    2. Agree with anon of 12.12, all these will not stop because no one needs to pay for mistakes at all levels. A culture bred from hubris and complacency, from being told by the politicians who needed their support that they are masters of the universe. When JPM's london office lost $4b recently, the traders were sacked, their bosses are being sued by the company, and the boss of the bosses, ie the Chief Investment officer resigned in shame. So MIW are saying 2 lives a year is "far cheaper", the price to pay is just "job rotation" to a desk job. Still collecting $8k a month those captains and RSMs, $15k a month those COs?

      Delete
    3. I saw on TV that Ng Eng Hen said SAF cannot be sued and that the parents of the deceased have to go through civil lawsuit to pursue compensation from those directly involved. Is it true? Is Ng trying to say that the government, as the ultimate employer, is above the law? If the government fail to ensure a proper safety culture, it is not liable? If that is the case, why should parents let their sons get enlisted. If it is not responsible, might as well shutdown the SAF.

      Delete
    4. "This is a human tragedy. There's no need to politicise it by conflating it with the FT issue."

      Politicising ? How can it be politicising when the issue is so real to any of us with son ? This writer is just pointing out the irony of your children sending in SAF trying their luck in training with safety procedure breached, and when in this era, that it is more like protecting the foreigners and the rich PAP cronies rather than the country. Beside how government can tell you to protect the country from enemies when the enemies are just at your gate now because this government welcome them by the millions ? You means the gov so good that they can tell whether those foreigners now reside in SinCity is enemies or not ? They can't even predict the orchard flood , mrt breakdown through poor maintenance ?

      Do you want your children to serve the PAP cronies blindly when national pledge is nothing but just a aspiration, and this good-for-nothing government is treating foreigners better than the local ?

      In this context, why anyone should be serving NS when they should be serving themselves like PAP cronies, and why should anyone putting themselves to unnecessary risk through serving NS then ?

      It is these questions that constantly on people's mind.

      Delete
    5. GE 2016.
      A government of Pro Alien Traitors?
      OR
      A government of Pro Singaporean Patriots?
      Vote wisely.
      The life of your sons are in your hands holding the ballot paper.

      Delete
    6. Yes, it is politicising it.

      The FT issue is a political one, and is something the govt actually endorses.

      This SAF safety lapse has not been subject to politician partisanship yet as it's happened so long after the GE. Furthermore the govt actually condemns it.

      So yes, trying to lump on the FT issue to this current topic is nothing nite than politicisation for the sake of it.

      Delete
  3. No it's not a FT issue..it's a non-white horse issue.

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    Replies
    1. The COI found that the soldier died not because he had a history of asthma. Any healthy, able- bodied man could have died in that situation. If the grandson of the old fart was there, he would be dead. The problem was that the dead soldier is not the grandson of somebody but the son of nobody. If he was the son of somebody, he would not be there to breathe the smoke from 6 smoke grenades but probably be doing research to help save the lives of other NS men from some obscure soil disease.

      Delete
  4. NgEH is very blur on this - "My other source of assurance is the vehicle rate accidents, and it's fairly low - 0.5 to 0.6 per 100,000 km."

    The usual road death is 0.001 per 100,000 km. The SAF record is unacceptably high. It is murderously high!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_traffic-related_death_rate

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Walau, if civilians langar at this rate half the Sg drivers will die after a few years of driving. This minister bochap.

      Delete
  5. Of course its not an FT issue, its an accountability issue. Of course isolating it as a tragedy serves your masters well, makes it sound like an accident. Its just like calling circle line failurez a "cable issue" despite billions of dollars of cost overrun for a spanking new project. Even in Zimbawe one can expect better than this ridiculous MIW regime where the buck always stops below me: 2 deaths a year and 3 captains are re-designated, I say fucked you! Sorry this is just too mucking fuch for me. It's lack of accountability at the top and incompetence all the way thru the stoopid civil service.

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  6. Dominique died because of the super almighty ego that has grown out of a small country whose leaders and party think its citizens are here to be part of their military statistics or GDP growth in order for them to punch above their weight. It has NOTHING whatsoever to do with the wellbeing of the soldiers or citizens.

    Countries all over the world celebrate their citizens, poets, artist, writers, businessmen, sports athletes..except in Singapore. Only the MIW, its PARTY and its SCHOOL of Governance is praised and celebrated to gain fame and power and money out of all these.

    Everyone has helped sculpted the monster.

    ReplyDelete
  7. How I wish I could write like this great blogger! I hope one day I could reach his level of competency. I'm a great admirer of this writer. He writes so brutally true and deliver direct knock-out punches to those powerful elites. They won't mind giving a million to him to shut him up and buy him over! Read this latest article from him. http://singaporedesk.blogspot.com/2012/11/why-was-my-son-there.html
    Sad to read that incident from this brilliant blogger! Thank you for writing this. At least we know where we stand in the bigger scheme of things. I've got only one child - my previous son who will soon be forced to serve the nation in few yrs time. I pray my only son will not end up like that poor soul quoted here.

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  8. Hey, I think the TSR is ridiculous lah. How can one ensure that the smoke grenades are thrown 20m apart and 10m from the closet personnel. Are they going to bring measuring tape? If terrain is undulating, the grenades can roll and congregate some more. I think the stupid TSR is just there to cover somebody's arse by making it almost practically impossible to adhere. All I could say is whoever on duty is kena screwed and being made the scapegoat. I took the TSR before, I know. There are tons of obscure rules and everyone has to take it again and again until pass or else stay back, no nights off no book out etc. Must score above 90% to pass. Then after you pass, they make you sign that you took it and you become their scapegoat. So many rules, sure forget one. Only the safety officers have the TSR manual. But then, the book is SO freaking thick. I doubt they can digest and cover everything.

    I tell you, if PTE Dominic fated to die, sure die one.. Even follow TSR will still die one. Now SAF use TSR to cover their backside because sure got one or two rule you never follow. Then they use it to catch you and make you the scapegoat.

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  9. Would it have occurred if it had been the President or PM' son or even any of white horses kids? And the irony of the unnecessary tragedy is that they don't even have the guts to reveal to every parent what the compensation would be like?

    Why, is it too much of an embarrassment to our PAP Govt?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Same as workmen compensation loh. They treat us like foreign workers mah. You want more you have to sue. Then they drag loh, like Ravi's case. AGC will appeal, then counter appeal.. Even no case it will also appeal. Until you laggi sian, give up. Then they ask you to foot their bill...

      Delete
    2. the white horse just need to get President's scholarship then can study some soil disease, work in a lab and siam until 40 years old. Laggi best.

      Delete
  10. Every training exercise I throw three or four, sometimes they land near each other, sometimes the shrubs catches fire, sometimes wind direction change and cover exposed. SAF produce so many smoke grenades. Must help them expand all before they expire. SAF very rich one, if you want infinite rounds you have infinite rounds. No need go play counterstrike. Shoot until the whole weapon filled with carbon and jam. Then clean weapon until you kee siao.

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  11. No apology whatsoever from Mindef. To the minister, two deaths a year is just statistics! So cold-blooded!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Where is the humanity in the aftermath of the tragedy?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. If the compensation is higher, the MIWs think there will be more 'accidental' deaths for the sake of compensations, just like there will be more 'talents' when they are paid the highest in the world for the sake of their dignities.

      Delete
  13. Most operational manuals, recommendations and rules are written to cover backside. Such materials are usually voluminous, thick and ladden with technical specifications that in any exercise, someone bound to violate some of the rules. So, telling us the men failed to follow exact guidelines is a no brainer.

    ReplyDelete
  14. That is why everytime back in reservist I always tell my men, "So garang for f***?" No doubt some righteous officer will say I don't uphold the "To lead, to excel to overcome" creed. But the creed hold no shit when you go tell their wife and child he died in training...

    ReplyDelete
  15. Why are patriots dying for Pro Alien Traitors?
    Vote wisely in GE 2016.
    Your son's life is in your ballot paper.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're a sad person.

      Delete
  16. If SAF does not take accountability for the accident, and compensate the family fairly, then I say scrap NS altogether ! Why should any parent put their precious sons' lives at risk serving the nation ? While the bloody foreigners go straight to University, fully sponsored, and get a 2-year headstart over our own Singaporean sons ? Isn't the current system unfair to our own Singaporean sons ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's time to scrap the National Slavery of our sons.
      We've been conned into enslaving even our sons.
      Enough is enough.
      Vote out the Pro Alien Traitors.
      Don't let Private Dominique Sarron Lee die in vain.

      Delete
    2. Remember.
      It may be your son tomorrow.

      Delete
  17. Abolish NS! It serves no purpose except to provide dirt cheap labour for the elites.

    This PAP government wants to bring in more foreigners to make up a 8 million population. How much of this population will be serving NS? At most 1.5 million out of 8, that makes less than 20% of the people here "defending" all the rest. Our true Singaporean sons will have to slave away at NS and ICT while foreigners jumping over them in university enrollment and work career.

    Even for Lee Hsien Loong himself, as the ultimate white horse, he had a lot of breaks during NS thanks to his scholarship.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Toady it is Private Dominique Sarron Lee.
      Tomorrow, it may be your own son.
      GE 2016.
      You may also be making a choice on your son's life in the ballot paper.
      Vote wisely.

      Delete
    2. I understand that Lee Hsien Loong personally saved a lot of lives during the cable car incident, thanks to his scholarship.

      Delete
  18. Will the Prof and Minister Ng be willing to subject themselves to the same treatment of 5 -6 smoke grenades in a room to test & see what their reaction will be.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's like asking them to stop paying themselves million dollar salaries.
      Or to pay us a minimum wage.

      Still want to trust these people with your sons' life in GE 2016?

      Delete
  19. All these deaths happened during TRAINING. I shudder to think what would happen in a REAL WAR. Are our Scholar-General-Ministers up to the mark, or are they only good to tai-chi the responsibilities of these cock-ups down the chain of command and save their own arses, ala the Mas Selamat affair?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hold the Defence Millionaire responsible & accountable for death of NS men.
      Vote him out in GE 2016.

      Delete
  20. No reason to do NS11/16/2012 9:15 AM

    There used to be a time when Singaporeans saw value in doing NS. But as Tatler rightly points out, our country is now more than a third filled with foreigners. Why should Singaporeans do NS at such a great cost to ourselves?

    ReplyDelete
  21. Me likes to iterate here that Minister Ng Eng Hen had said in the Parliament that due to low birth, the SAF will have to be revamped into one that depends on less man and augment by better weaponry and better strategy, if i may add.

    What can be done in the near future as said by the Minister in my view is possibly done all along. Me am of the view that a lean professional fighting force consists of dedicated highly trained personals augmented by advanced equipment will be more effective than an army comprised of enforced conscription.

    Now that National Service is a huge controversy due to importation of aliens and many mishaps leading to the deaths of many a son of Native Singaporeans, it is imperative to relook at the Issue of NS. No one can enforce loyalty on a disgruntled citizenry and unhappy conscripted soldiers will never make a strong army. Worse is when the families of the conscripts feel hurt by reports of NS training casualties.

    On another hand, it is high time for Singaporean parents to rally for the abolishment of NS knowing well how their sons are disadvantage in their education and carreers due to NS as compared to the girls and imported foregners.

    Deaths of our young men should not be treated as sacrificial lambs, they were humans, sons, siblings and friends to many. Let us be mindful of the feelings of those who have lost their sons.

    patriot

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Parents:
      Protect your sons in National Service.
      Vote Opposition in GE 2016.

      Or else you may hear the dreaded words:
      "I'm sorry. It's happened. It cannot be helped. It was a once in 50 years event. Let's move on."

      Delete
  22. The government has exhorted Singaporeans to be self-reliant when it comes to social security, yet they expect young, able-bodied Singaporean males to sacrifice 2 years of their prime to serve the nation for pittance. When a government breaks the social compact to look after its citizens, the willingness on the people's part to make sacrifices for the nation is challenged.

    The main selling point of NS has always been "our home, our family" and not high GDP growth. Sacrifice will only be sensible if there is emotional obligation to the land and the people who inhabit it. The government's unconditional pursuit for high GDP growth saw the opening of the floodgate to foreigners and its earnest push of pro-foreigner policies. This seemingly selling out behaviour of the government has greatly weakened that emotional obligation and that inevitably, makes any sacrifices unworthy.




    ReplyDelete
  23. Definition of a traitor:
    " a person who betrays someone or something, such as a friend, cause, or principle."

    Source:
    Oxford Dictionary
    http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/english/traitor

    Do the Millionaires of the Pro Alien Party fit the Oxford Dictionary definition?
    What do you think?
    Tell us in GE 2016.

    ReplyDelete
  24. My son was certified by the SAF Medical board to be exempted from carrying heavy items and yet his unit assign him to carry jerry can loaded with petrol. His OC was shown the exemption letter, so what?
    My FT neighbour would display hang their national flag and sang their anthem during their one of sons birthday. Elder is attending private school, a clear sign they won't be staying for their NS, because the wife is a PR whereas grand pa & ma and son enjoys the SG benefits.
    The moment the wife returns to her country, she can fip around all relatives to her native citizen ship.
    Bye bye SG citizen shit.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I only know when the shit hits the fan...

    I will not be moved.

    I will not do any sacrificing or dying for Singapore. And neither will the rest of us.

    Why?

    Thanks ot the PAP and its cronies...let them do the dying, sacrificing and clearing up the shit...cos they made it happen.


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  26. We demand accountability

    ReplyDelete
  27. Our Govt has always imagined that Malaysia & Indonesia is our immediate enemy if war breaks out, that is why our Govt insists we have NS But in reality, is it in the interests of both Malaysia & Indonesia to go to war with Singapore ?

    If the probability is near zero, why is our Govt so engrossed with continuing increasing our defence spending as if there is no tomorrow ? Could the money be spent more wisely on the citizens instead of benefitting perhaps the pockets of war intermediaries ?

    And going by the way how corruption through the procurement of weapons are such highly secretive matters, who can really check our Ministers for such corruption, if it does occurs ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Looks more like our government is at war with Singaporeans?
      Do the Pro Alien Traitors see Singaporeans as the enemy of an MIW Singapore?

      Delete
    2. The reality is that Indonesia and Malaysia are more likely to go to war against each other than against us. It is one man's paranoia, and his bogeyman of a Muslim and Malay threat, that is sustaining this fiction. We are just a pain in the ass to them, with our constant crowing about our economic achievements. And the humongous defence expenditures is actually creating an arms race, making the perceived threat a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      Delete
  28. The Questions to ask is,
    what to defend or defend what?
    Who are we protecting and why
    do they need protection? And
    then ask why the need for NS?

    ReplyDelete
  29. Now we know why Patrick Tan was assigned to aircon room as a defence scientist during his NS days!!! To keep him safe and sound

    ReplyDelete
  30. your last line says it all............we are pawns

    ReplyDelete
  31. Fight to have National Service to be abolished.

    Our parents brought us up not for sacrifice to those who did nothing for us yet force us to defend and protect them.

    Who the hell are they?

    ReplyDelete
  32. Murderers. Those mofos responsible in any way will outlive and bury their own children, heaven is watching.

    ReplyDelete
  33. people please stop connecting everything with foreign talents please. Your ancestors were also once foreigners ,what if this happened to them ,would you still be in Singapore claiming that this is your country?

    Stop blaming the foreign talent,they might one of the causes of your problems but not the root.Find the root

    RIP Dominique

    ReplyDelete