Friday, January 16, 2009

Family wins suit

The fact that the family has to resort to a law suit to get Mindef to be responsible shows much the State loves NSmen. This family could afford the lawyers to take up the lawsuit, what about the poorer family?? Thank you MINDEF!!!

Jan 16, 2009, The Straits Times
Breaking News

Family wins suit
By Selina Lum

THE parents of a former full-time national serviceman, comatose for more than three years after an incident in camp, have won their lawsuit against the Defence Ministry. The High Court decision paves the way for the family of Jeremy Tan, now 26, to seek disability compensation and medical benefits from Mindef. On Aug 3, 2005, Mr Tan, then a corporal rostered as duty storeman at Seletar East Camp, was found unconscious at the foot of a building where his bunk was located on the third-level.

The ministry classified Mr Tan's injuries as non-service related and stopped paying for his medical treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital from March 2007. But Justice Tay Yong Kwang ruled at the end of a four-day hearing that Mr Tan's injuries were 'attributable to service' and he was therefore entitled to a payout. The case hinged on the interpretation of a provision in the Singapore Armed Forces (Pensions) Regulations, which provides for payouts to disabled servicemen. Lawyer Lau Teik Soon, acting for Mr Tan's parents, argued that when he was found with injuries at 6pm, Mr Tan's tour of duty had not ended. But government lawyers argued that even though Mr Tan was performing his national service, he was not doing anything related to his duty at the time. He was not at his place of duty and was last seen resting in his bunk. But Justice Tay said that the words 'attributable to service' can cover injuries caused while a serviceman is on standby duty and was not doing any particular work.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Opt-out Insurance Coverage for MINDEF Employees and SAF Personnel

With effect from 1 January 2009, all MINDEF employees and Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) active servicemen will be automatically insured for $100,000. This initiative, which rides on the existing SAF Group Term Life (GTL) Insurance scheme, is aimed at encouraging them to have a minimum level of insurance protection for themselves.

For a monthly premium of $12.80, all eligible MINDEF employees, regular servicemen who are 45 years old and below, and full-time National Servicemen (NSFs), who do not opt out of the scheme will be insured for the sum of $100,000. The insurance coverage will provide protection against personal accidents in daily life.

SAF GTL Insurance Scheme
The SAF GTL insurance scheme is a voluntary life and personal accident insurance scheme that has been available to SAF active servicemen and Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen) since 1983.

Features of the SAF GTL include:
● Low cost and affordability. MINDEF/SAF is able to leverage on its large population base to negotiate the best terms and rates for its employees and personnel.
● Portability. MINDEF and SAF personnel can continue to enjoy the coverage even after they leave service, as long as they pay their premiums. Insurance coverage will continue up to age 65 based on the prevailing premium. From age 66-70, the premium will be based on a different prevailing rate every year.

Increase in NSF allowance
With the introduction of the SAF GTL opt-out $100,000 insurance coverage, MINDEF will increase the monthly allowance of NSFs by $20 to help them pay for the monthly premium. The increase in NSF allowance takes effect from 1 January 2009.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NSman found Unconscious

"The Malaysians serve this 3 months chicken feed NS ...but I found out that the Malaysian govt is so paranoid it buys insurance for every one of its NS men for this 3 month period. They have alot to learn from the Singapore govt - they should save all this money ...why waste it on ordinary citizens who have to serve their NS by law anyway when they can use the money to send some of their elites for courses in Harvard."

NSman found unconscious had apologised repeatedly, court told By Leong Wee Keat, TODAY 13 January 2009 2327 hrs

Jeremy Tan's father Tan Kian Lee (R) and mother Hor Hong Kiow (L) have chalked up outstanding hospital bills of S$133,000 for his treatment SINGAPORE: He had seemed "confused" when he returned to his bunk and, according to a platoon mate, Mr Jeremy Tan Chia Whee told them: "I do not know who I am." Twenty minutes after this, at about 6pm, Mr Tan - who was then a full-time national serviceman - was found unconscious on a grass patch outside the block of his third-level bunk at Seletar Camp.

More than three years later, Mr Tan is still on the mend. Now 26, he is warded at the Tan Tock Seng Rehabilitation Centre, unable to move or speak, fully dependent on doctors and nurses for his daily needs. His parents are now suing the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) over compensation issues. Mindef has classified Mr Tan's injuries as non-service related injuries, which means he is only compensated on 80 per cent of his ward and meal charges. But Mr Tan's parents claim their son should be entitled to full compensation as he was on duty, and was wearing his army t-shirt, trousers and boots when found. There were apparently no witnesses to what had happened; medical reports said he suffered a head injury consistent with a fall from height. Mr Tan Kian Lee testified yesterday that his son was the duty storeman on Aug 3, 2005, and had been waiting for his replacement, holding on to the store keys when he was found. But Staff Sergeant Wan Chuan Seah - Mr Jeremy Tan's superior - said the general practice was that the duty storeman may return to rest at around 5pm, upon completing his tasks for the day. This was despite the stipulated duty hours for the duty storeman being from 8am to 6pm.

Since Mindef's payments ceased in February 2007, his parents have chalked up outstanding hospital bills totalling $133,000 for his upkeep. Yesterday, mother Hor Hong Kiow told the court that manpower officer Linda Quek had told her she would appeal to Mindef to cover Mr Tan's medical fees, as his injuries had occurred in the course of duty. Madam Hor also claimed Major Quek had told her the Singapore Armed Forces would appeal on the family's behalf. Mr Jeremy Tan's sister, Jasmine, provided the court with a transcript of SMSes that he had sent to two servicemen, copied off his mobile phone. In one SMS, Mr Tan reportedly asked a serviceman what time he was coming back to the boat-shed. He also messaged another man, Sergeant Chew Zi Guo, with his apologies. State Counsel Shawn Ho said Sgt Chew, who also spoke to Mr Tan over the phone, would testify that he did not understand why Mr Tan said he blamed himself for everything, apologised repeatedly and cried. The hearing continues.