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.

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