Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shooting incident: Mindef should have told public

Shooting incident: Mindef should have told public

YESTERDAY'S report ('Another SAF soldier shot by Thai farmer too') made me feel greatly disappointed with the Ministry of Defence's public affairs division.

Mindef's failure to admit that not one, but two Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers were shot in Thailand, until a relative of the second injured soldier approached The Straits Times, has demonstrated the ministry's basic reluctance to tell the public the truth about military casualties.

The second case also was a matter of genuine public interest, especially since a full-time national serviceman was involved.

As citizen soldiers and taxpayers, we have a right to expect that Mindef will account for all military casualties - whether in training or actual operations -where there are no national security implications.

Matthias Chew

1 comment:

Sylvester Lim said...

Shooting incident: Mindef admits it should have issued statement

WE REFER to Mr Matthias Chew's letter yesterday ('Shooting incident: Mindef should have told public').

The Singapore Armed Forces' (SAF) immediate priority following any incident is to attend to the needs of the affected servicemen and to keep their families informed.

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In the case of the training incident in Thailand, the servicemen were given immediate medical attention and arrangements were made for their safe return to Singapore on the same day for further medical treatment.

The families of the servicemen were immediately notified and provided regular updates. Whatever information that is available is thus provided to the servicemen and their families as soon as possible.

The Ministry of Defence (Mindef) informs the public whenever there is a serious incident, or where the incident is likely to be of public interest.

Given the nature of this incident, Mindef should have issued a media statement when it occurred.

Colonel Darius Lim,
Director, Public Affairs,
Ministry of Defence (Mindef)