The recent accidental death of actor and reservist Corporal First Class (National Service) Aloysius Pang – which follows a string of other tragic deaths by accident in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) – has led to questions being raised about the safety protocols and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) in the military.
A Committee of Inquiry (COI) was convened to look into the circumstances which led to the death of Aloysius Pang who was severely injured while carrying out repair works inside a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer while training in New Zealand.
As you can imagine, social media has been blowing up with many unhappy and concerned citizens demanding for SAF to take responsibility for these string of deaths.
Following Pang’s death, the SAF said it will be lowering its training tempo across all services with the intention of giving commanders and troops the time and space to review its system and process and well as to focus on safety.
But the public were not satisfied by this and questioned why this was not done sooner, before such tragic accidents happened. They also questioned why safety hasn’t been SAF’s top priority all this while.
The public were also quick to slam a pro-PAP Facebook page that appeared to be supporting the SAF and that implied the SAF was not to blame for these deaths.
In what appears to be an attempt to mitigate the flood of angry comments and postings, a message has been circulating around via WhatsApp and other text messaging services that appeared to be from the Army Information Centre (AIC) which lists out a number of positive social media postings by netizens who were showing support for the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) and National Service.
The AIC apparently compiled those social media postings into a WhatsApp for ‘easy reference’ and encouraged people to read it and share those positive postings on their own social media accounts.
MINDEF has confirmed to TOC that the message did in fact originate from the AIC.
MINDEF said, “The intent of the message was to share encouraging stories from the ground, on the importance of NS and what is at stake.”
Here is the screenshot of the message:
Below is a list of the social media postings that AIC highlighted in their message. Some of these individuals are full-time servicemen with the SAF, while the rest are former servicemen. Singapore Matters, on the other hand, is a publicly known pro-PAP fanpage: