The court proceedings against seven Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) servicemen/ex-servicemen in relation to the death of Corporal First Class (CFC) Dave Lee on 30 April 2018 have been completed.
Following the conclusion of the Singapore Police Force (SPF)'s investigations, the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) determined that there were sufficient grounds to prosecute Captain (CPT) Tan Baoshu, the supervising officer of the fast march, under criminal law. CPT Tan Baoshu was charged in the State Courts on 31 October 2018 under Section 304A(a) of the Penal Code for causing the death of CFC Dave Lee by a rash act, and claimed trial. On 8 Jan 2020, the State Courts granted CPT Tan Baoshu, who had been diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer, a discharge not amounting to an acquittal of the charge against him. CPT Tan Baoshu passed away on 13 February 2020.
The SPF had referred six other servicemen to the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) for investigation into potential breaches of military law. On completion of investigations by the SAF's Special Investigation Branch, the six servicemen were charged in military court on 20 February 2020. All six servicemen pleaded guilty and have been convicted and sentenced1 by the Subordinate Military Court.
Since the incident in 2018, the SAF has introduced enhancements to existing heat injury management and prevention measures to strengthen the SAF's protocols. These included implementing a simplified evacuation protocol, improving heat injury awareness for commanders and medics, enhancing existing cooling and heat injury prevention measures and strengthening an open reporting culture. Over the past two years, the SAF has seen a 40% decline in the number of heat injury cases, and there have been no cases of heat stroke.
MINDEF/SAF will continue to review and identify ways to strengthen our safety management and training system, with the goal of achieving zero training fatalities.
1Second Sergeant (2SG) Koh Ren Zhong was convicted of one charge of negligent performance of a lawful duty under section 17(2) of the SAF Act. He was sentenced to a fine of $1,800.
Corporal(NS) [CPL(NS)] Tan Jin Yang was convicted of two charges of negligent acts endangering life under section 41(b) of the SAF Act. He was sentenced to a fine of $4,500 in respect of both charges.
First Sergeant (1SG) Chia Zhi Xuan was convicted of one charge of disobedience of general orders under section 21 of the SAF Act. He was sentenced to a fine of $2,500.
CPL(NS) Chng Pheng Heng, CPL(NS) Jonas Ang Kai Jie and CPL(NS) Yep Ren Jie were each convicted of one charge of disobedience of general orders under section 21 of the SAF Act and one charge of abuse of authority under section 29 of the SAF Act. They were each sentenced to a fine of $2,500 and demoted from the rank of Third Sergeant(NS) [3SG(NS)] to the rank of Corporal (CPL).