Two servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will be court-martialled on Wednesday (July 31) for their alleged involvement in the death of operationally-ready national serviceman and Singapore actor Aloysius Pang.
According to a media statement released by the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), the two individuals facing court charges are Military Expert 2 (ME2) Ivan Teo, 35, and Third Sergeant (NS) Hubert Wah, 31.
ME2 Teo will face three charges: one for disobedience of general orders under section 21 of the SAF Act, and two for causing death by negligent act under section 304A(b) of the Penal Code.
Mindef noted that a serviceman convicted for disobedience of general orders may be liable for imprisonment of a maximum of two years. A person convicted for causing death by negligent act may face a prison sentence of up to two years and/or a fine.
3SG(NS) Wah will face two charges: one charge for causing death by rash act under section 304A(a) of the Penal Code and a similar charge for causing death by negligent act.
A person convicted of causing death by rash act may be jailed for up to five years, fined, or both.
The military court martial will be presided over by a serving State Courts judge, the ministry said.
It added that because Corporal First Class (NS) Pang’s death occurred overseas in New Zealand, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) does not have jurisdiction to conduct investigations into the matter.
Mindef said the SAF’s Special Investigation Branch (SIB) has investigated the death and the Chief Military Prosecutor has decided to prosecute the two SAF servicemen based on the SIB’s findings.
CFC Pang – an armament technician from the 268th Battalion Singapore Artillery – died on January 23 this year after succumbing to serious injuries from being crushed by the gun barrel of a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer four days before.
He was doing maintenance work on the howitzer during a live-firing exercise in New Zealand when the accident happened.
An investigation by the Committee of Inquiry (COI) revealed that CFC Pang, ME2 Teo and 3SG Wah had all flouted safety protocols, made wrong assumptions and reacted irrationally, leading to the actor’s subsequent injury and death, ST reported.
Another ST report wrote that his death was the fourth reported since September 2017, following four preceding years of zero fatalities related to training and operations in the SAF.
The incident triggered public grief and furore over alleged safety lapses in the SAF’s training programmes.