If you thought that Ng Eng Hen's statement came late, (Minister Ng Eng Hen Will Only Address NS Deaths On Feb 11 In Parliament), wait till you check out our PM.
On 15 February 2019, PM Lee finally broke the silence and wrote a length post on his Facebook page addressing the NSF deaths.
"The recent SAF training incidents have attracted a lot of attention and concern. I thought it would be useful to share my views on them. – LHL
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The recent SAF incidents have been very painful, because they cost precious lives. I know how heartbreaking this is to all of us, and especially the families. When it happens to a well known figure like Corporal (First Class) Aloysius Pang, the emotional impact is greater, and the loss is even harder to take.
The SAF has put enormous emphasis on training safety. It aims to achieve zero fatalities. After every incident, we make sure the injured get the best medical care. When a soldier dies, the SAF grieves deeply. His comrades understand how his family feels, because they feel the loss keenly too. But they try to put aside their emotions to take care of the bereaved family, and continue carrying out their SAF duties.
At the same time, the SAF will investigate the incident and identify its causes. We will improve SAF processes and training, so that it does not happen again. We know zero fatalities is extremely hard to achieve. But we will strive for it, because every life is precious to us.
I speak from personal experience. As a unit commander, I was responsible for my men’s training, safety, and welfare. In a way, I was standing in for their parents.
Later, serving on the General Staff, I had to deal with training incidents, decide what needed to be fixed, whether anyone should be punished, what we must keep on doing and what we must stop. I had to account to the bereaved families, and think hard how to keep servicemen safe while still fulfilling the SAF’s mission.
As Prime Minister, I have made sure that the Ministry of Defence has capable leaders, and that when a training accident happens, the government answers, not only to the family, but also to all our NSmen and the public too. That is essential for the SAF and national service to retain public confidence and support.
I can therefore assure you that I and the SAF leadership take safety with utmost seriousness. It was so when I was there, and I am confident it is even more so today.
In war, we will have to put servicemen in harm’s way to defend the country; but in peacetime training, we owe it to our servicemen never to compromise their safety and endanger their lives.
The SAF has to carry on training and fulfilling its operational duties. We cannot outsource our security and defence to anyone else; we have to defend Singapore ourselves. Because we have a strong and well-trained SAF, Singapore enjoys peace and security, and can maintain friendly relations with other countries.
I thank Singaporeans for supporting the SAF and national service. Your support has helped us to build a strong and professional SAF, with a comprehensive order of battle, and well-equipped, well-trained, and well-motivated soldiers.
So when something goes wrong, I hope you will see things in perspective. We must never gloss over shortcomings and failures. But neither should we forget the SAF’s progress and achievements, and its contributions to Singapore’s peace and security."
Netizens questioned what took him so long to write this statement as well as why half the statement was a humble brag of his own accomplishments. What do you think of the statement by our own Prime Minister?
Now, let's see if our President will give a statement too.