SAF death case: Family of Dominique Sarron Lee refuses compensation

Singapore High Court last week ruled that the family of the private was not entitled to sue the forces under the existing provisions

The family of Private Dominique Sarron Lee, the Singaporean full-time national serviceman who died while on duty, said they haven't accepted any compensation from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).

The comments came after Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said the family should be paid the legal expenses for the case they lost in the High Court.

The family said in a Facebook post they have repeatedly rejected offers of compensation from the MIDNEF.

"To concerned members of the public, we would like to clarify that to date, we have not accepted nor received any compensation from MINDEF/SAF for Dominique's untimely demise. The family has repeatedly rejected offers from MINDEF/SAF to discuss monetary compensation," the post read.

"We have only accepted a funeral grant to defray the cost of the funeral, on the same day Dominique was sent back home in a coffin. This grant, according to the SAF, is not part of the compensation," the family said in a Facebook post.

Earlier, the mother of Private Dominique Sarron Lee had taken to Facebook to express sorrow and indignation over a court verdict that threw out their case against the SAF and two officers for negligence.

The Singapore High Court last week rule that the family of the private was not entitled to sue the forces under the existing provisions.

"Today, Honourable Judicial Commissioner Kannan Remesh ruled that I have no case against those responsible for your death - the SAF and the 2 officers who did not follow the training exercise SOP. He also ruled that I have to pay for their legal costs," Lee's mom said in a Facebookpost after the verdict.

Defence Minister Ng justified the court's verdict saying it was "based on sound legal grounds and precedents."

"But we need not add to the pain and anguish of the family of the late PTE Lee. We should waive the costs to the family," the minister said.

Ng also called for fixing lapses in the safety regulations in the armed forces and urged commanders to "continue to train their men professionally, with due regard for safety regulations."

"When emotions are running high, we must respect the decisions made by our Courts, who have come to an objective and impartial assessment given all the facts," the minister said.

In the latest Facebook post, the family comes out heavily on the ministry, saying there should be transparency in the handling of the case.

They asked the ministry to "reveal to the public the compensation that you had intended to offer the family, so that all Singaporeans will know how much the life of a promising young man is worth to MINDEF."