The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) has announced on Monday that all forms of strenuous activity has been temporarily cancelled as a part of the safety timeout across Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) in the wake of Singapore actor and Corporal First Class (National Service) Aloysius Pang's death.
MINDEF told Channel NewsAsia that "A safety timeout, implemented, applies to all forms of strenuous physical activity, including the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), IPPT Preparatory Training (IPT) and Remedial Training (RT)."
They also added that five basic exercises or 5BX, such as jogging, route marches and field training are also among those activities which are temporarily halted during the safety timeout.
The 28-year-old actor and CFC (NS) Pang died on January 24 in New Zealand after sustaining serious injuries during an SAF training exercise. He was admitted to Waikato Hospital, where he underwent three surgeries and was put under artificial life support.
On Saturday, January 26 many well-wishers, friends and family came to pay their respect at the wake of Pang. There were some people, who questioned the SAF training system and said, "This doesn't need to happen."
A member of the public, aged 33, said "There have been too many NS training-related deaths. These are things which shouldn't be happening. How many heartbroken parents are out there because of all these needless deaths?"
However, Chief of Defence Force Melvyn Ong explained how SAF can improve the safety system in various areas, including heat injury and vehicular safety. Later, SAF commanders announced that they were implementing a safety timeout as part of the lowering its training tempo for full-time and operationally-ready national servicemen. But, SAF did not clarify how long the time out will last.
Meanwhile, MINDEF said, "Each case is independent and implementation of safety timeout is dependent on the assessment of reviews of training and safety management plans."