SINGAPORE — The 38-year-old Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) officer who allegedly left full-time national serviceman (NSF) Edward Go to fight a blaze alone was charged on Monday (Oct 16) with causing grievous hurt by a rash act.
Muhammad Kamil Mohamed Yasin purportedly left Go alone on Dec 8 last year to fight an ongoing fire in a flat a Block 91 Henderson Road, which is against SCDF’s firefighting doctrine. He also failed to inform anyone that Go was alone.
A police statement released on Oct 14 stated that the autopsy for Go certified the cause of death to be “suffocation due to depleted air cylinder” and investigations did not find any evidence to suggest that his death was due to equipment failure.
Another officer who is allegedly involved was referred to SCDF by the police for departmental action.
This officer had purportedly failed to adequately ensure the overall safety of the firefighting operation when he arrived and took control over command and control of the incident.
The officer has since been redeployed to a non-supervisory and non-operational post pending the outcome of SCDF’s investigation.
Even though the prosecution was ready to take Kamil’s plea, defence counsel Ashwin Ganapathy, who was representing Kamil, sought time to speak with his client since he was served the charge on Oct 14.
Mr Ashwin also informed the court of the defence’s intention to interview the other officer involved in the case and would be in contact with the assigned deputy public prosecutor for this case moving forward.
The last day for Kamil to enter his early plea of guilt is Jan 8 next year.
After the incident, SCDF had conducted an internal review of its firefighting procedures and operational safety, as well as training, its Oct 14 statement read.
The review found that SCDF’s firefighting doctrine was systematically taught to firefighters and “its principles are well established on the ground”, but SCDF has since taken recommended steps to comprehensively review the selection and training of ground commanders.
This includes enhancing the emphasis on command responsibility and conducting exercises to test their command and control capabilities.
Kamil is out on a S$15,000 bail and is set to return to court on Nov 17 for a pre-trial conference.
If found guilty, he could be jailed up to four years or fined up to S$10,000, or both.