Read this on straitstimes.com today. Well, it seems like the entire episode has come to an end… and the blogosphere probably has another target to chatter on – the repeal (or not) of Section 377A, which in my personal opinion, is imminent. 

AN ERRANT Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) officer, the subject of a complaint letter written by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s son Li Hongyi, has been fined. This brings to a close the much-talked-about case that set the Internet abuzz last month.Second Lieutenant Li, a national serviceman, had earlier been formally charged and reprimanded for broadcasting his e-mail beyond the military chain of command.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, the Defence Ministry confirmed yesterday that the officer whom 2nd Lt Li blew the whistle on has been fined $2,500 after a General Court Martial (GCM) on July 27.

Colonel Benedict Lim, director of public affairs at Mindef, said that the officer had pleaded guilty to being absent from his place of duty on two occasions and for conduct unbecoming of a serviceman.

Col Lim did not identify the officer, nor were any further details given of the offences. But 2nd Lt Li’s e-mail stated that he was a regular holding the rank of lieutenant.

Under the Singapore Armed Forces Act, a court martial can result in a range of penalties. These include imprisonment, discharge from service, detention in the SAF detention barracks, a reduction in rank, forfeiture of seniority, a fine or a reprimand.

Col Lim said that the hearing was held in open court at the SAF Court Martial Centre at Kranji Camp. No further details were available.

GCMs decide on cases independently from the chain of command, said Col Lim. They are generally presided over by a national service (NS) officer who is a district judge in the Subordinate Courts – in this case, Lieutenant-Colonel (NS) Aedit Abdullah.

On June 28, 2nd Lt Li sent an e-mail, complaining about his fellow officer’s misconduct, to top military brass and the Defence Minister. It was also copied to numerous other military personnel.

In the 2,000-word missive, 2nd Lt Li detailed the circumstances of how the lieutenant had gone absent without official leave on at least two occasions.

He wrote that he had reported the matter to his superiors, but no disciplinary action had been taken.

He questioned the ‘quality control’ in the process by which officers were selected and described the lieutenant’s continued service as ‘an embarrassment’.

The letter found its way into blogs and online forums, setting off much chatter among netizens.



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