Read this on 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.

Reader's Comments

  1. DK | August 10th, 2007 at 1:12 am

    Well…. on the outside it looks case close. But there are still questions unanswered.

    Why would a OC try to coverup complaint from a super white horse?

  2. NS | August 10th, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Yes, there are questions. Like all things white, let’s move on. You already know how white must remain white. Closed! Yes, it is closed to the rest of us. But, the inner circles of white than white are probably talking cock among themselves. We are getting bullshit everyday, so this is just another bullshit.

  3. xizor2000 | August 10th, 2007 at 1:54 pm

    This is utter crap. AWOL only fine? I know an RP who is supposed to stay in but he secretly went home and only come back in the morning until he was caught one day.

    His punishment? 7 days detention barracks.

  4. DK | August 10th, 2007 at 3:19 pm

    Xizor: What if the person who AWOL really have some very serious personal reason to do so? And he already gotten clearance from the CO or someone to be excused for duty?

    I’m finding it weird because it doesn’t make sense for a OC to coverup for a LTA when he ganna complaint by the white-est white horse SAF has ever seen.

  5. RwLow | May 1st, 2008 at 2:55 am

    In my opinion, I aplaud LTA Li. I could care less who’s son or grandson he belongs to. That’s immaterial. AWOL is a serious office. Bribing a fellow officer to cover u is another serious offence.
    But hey, Lying? Integrity has gone to Hell on this. Any OCT in OCS or Police Academy or MIDS will attest to this – Integrity – or a lack thereof, will cost you your OCT status – you will be CHOPPED from the OCT programme, no questions asked, no explanations required.

    Why did this LTA X get off on integrity issues ?
    It is closed. tHIS OFFICER IS “G219”, (read “condemned” )
    If his contract expires he will not get an extension.
    It is better for everyone.

  6. reversehaven | December 15th, 2008 at 12:38 am

    I think that what 2LT Li did was not wrong. He has gone far enough up the chain of command(i.e. to his OC) to know that unless he reaches the top brass, nobody would really do anything.

    Maybe just for paperwork’s sake, he should have tried going one by one. That would have taken him ages.

    but as I was in the army, I was told the reason why we should go by chain of command is becasue if we bypass the chain of command, by the time the top brass locates us to solve our problem, our problem might not be solveable anymore.

    Apparently, going up to the OC saw no action taken. IF the OC couldn’t solve the problem, that’s okay. But now we’re talking about a case of NAT (no action taken).

    But this case goes to show one thing. It goes to show that the SAF is as screwed up as we all have made it out to be. There’s a burning need for them to clean up their act inside. Sun Tzu would squirm in his grave if he knew that an errant officer was punished with a mere fine(after a big hoo-hah), while lowly corporals and privates were given 7 days DB for the same offence.

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