Hazing News

Singapore Armed Forces death alleged: unverified.

Here is the story link and an excerpt



Full-time national serviceman (NSF) Dave Lee Han Xuan, 19, died on Monday after being hospitalized on Apr 18 for heatstroke. The guardsman trainee had just completed an 8km fast march at Bedok Camp when he collapsed from heat injury — something that could have been prevented, according to an individual who claimed to be from Lee’s battalion.

In a viral Facebook post, the anonymous individual accused his superiors and senior commanders of cruelly overworking the battalion the night before the fast march, putting trainees through grueling activities for no other reason than to toughen the men up. Hours before the march, Lee and his fellow trainees were allegedly forced to crawl to the Standard Obstacle Course grounds and made to roll in the sand with water poured on them.

The term used for these punishing bouts is known as “tekan sessions” — the Malay word “tekan” meaning “press”, but is commonly used to describe being abused and mistreated. “Tekan sessions” are typically conducted across all vocations by older NSFs to build up endurance in recruits. And also as a sort of hazing ritual

The claims aren’t verified yet though. Following Lee’s death, an independent investigative body called the Committee of Inquiry has been convened to investigate the circumstances leading to the incident.

But while the investigations are currently pending, it should come to no surprise that the family of the deceased is concerned about how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) are conducting their training, and what safety precautions are put in place to prevent these deaths — especially young conscripts like Lee. In a brief interview arranged by the Ministry of Defence at the teen’s wake yesterday, Lee’s parents spoke to the media for the first time but reserved their comments about the rumors and accusations about his death.


By Hank Nuwer

Journalist Hank Nuwer is the Alaska author of Hazing: Destroying Young Lives; Broken Pledges: The Deadly Rite of Hazing, High School Hazing, Wrongs of Passage and The Hazing Reader. He has written articles or columns on hazing for the Sunday Times of India, Toronto Globe & Mail, Harper's Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, The Chronicle of Higher Education and the New York Times Sunday Magazine. His new book is Hazing: Destroying Young Lives from Indiana University Press. He is married to Malgorzata Wroblewska Nuwer of Warsaw, Poland and Fairbanks, Alaska. Nuwer, former columnist for the Greenville (Ohio)Early Bird, finished a stint as managing editor of the Celina Daily Standard to accept a new position as managing editor of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner in Alaska.
Nuwer was named the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists columnist of the year in 2021 for his “After Darke” column in the Early Bird. He also won third place for the column in 2022 from the Indiana chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He and his wife Gosia, recently of Union City, Ind., have owned 20 acres in Alaska for many years. “The move is a sort-of coming home for us,” said Nuwer. As a journalist, he’s written about the Alaskan Iditarod sled-dog race and other Alaska topics. Read his musings in his blog at Real Alaska Daily--

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