The tragic case of Corporal Kok Yuen Chin’s death drags on with the trial of the SCDF officers involved.
Kok was pushed into a 12m-deep pump well as part of a ragging exercise and later died after drowning.
Instead of taking accountability for their actions, two officers involved began pointing fingers.
This week, First Warrant Officer Mohamed Farid Mohd Saleh, the last person to be charged for the incident, claimed trial to one charge of instigating his colleague to push CPL Kok down the wall.
In court, Staff Sergeant Nur Fatwa Mahmood, who pushed CPL Kok down the well, testified that he wanted Kok to enter the well by himself and only pushed Kok in because he was told to do so.
When asked how loud this order was, he answered: “In between whispering and normal talking”.
Fatwa recently completed serving his 13-month jail sentence. Both Farid and Fatwa have been suspended from service without pay since May 17 last year.
So, did Farid really give the order?
Told to push
Fatwa claimed that Farid had told him to do so.
According to Fatwa, Farid said “Wa, tolak dia,”, which means “Push him” in Malay.
However, when Fatwa asked his colleagues after the accident if they had heard Farid’s instruction, they said they had not.
Apart from Farid and Fatwa, three other SCDF officers were charged for their involvement in Kok’s death, namely, First Senior Warrant Officer Nazhan Mohamed Nazi, 41, Lieutenant Chong Chee Boon Kenneth, 38, and Staff Sergeant Adighazali Suhaimi, 32.
A video of an interview from a police officer’s body-worn camera may shed some light on the truth.
In the video, the police were interviewing the SCDF officers at the fire station after Kok’s death.
When asked if he had instructed Fatwa to push Kok, Farid responded, “I didn’t literally, like, ask him to… I just said, ‘So slow, ah?’ That’s it.”
After which Fatwa told Farid in Malay, “You told me to push him inside.”
But Farid denied the charge, saying “I told him to sit there”.
A few moments later, Fatwa said to Farid “Just now, you said, right? Push him inside, is that correct or not? Don’t play me out, Farid.”
Farid then responded, “I was behind you, over there.”
On the morning of the incident, Fatwa teased Kok by saying “kolam before ORD”, which referred to the tradition of getting into the well before one’s ORD.
Kok responded by saying “Don’t lah, encik”.
Then, seconds before he was pushed into the well, Kok said “cannot encik”, when he was told to go into the well.
Kok was only 22 and just three days away from his ORD when he died.
The trial is still ongoing today.