Two SAF Servicemen Involved In Aloysius Pang’s Death Fined After Pleading Guilty

Image: Facebook (Aloysius 冯伟衷) / Mindef

Today, the Aloysius Pang incident can finally come to an end.

Previous articles on his death and the incident:

Incidents Leading To His Death

On 19 Jan 2019, Aloysius Pang, 28, was in a live-firing exercise in New Zealand for his reservist, serving as an armament technician with the rank Corporal First Class (NS).

This happened inside the cabin of a Singapore Self-Propelled Howitzer. There were three in the howitzer; Aloysius Pang; Ivan Teo Gee Siang, 35, a regular technician with the rank ME2; and Hubert Wah Yun Teng, 31, serving as the Gun Commander with the rank Third Sergeant (NS).

Image: Mindef

In the above graphic, Wah was sitting in the seat beside the Gun Barrel, while Teo was doing regular maintenance at Safe Position 3. Pang was not in a designated safe position but was beside Teo helping him.

Teo had told Pang, in a mix of English and Mandarin, that the gun barrel was going to be moved and asked for him to move away, but Pang replied in Mandarin that it was fine.

Wah saw that Pang was in the danger zone but wrongly assumed that Pang had time to move away. The amount of time for the barrel to be fully lowered is about 9 seconds.

Wah then shouted “Standby, clear away” before lowering the barrel.

As the barrel was lowered, Pang continued to work but once the gun barrel was closing in, he made “evasive movements”.

Teo tried to push down the barrel with his hands and Wah tried to stop the barrel using the Main Control System.

It is believed that they panicked, as they were supposed to press the emergency stop button should this happen.

Pang could not get out of the way in time and was crushed between the flick rammer and the slew ring.

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Four days later on 23 January 2019, at 8:45 pm, Singapore time, Pang succumbed to his injuries after four days in Waikato Hospital, New Zealand.

I know. It’s hard to say if there was anybody really at fault here.

Charges Of Teo And Wah

The SAF’s Special Investigation Branch (SIB) were in charge of the investigation and the findings, as the Singapore Police Force does not have the jurisdiction to do so for a death in New Zealand.

This meant military prosection for the two servicemen.

Wah pleaded guilty to one charge of causing death by negligent act under the Penal Code, and was fined S$5,000.

He was also fined another S$3,000 for another charge of negligent act of endangering life under the SAF Act. His rank will also be demoted to Corporal.

Causing death by negligent act carries a potential of up to two years jail and/or a fine.

According to Wah’s defence lawyer, Pang’s next-of-kin had asked for the Court to be lenient.

The prosecution did not object to only a fine being imposed, and if it were to be imposed, it should be the maximum S$5,000.

Teo faces three charges and was fined for a total of S$7,000. Two charges of a negligent act of endangering life under the SAF Act for failing to alert Wah that Pang was in the travel path of the flick rammer, and failed to activate the emergency stop button.

The third charge is for loosening the outer cover of a box in the Howitzer when its barrel was not in a parked position, which is disobedience of general orders under the SAF Act.