SCDF ragging culture well-known

It is apparently carried out across all fire stations in Singapore.

Belmont Lay | May 15, 2018, 11:34 PM

It appears that ragging culture in the Singapore Civil Defence Force has a long history and is something that takes place at all fire stations in Singapore.

This is according to Today, which spoke to SCDF personnel past and present, who can attest that the practice is "commonplace".

The spotlight is on the culture of SCDF ragging, following the death of a SCDF full-time national serviceman on May 13, 2018.

This is the first death that has occurred in the SCDF, allegedly as a result ragging activities.

Mostly mundane

Current and former SCDF officers said ragging could involve mundane activities such as acting or singing in front of of other personnel, or applying Kiwi shoe polish to their bodies.

This activities happen under the guise of an "initiation" ritual for new trainees assigned to a fire station or before they complete their National Service obligation.

Pump well dunking

An ex-NSF who served as a firefighter had seen other NSFs being thrown into pump wells.

Those who are thrown in would usually require help climbing out, especially if the well is more than half-full with water.

This practice is carried out across all fire stations in Singapore and is "a pretty popular choice".

Whistle-blowing channel

The Ministry of Home Affairs has said that all SCDF officers are allowed to report any wrongful practices to their immediate supervisors, unit commander, director, commissioner or the ministry itself under its whistle-blowing programme.

New recruits and enlistees would be briefed by their orientation officer on these procedures during their Basic Rescue Training Course, Section Commander Course and Basic Fire Fighting Course.

MHA said: “Briefings on anti-ragging awareness are conducted for all personnel upon joining the SCDF, upon their postings to units, and at periodic intervals.”

It added: “Anti-ragging materials such as videos and posters are produced and disseminated to increase officers’ awareness of SCDF’s zero-tolerance policy against ragging.”

NSFs who participate in unauthorised activities such as ragging will have such errant behaviour recorded in their Certificate of Service, while officers who carry out ragging activities will be liable for prosecution if there is criminal wrongdoing, said the MHA.