Monday, March 23, 2009

Mindef breaks silence on dead doctor Allan Ooi

"In a letter to the press, Mindef stated that it wished to “clarify certain facts regarding media reports on Capt (Dr) Ooi’s service in the SAF and his scholarship bond”, and gave a rundown of the events leading to his disappearance in October.

Mindef confirmed in its letter that Capt (Dr) Ooi, who studied medicine at the National University of Singapore under the SAF Local Study Award (Medicine), had last year informed his superior at the Aeromedical Centre that he was “unhappy at work and was considering leaving the SAF”.

“On 3 Oct 2008, his superior offered him the option of posting to an appointment which he would be interested in,” wrote Mindef spokesman Darius Lim in the letter.

“Capt (Dr) Ooi agreed to consider this option and to get back to his superior in two weeks’ time. However, he did not do so. He also did not submit any application to leave the SAF.”

Less than two weeks later, Capt (Dr) Ooi went Awol (absent without official leave). He would have been scheduled to go for his hospital posting at the end of this year.

In the letter, Mindef stated that SAF officers who take up sponsorship have a responsibility to serve the full period of their bonds as “substantial resources and time have been devoted to training them”.

“Otherwise, they will leave gaps in key positions in the SAF. Nevertheless, if an officer wishes to leave the service early, he can submit an application through a proper process. Approval to leave the service will be granted only under strong and extenuating circumstances,” wrote Colonel Lim.

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