Singapore soldier 'remorseful' over maid backpack gaffe

Photograph taken on 30 March 2011 shows a reader of a local newspaper looking at the photo of a maid carrying a soldier's bag for him
Image caption An image of a maid carrying a soldier's bag was published by local media

A Singaporean soldier who was pictured with a maid carrying his backpack has identified himself to his commander and undergone counselling, officials say.

The soldier was "remorseful", defence official Col Desmond Tan said in a letter published in the Straits Times.

The recruit was undergoing physical training prior to basic training.

The image, which was first published on social media sites, has led to debate in Singapore on whether conscripts and their training are tough enough.

'It was wrong'

The photograph showed the soldier in fatigues on a path with his maid following behind carrying his military field-pack on her back.

"The serviceman concerned has identified himself to his commander," said Col Tan.

"The recruit is remorseful for his actions and realises that it was wrong for him to have allowed this," he said.

"He has been counselled and continues his training. The SAF (Singapore Armed Forces) has reminded all servicemen to be mindful of their conduct in public."

Singapore maintains a conscript-based military. Every able-bodied male citizen and second-generation permanent resident aged 18 and over must have two years of military training.

The soldier in question was undergoing physical training before starting a nine-week Basic Military Training course.

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