Who is Marcus Ng? - Alvinology

Who is Marcus Ng?

marcus ng
Picture taken from Straits Times.com

Marcus Ng Yi Loong, 21, is going to the detention barracks (DB) for insubordination. Many young men get sentenced to go DB all the time, but why is Marcus getting so much media attention – including a front page headline on evening tabloid, The New Paper?

Marcus is a well-known child actor.

He is better known for playing the role of Aloysius, Phua Chu Beng’s son in the hit Channel 5 sitcom, Phua Chu Kang.

As reported in Straits Times:

FORMER teen actor Marcus Ng Yi Loong, 21, began his one-week jail term on Tuesday after he failed in his appeal to get his sentence for insubordination quashed.

The High Court on Tuesday upheld the jail sentence meted out by a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) court martial in July last year. He was also reprimanded by a Military Court of Appeal for being rude to his superior.

This is the second time he has been hauled up since he started his military service in September 2006.

Ng, who holds the rank of Private, is perhaps best-known as the rebellious teen in the TV sitcom Phua Chu Kang.

Ng’s troubles in the SAF began in October 2006 when his superiors at the SAF Medical Training Institute slapped him with four charges for offences including not obeying orders.

In February last year, while he was being investigated by the SAF legal process, Ng chased and argued aggressively with a 50-year-old woman Warrant Officer in his unit’s Operations Room.

A Master Warrant Officer, a trained Commando, saw the altercation and intervened.

Ng rudely shrugged off the Master Warrant Officer’s hand when he tried to calm the Private.

For this, Ng faced two more charges: one for insubordinate behaviour after the Operations Room argument, and another for improper conduct.

Last July, an SAF court martial found him guilty of these charges and sentenced him to seven days jail at the SAF Detention Barracks for each charge.

Unhappy with the sentence, Ng lodged a Notice of Appeal – a legal right for all SAF serviceman to seek redress – and was granted a hearing by a five-person panel chaired by Justice Choo Han Teck.

In the meantime, Ng was fined $500 for two of the earlier charges and acquitted on the other charges.

On Tuesday, Ng’s defence lawyer, Mr Wendell Wong from Drew & Napier, said a jail term was ‘the harshest punishment I’ve ever seen for this sort of offence” and urged the panel to quash the convictions or impose a fine instead.

But Mr Luke Tan, head of Military Law at the Ministry of Defence, argued: ‘This is akin to a case where a person is on bail. Has he learnt anything from it? No, he goes one up and goes after two other officers.’

‘It would be inappropriate to give a little slap on the risk by imposing a fine as that would be of little consequence to him.”

Some 25 people, including Ng’s mother, Madam Florence Tan, 58, were in court when the panel reached a unanimous decision to uphold the first charge and reduce the second sentence to a reprimand.

He appeared teary-eyed when led away to begin his sentence.

Sigh… after reading the report, I reckon Marcus would not have gotten all these unwanted media and public attention if he did not choose to engage a lawyer and contest his charges. Wrong move dude. You can never win the SAF.

Actually, all Singaporean men have to go through NS, whether they like it or not. Those who read my blog regularly should know how much I hate NS and reservist – yet I still guai guai fulfill my obligation.

True, there are some very unreasonable superiors in the army whom all of us would like to scream in their faces or throw resignation letters at – this is entirely appropriate if you were in the work force and all that is at stake is your own rice bowl and personal reputation. You have a choice.

For the army to function properly, choice is a myth. Orders given, just follow. The Thinking Soldier aspiration is only for those in the upper ranks and probably the regulars who have to fight for their career advancement. For NSFs and reservists, just follow law lor. Not like we are going to be stuck there forever. It’s not hard actually – just switch yourself into a robot mode when you are the army. Whatever orders come, just follow. Easy.

忍得一时之气,免得百日之灾

Take care Aloy, it’s just one week in DB. Time will fly pass very quickly.

Technorati Tags: marcus ng, ah boy, phua chu kang, phua chu beng, marcus ng yi loong, saf, singapore army, detention barrack, child actor, aloysius, straits times, choo han teck, wendell wong, drew & napier, luke tan, ministry of defence, florence tan, mediacorp, channel 5, reservist, NS, thinking soldier, aloy

54 comments
  1. “just switch yourself into a robot mode when you are the army. Whatever orders come, just follow. Easy.”

    Unfortunately, a lot of Singaporean men bring this philosophy out into their everyday civilian life.

    That’s the true aim of NS, I suppose.

  2. maybe he think he got money for lawyer sure win. got money so wat>>? Haha…one week is a easy let off for a spoilt rich brat like him.

  3. The guai guai attitude is precisely what a dictatorial regime and system wants to instill in you.

    i applaud Marcus for fighting it out in court. The outcome is not important, it is the willingness and having the spirit to put up a fight that matters. You won’t win all the time, but if you don’t even try you will never win for sure. There is hope for Spore if there are more Sporeans like Marcus.

  4. artyfatty: I agree on this!!!! When I ORD and whenever I just book out from reservist ICT, I find that it takes a while to condition my brain to function properly again! Serving too long in the army does retard the brain. Phillip Yeo was right on this, hahaha.

    Do all the guys out there feel the same as well? That serving in army = mental retardation?

  5. lanjiao peng: true, but I do think engaging the issue with violence and confrontation is silly. It’s like “using an egg to try smash the rock”. Brave, but dumb.

  6. There are those will bring their army mentality out into the working life after NS. In the army, you just follow orders and get the f**k out. Soon or later, the real world working life of dog eat dog will change the person and that army mentality will disappear. In the reservist training, people just go through motion. Of course, there are exceptions, for example, those former BGs turned civil servants.

    You decide what goes into your brain and not let the environment does it for you.

  7. robot mode indeed. It is not only during your army days, but also in this country. They say, you listen!

    They said “increase GST to help the poor”. You listen.
    They said “raising living cost is due to increasing oil price”. You listen.
    They said ” Singaporeans living longer and we’ve to work till 67″. You listen.
    They said ” incrase Ministers pay to stop corruption”. You listen.
    When you decided to leave this country and they call you quitter. You listen.
    When foreigners are welcome as Talent. You listen.

    It is not important what they said is right or wrong. You just need to listen.
    In fact, what the masters say is always right.
    If it is wrong, all the “Yes Men” within the elite will not admit it their mistakes. The easy excuses are “external factors”, “honest mistakes”.

    The worst is most companies include MNC expect you to work in robot mode.

  8. I for one applaud Marcus for showing up the wretched system called NS. Jail for arguing with the bitch? He should have given her a tight slap instead. It’s obvious they don’t command the respect of the uniform they are wearing. Just like the brigadier generals who insist on being driven in Mercedes cars, since they know that the men will look up to the car, not the clowns inside, all waiting to be posted to a GLC when their time is up.

  9. I agree with you that being in NS has the effect of mental retardation. It is surprising to see adult males acting in ways you would never have thought possible. Or maybe it’s just their way of having fun.

    Anyway, some people are just not suited for regimentation and it would be best to steer clear from them (and I mean for those regulars), just let them idle away the two years and you don’t have to see them again. Otherwise, it’s just going to give you a big headache.

  10. I think his lawyer must have been quite good. Got only one week in DB leh. ONE WEEK. Chey.

    And there’s an error in the Straits Times article. It should be “slap on the wrist”, not “risk”.

  11. infantryman: I guess for those who have served too long in the army, it’s harder to re-engineer their brain when they come out?

    40s: don’t be so negative. Not everyone are yes-men lah. Come down my beautiful little town, Potong Pasir some day, and you will get to meet folks who walk with pride and can hold their heads up high for daring to say no and face the consequences.

  12. It depends on the extent of the determination of these old birds. Some can, some cannot. Everybody is different, we leave it to them to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives. They are still human beings like the rest of us.

  13. i think marcus may have authority issues and Singapore doesn’t have a system to properly deal with people who think or feel like him.
    aside from marcus’ case, think about the much treasured “creative talents” we want in our country. is national service the undoing of this? if so, we’ll just import and “reprioritise” a little, won’t we?

  14. Well, When it come to Nuisance Service Everyone have their own Idea. But you really have to think this through.
    so 3 scenarios
    1) My favorite 🙂 if Marcus is Bai Ma (every medic and Med Officer know What it is in paces and MO records on the pass card thingy) He would have become a officer (hi probab) or a sergeant. Then He will not face this problem lor. Point in case The long tai zi fiasco not long(July last year) ago.
    2) He is of foreign issue AKA Talent de foreign
    Then His parent would have sent him to his Homeland to avoid Nuisance Service 🙂
    3) This Situation: He was minding his own business in SAF Medical Corp that usually have either guy pretending to be effeminate to soothe patient fear of treatment or Have a lot of stupid regulations that the MWO or MSG Will “Charge you/confine you/burn your weekend” stuffs.I’m guessing that he is a victim of the latter version.But the latter part where he defied the MWO/MSG make me suspect that the thing might not be what it seem on the surface. And Regular will always CC and BCC. Cover kaCheng and Better Cover kaCheng.

  15. Its more than mental retardation, I think. Its almost akin to a kind of psychological castration. Less fighting spirit, less sense of justice, more willing to bow to authority, less incline to fight for one’s rights, more prone to self-justify unreasonable demands, and more suscepible to propaganda.

    Compare and contrast singapore guys and gals. You will see the difference.
    My married friend once told that >50% of married singaporean men are henpecked, and he willing admit to being one himself!

  16. Potong Pasir, I love this place. I used to stay nearby.
    I was there during the last GE and also when Mr Chiam won the GE.

    You are our model, Potong Pasir and not to forget Houang too…

  17. antialvin, yoko: I don’t know how a jail term can be construed as a “slap on the wrist”. Maybe those of you who think it’s lenient can ask the Singapore Prison Service if you can volunteer to be thrown in jail for a week.
    Alvin, ur quite rite in saying that the NS mentality is “just follow law”. Ur also rite in saying Marcus Ng might not have gotten media attention if he hadn’t hired lawyers for the appeal. The fact remains, however, that had he not hired lawyers, he’d still hv ended up in DB following his unsuccessful attempt to fight the case himself.
    7 days in DB? e usual punishment 4 talking back is at most perhaps 7 xtra duties. n u ppl dun even noe wat really happened

  18. Yoko, from your comments it’s unlikely you knew the young Pte or his case personally. Had you known him and had been there simply as an observer only, you would not only feel sorry for him; you would felt as helpless as I had been as an obsever throughout his hearing. It is simply impossible for any young Pte who is only a 3 to 4 weeks old trainee in the SMIT to react as claimed by the personnels of his unit.

    For a young Pte, to have the courage to take the stand and defend himself personally in the Court Martial speak for itself the faith that this young Pte had in the jurisdiction of SAF. When it failed and had instead landed him in DB for seven days. The enormous sum needed for the mother to spend in order to engage a lawyer in defense of her son added volume to the faith both mother and son had in the system of Singapore, our country, our home, our land!!!!

  19. Observer: Care to share more inside details of the case? If nobody tells… no one will know. Li Hongyi already set an example for everyone by whistle blowing. Remember? 🙂

  20. Alvinology. This is thus I heard while in court. The young Pte went out to a vending machine to buy some snack. There he met one Johan who needs a chat. While they were walking, Johan started to light up a cigi. Before he can even light it up, they heard an unknown man shouting, “Who is smoking?” Johan immediately flipped away his cigi. This unknown man in civilian who was later known as 3rd Sgt Jonathan, admitted in court that he had without warning grabbed the young Pte left hand. This action itself should not even be allowed to happen in the safe environment of our SAF.

    Two soldiers who were supposedly caught. One escaped, whereas the one who humbly stay behind was charged. Johan the one who is smoking either lies to at least two senior officers that the young Pte was not smoking or tell the truth in court that Marcus was smoking, was not charged. This Johan who was known to suffer depression by all who know him had in fact been subjected to the use of a lie detector without the permission of a doctor. This leave room for doubt regarding the integrity of said person

    Ken the other Sgt who was called to attention knew that the young Pte had been physically hurt. Not only he did not even bother to bring him to seek medical assistant, he had instead ordered the young Pte to knock it down 20 times. He had also took the trouble to travel a certain distance to throw away the so claimed “cigi butt”, the only evidence available to assist the case. Such uncaring attitude re the welfare and concern of a subordinte add anguish to all present in court.

    For your information, the young Pte was given four day M.C. excuse for use of his upper limbs by the SAF doctor who later in court claimed that this M.C. was given to the young Pte due to the benefit of doubt.

    Moreover, the young Pte had during his earlier interview by his wing commander, had written a statement word to the effect of what had happened on that fateful night to a Cpt Pauline. It was therefore a natural reaction for a Pte so young in his service when he was ordered to write a statement by the Lt Col to the effect that ” I Pte Marcus Ng was assaulted by Sgt Jonathan” that he simply beg, I do not want any trouble, I want a peaceful NS, I want to contact my mother.

    Such was what I heard in court. Todate I am still in shock.

  21. It sounds very cruel when Pte Marcus was injured by the patoon sergeant was forced to do push up. Look to me its was abused then charged. I hope the authority to open up the case as to how he ended up in DB. I am more concern now of other people’s son or grandson in NS have a similar scenario that happen to Pte Marcus Ng. I like to take this opportunity that it is not fair that different story was mentioned in the Strait Times articles.

  22. Alvinology. I trust that you would agree that while the above case is still in pending, unless a person is insane even if he had eaten the gut of a tiger, he would not offend or react towards anyone especially that of their superiors in the SAF as claimed.

    By simply reading the allegations from the papers (chased down and argued aggressively with a 50 year old female warrant officer) – those with sound mind and have knowledge of the layout of this SMTI would have come to conclusion that had the young Pte been reacting as claimed, not only would he had been heard by his own comrade in the opp room, the whole compound would have been alerted and the MWO himself would had rush in to apprehend him without trial.

    If U still insist to understand what had actually happened, wait till I have the stomach to write herewith, meanwhile I pray those who had been there would contribute their concern

  23. people who doesn’t know him please shut the hell up .. perhaps you guys just don’t know him well, he isn’t a spoilt child as what you guys think. Please do not judge him without thinking or rather, knowing him.

  24. I was at court and it was true to what observer had said. I was suprised when cross examination by defence lawyer to Sgt Jonathan dit he use phyiscal force on Pte Marcus, Sgt Jonathan replied that he used only semi-force if he used full force on Pte Marcus he would broke Pte Marcus’ hand. On hearing we were upset and helpless such an incident had happen at the well protected SAF. Singapore is a none violent country. I also heard in court when the cross examination to two Col. and one Captain of the SMTI by the defence lawyer they mentioned that Pte Marcus is polite and well-behalf. Todate, I’m still taken aback and in shock as to how Pte Marcus landed himself in DB.

  25. I pray someone here can help to clarify some of my questions. When I first heard of this case, I confessed that I did doubt Marcus was innocent. However, nothing can beat the truth. When I witness how his lawyers demonstrate in court and heard the lies of his accusers while under cross examination. I finally comprehend the whole situation. The investigator from SIB that is supposed to be an independent body, conducted 2 interviews from Marcus and Johan who are both only NS man. While there was only one (1) interview conducted from all officers concerned. The most distressing matter concern is that Johan an NS boy had been subjected to lie detector without permission from doctor. QUESTIONS: WHEREIN LIES THE EQUALITY OF SAID INVESTIGATION?

    Another scary thing I observe in court is this: As the council was cross examining a col by rank. This colonel keeps saying he can’t remember to almost all the questions asked by the defense lawyer. It’s obvious that either this col had memory deficiencies or—-????? If deficiencies being the case, he should be removed from the Army!. QUESTIONS: if what they CLAIMed is true then why avoid the answering all questions posted by claiming their lack of remembrance?

    Thank Goodness that at the 11th hour, the council managed to get hold of the statement that Marcus wrote. Otherwise poor Marcus would had been falsely convicted.

    With regards to the case of Marcus Ng chased and argued aggressively with a 50-year-old woman Warrant Officer in his unit’s Operations Room. I heard at the court of appeal that there were two witnesses in the operation room who testify that they did not hear any commotions during that time.

    ( I was shocked to learn later that one of this said witness is actually the prosecutor’s witness. Both had been rejected as witness when Marcus first defense himself, because they are friends of Marcus. Then that court should reject all other witnesses by the prosecutor because they are either their subordinate or comrade in arm).

  26. Maybe he was thinking that he is in his grandfather’s camp ? Like it anot, NS is here to stay. Imagine everyone in there behaves like him. Not happy only must confront meh? What a spolit-brat attitude.

  27. Oh please guys… this Marcus guy has always been in trouble.. Ever since Sec School… Pretending to be Pai Kia and all.. Lots of students in his year can’t stand him.. He even almost got expelled.. The principle even had to meet him in the middle of the night because he was in trouble and what did this so called “Nice, polite and “good” boy” do?? He accused the principle of outraging his modesty??!! Come on people.. he is a spoilt brat! He’s lucky he was not in my command when I was in NS.. Who surely kenna more than just DB.

    Marcus.. if you are reading this.. GROW UP! Be a man and listen to orders when you are in the Army! Most of us might not like listening to orders but that is life!!!

  28. To yokoosi and zzzzzzzzzz lol It’s people like you who cover their Kcheng that really make me laugh.Insecure in your taxpayer job I see. Regardless of what he did in the past,the charge he received is too harsh. Actually ACS is not elite enough You have to look at Raffles(lhl) and hwa chong.These are the more elite ones 🙂 I really pity the sergeant who drop him twenty after injuring him.Well He will have to go into society to work someday,the problem will work it out itself.Unless He is one of those regulars but wait what is this Incident
    Be worried, Very Worried.Why? Seem like 55-(20yr growing up) is too long to wait for you to expire might as well kick you out 5 year earlier. LOL 🙂 PS He is a WO too(i sympathise him but not robo WO or Dictator WO) Not to mention the security guard job you will have to hold too :).

  29. Yokoosi means nice and pleasant in japanese. so please be nice and pleasant with your remark so you would receive same throughout your life! As for ZzzzZzzzz. It meant that you have been asleep for so long that you do not know what had been going around you. You forget what had happened and ignored the truth that surround you!

  30. ZzzzZzzzz: Marcus.. if you are reading this.. GROW UP! Be a man and listen to orders when you are in the Army! Most of us might not like listening to orders but that is life!!!

    You sound like another cog in the machine. Most people just listen to orders without thinking and continue to be oppressed and trampled upon.

    With his attitude, Marcus has a bright future ahead. Can’t say the same for those WO or SWOs and deadwood regulars in the SAF.

  31. I must say that the authority of the SAF is totally illegitimate. We are forced to serve. Foreign talent and women need not serve, where is the equality here?? Not that i want to sabo them to serve but Shouldn’t the government greatly incentivise our time there to make it more equitable for us. Already we have one of the lowest pay and the longest services in the army in the world. (from wikipedia) Yet they would rather increase the minsters pay which was already one of the highest in the world by another million dollars. Long Live the awolees and army deserters and also the poor Jehovah Witnesses who would rather rot for three years then to supply the cruel conscription system with cheap labour.

  32. Truth: Firstly, try not having a conscription army in Singapore and watch others walk all over you. Sometimes it’s not about what happens but what doesn’t happen. Be thankful for that.

    Also, it’s 2 years now not 3 years, so get your facts right. And if you think that’s bad, look at other countries’ “conscription system” – they don’t even get to go home during their entire NS. So again be thankful you can go home after just a few weeks of confinement so you can cry to your mummy.

    Lastly, while I agree that some of the authority figures do not deserve their rank, that doesn’t mean Marcus is blameless. Coming from the same school as him, he has been well-known to cook up his own stories to get people into trouble – he has authority issues, and that’s his problem. I don’t give a crap if he’s famous or a hero now, but you don’t know him till you know him for who he is. And I will not respect a commander who doesn’t know how to respect his own leaders so I’m glad that part of his army life is gone. Just my 2 cents’ worth.

  33. hi hi! so much debate going on here. 🙂 For those who know Marcus personally, care to share more insights into why you guys seem to think he stinks so much?

  34. For all of U who adhored NS, let me share the same sentiment of our P.M. Lee, when other attacked us, they do not only have to face the SAF, they have to face the whole our country our sons the NS men!!

    So instead spreading hatred, let’s do something positive about it. Remember Singapore is our country, our land and our home!!

  35. Perception: Firstly, try not having a conscription army in Singapore and watch others walk all over you. Sometimes it’s not about what happens but what doesn’t happen. Be thankful for that.

    Are oil-rich Brunei’s neighbours walking all over her now?

  36. Observer: Got lei… those who claimed they “personally know Marcus” seems to speak bad of him. In any case, will be interesting to hear both side of the story ya?

    That’s how objective judgments are made. If not it will be like reading Straits Times which will tend to lean to the “official” views. 🙂

  37. anyone who gets into trouble all the time cannot be an angel. there is a difference between speaking up for one’s right and behaving like the whole world owes you a living. My camp used to have a “white horse” who behaved that way. The so called “rough treatment” he recieved was 10 times worst. What happen? After the incident, he turned out to be a better man. NS is not a boy scout camp. I always believed that if you can survived NS, you can survived in this dog-eat-dog world out here. By the way, i am no Civil Servant. My job birngs me round the world. Just be glad you are in SINGAPORE and stop complaining.

  38. Yokoosi, your remarks make me wonder what had the young Pte done wrong to you? Your attacks on the young Pte seems personal??? U claimed that you travel widely yet it puzzled me regarding the way you response.

    Perception, while I agree with you that constriction in any army forces is a must in order to operate well, it must also have its limits. No abuses by personnel of authorities should be tolerated.

    Alvinology, while your suggestion appear to be justified, your blog would ended up being unworthy of response if you allow comments without jurisdiction on your part to seek the truth!

  39. Observer, the Pte has not done me any wrong. On the other hand, are you in some way related to him? My remarks are critical as i find that the whole episode is a waste of tax payers time and money. What abuse are you talking about? Broken arms or legs or head? OiC, for knocking-down twenty? So can we classify sleep deperation, route march, water training in No.4, running with fullpack, etc as abuse?

    If you have not been travelling, I suggest you do some planning now.

  40. Yokoosi, for your information, i am not related to the young Pte. wheareas your anger appear to be getting out of hand! While I agree that the whole episode is a wastage of tax payers time and money, as an observer of a situation, I only beg that there is someone out there to share my grievances regarding the abuse by personnel of authorities.

  41. Yokoozi, that’s not nice of you to make such remarks on the young soldier. Being a person who claimed that you travel round the world, your remarks had shown otherwise! Your language are even worst than of those hooligans!

    What do you know of the young soldier?

    Whatever wrong others had claimed that he had committed, you of all people should had known that the strict Law of Singapore would had educated him by punishing him accordingly to his age. So stop hearing hearsay and pay attention to the present.

    I was there at court too! What I heard is heartbreakingly true. The young soldier had grabbed and twisted by an unknown man in civilian in the safe compund of his camp. The only thing that this man in civilian could find upon this young soldier hand is his hand phone and name tag.

    To me it is a case that one of our son the NS man had been physcally hurt and had to eventually ended being charged in court and landed in the DB is a matter none of us a citizan should accept.

    The many facts that I heard in court had shown that the only attitudes this young soldier and his mother had is one of kindness and ones who does not like trouble, when they humbly accept the fines imposed on them.

  42. I was in court too, when I heard one of the Col admitted in court that the Sgt was his man and that was his rice bowl, I was in shocked!

  43. It puzzled me to hear in court that while the Col and the Capt stood in court during cross examination praises the young soldier for being very polite and courteous, they swear by the bible and had him charged for matter that today I am shocked and find it difficult to bear.

    What further distress me is that important documents that would had assisted the case was either lost or unknown!

    Had the chief of Admin not testify in court, it would had been a more disastrous ending for the innocent young soldier.

  44. innocent my behind. he caused a principal to be investigated for gross indecency because the kind old man wanted to help him!! He is a proud and arrogant fellow who does as he pleases.

    I remember the furore caused when he made that accusation about him being molested. And what happened after all that investigation? Nothing! Does the poor principal deserve that humiliation? No! He was unhappy cause the Principal stepped in due to his “issues”. What a bad egg.

    Mark my words, this guy cannot be trusted. He’s pampered and spoil and he’s no stranger to lying in court. I have nothing good to say about this nincompoop.

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