13 soldiers under probe over 'sea ordeal'

MALACCA - All was set for them to receive the state's highest bravery award for surviving a supposedly harrowing ordeal at sea. Then came news that their superior officers did not believe the story of the 11 trainees and their two instructors.

Even as the military began its investigation of what actually happened, a representative of the group lodged a police report alleging that they were tortured to recant their account.

A Defence Ministry official confirmed that a probe was being carried out on the 29 hours from last Dec 7 that the 13 went missing off Pulau Upeh waters.

He declined to elaborate, but a source said the way the group's boat "strayed" from the regular route had aroused suspicion.