Military is no place for foreigners

I am of the view that non-Singaporeans should be prohibited from being members of our security services, especially the military.

Today’s newspapers were flush with stories of foreigners who are serving in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). The Straits Times highlighted some Russians, Chinese and Indian nationals, as well as Malaysians, who are serving in various leadership capacities in the SAF.

This uniquely Singaporean quirk has come about because our law requires children of first generation permanent residents (i.e., second generation PRs) to serve their National Service (NS) or forfeit their PR status. With the influx of foreigners into Singapore over the past 10 years and the liberal way in which PR status is dispensed to so many foreigners, it is inevitable that we are seeing many more foreigners donning camouflage green uniforms these days.

I feel that non-Singaporeans should be prohibited from being members of our security services, especially the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). I know I am treading on sensitive ground by saying this, especially in the context of the debate between the privileges and obligations of citizens and foreigners in Singapore.

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Training real “thinking soldiers”

The SAF’s idea for current affairs discussions between commanders and soldiers is something along the lines of what I suggested three years ago in an article written for Singapore Angle (reproduced on my blog) titled “Israel’s unprepared reservists: Could the thing happen to Singapore?”.

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) has planned a revamp of the Basic Military Training (BMT) programme. Apart from adjusting the length of BMT for several categories of less-fit recruits, the revamped BMT will also “teach military customs and traditions, and will set aside time for commanders and soldiers to discuss current affairs”.

According to TODAY, for the past two to three years, recruits have been encouraged to keep journals on their training and urged to write letters to their loved ones during “mail runs” on field training. This is part of the SAF’s efforts to engage the troops “intellectually and emotionally”, according to Chief of Army, Maj-Gen Neo Kian Hong.

MG Neo said that “rather than just teaching them, we are also telling them the reason behind it.”

The idea for current affairs discussions between commanders and soldiers is something along the lines of what I suggested three years ago in an article written for Singapore Angle (reproduced on my blog) titled “Israel’s unprepared reservists: Could the thing happen to Singapore?”.

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Suggestions to MINDEF regarding Record V recommedations

The Fifth Committee to Recognise the Contribution of Operationally Ready National Servicemen, or Record V, has made 18 recommendations to MINDEF (Ministry of Defence). As an NSman myself, here are my reactions to them and further suggestions to MINDEF.

The Fifth Committee to Recognise the Contribution of Operationally Ready National Servicemen, or Record V, has made 18 recommendations to MINDEF (Ministry of Defence). As an NSman myself, here are my reactions to them and further suggestions to MINDEF.

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