April 28, 2009
All this talk about National Integration and integration of foreigners into Singapore misses the mark. We are talking about welcome others when we treat our own so poorly. What am I talking about?
I am talking about National Service. I am talking about mandatory 2 years (formerly 2.5 years) of conscription of Singaporean male citizens into the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
I am talking about the 10 years of reservist obligations comprising but not limited to:
* annual in-camp training lasting 2 to 21 days (in practice but legally up to 40 days under the law)
* annual individual physical proficiency tests (IPPT) for those medically fit NSmen (those who fail to clear their tests are subject to Remedial Training of twice/thrice a week)
* notifying Mindef Notification Centre for any overseas trips exceeding 24 hours
* need to apply for exit permit for trips of 6 months or longer
* annual operations manning or mobilisation exercises than can happen 2-3 times a year
To be male and Singaporean is to serve and f*** off
These obligations are not new. They have been imposed on NSmen since the whole NS system was developed just after Singapore gained independence and as the British withdrew their military forces out of Singapore not long after.
What is new is that the pace of immigration to Singapore has increased tremendously. It has created a truly global city, Singapore Inc, with the implications of a labour market that is competitive in every sense of the word.
Recommended by Anonymous Coward: "As a fellow reservist, I feel his pain too. Why are Singaporean men so cham? Our only wrong is to be born here in Singapore and get punished by government who embrace foreigners."