THE TEMASEK TIMES

News and views from an unique perspective

National Service in Singapore: Dividing the Society It was Meant to Unite

Posted by temasektimes on June 18, 2012

The NS (Amendment) Act was passed on 14 March 1967, and since then, Singaporean males both young and old have done their part in the defence of our beautiful island nation, Singapore. This year marks the 45th Anniversary of National Service, and as such, the Government is commemorating NS45 with the launch of NS: From Fathers to Sons. I can see the commemorative value in celebrating  this historical milestone, but somehow I cannot help but wonder, “Is there truly cause for celebration?”

One of the purposes of National Service is to foster social cohesion within the multi-racial society of Singapore. Back in the tumultuous years of the 1960s, the Government of Singapore experienced much difficulty in integrating the different races. Such was the turmoil that it culminated in the 1964 and 1969 Race Riots, which claimed 40 lives in total.

The secondary founding principle of NS (the primary being national defence, of course) was to forge unity and cohesion in society by promoting racial harmony. One really does not need to think deeply to figure out that today’s Singapore society has not been more divided ever since the advent of NS. Why? Because foreigners (and first-gen Permanent Residents) are exempted from NS.

Due to the Government’s liberal immigration policies, 2011 saw the proportion of Singaporeans within the population of Singapore drop to an all-time low. In 2011, the population of Singapore was 5.18 million people, of whom 3.25 million (63%) were citizens while the rest (37%) were permanent residents or foreign workers. This means that a significant number of males in Singapore do not actually serve NS. This not only compromises the welfare of Singaporeans, but also divides today’s Singapore society in more ways than one:

Firstly (and obviously), these foreigners lack the NS Experience. They do not understand what it means to live life within a military construct and much more importantly, the unique brotherhood that is forged between soldiers. They do not know what it means to sweat blood and tears with your buddies by your side. They may understand the concept “No One Left Behind”, but all that lives only in their minds, not their hearts. They never lived life in a bunk with their bunkmates, complete with the craziness and boredom that can only exist in such an environment.

Secondly, they “leverage” on the 2 years they saved that we wasted to develop and grow, grooming themselves to be ever more competitive in school and at work while we languished and lagged behind in our professional development in army.

Finally, they sacrificed nothing for the nation (in fact, they get to live much better, prosperous lives in Singapore than back home; otherwise, why did they even migrate here?) while our Singaporean Sons, at best, sacrifice 2 years of their lives (and more, when one considers Reservist Trainings) and at worst, sacrifice their lives altogether. This year saw the deaths of 4 NSFs in 5 months! While they lead their comfortable lives in our magnificent island nation home, we slog it out the 2-year grind that is National Service.

When the call comes to defend Singapore, I will give my heart and soul. But I shall have nothing to do with aliens.

JOEL YIP

47 Responses to “National Service in Singapore: Dividing the Society It was Meant to Unite”

  1. kitto said

    When trouble comes, the aliens will leave. Those that wont, I shoot them first so as not so share whatever ration we have with these bastards.

    • Jardel said

      Hey Kitto, I just laughed at the way you wrote. Nice one bro. But remember shoot at their head. That will make sure they die instantly and to save on the ammo too…So that we can kill both enemies and aliens together😀

      • keit said

        Yar man 1 shot 1 kill dont be bobo shooter and miss their head want to make it more effective do point blank, at least that way if they ask why they died can say they were caught in a cross fire.

      • Vin said

        i rather shoot their legs and hands first.. then let them suffer on the ground to be killed by the enemy.. that way they will know the helplessness that we have also at the hands of our enemies =D.. why let their suffering end so fast..

      • an island open to evil foreigners said

        NO LAH, LINE THEM UP TOGETHER 4OR5 IN A ROW AND SHOOT THEM POINT BLANK LAH. THAT WAY 1 M16 BULLET CAN KILL 4OR5 GUYS INSTANTANEOUSLY, THE WOUNDED ONE JUST RIFLE-BUTTED HIM ON THE HEAD OVER AND OVER AGAIN. THAT’S HOW I DID TO THE COALITION ARMY PRISONERS IN IRAQ LAH

    • nobody said

      Dont kill them like that.. it is too easy for them… They can be used as decoys or meat shields or maybe even hostage towards hostile country

  2. oute said

    What it means is that they dont need you, all Singaporeans, anymore.

    In the past, they need you to “sweat and toil” for them, till they have enough “reserve.”

    Now, they can easily “recruit” foreigners to take over your place.

    • Jardel said

      Hey bro….our place…not your place. If singaporeans dun stand united, we will simply get fucked by both aliens and pap…..Remember pap and aliens are one gang vs wp and singaporeans. 60% just go find a hole and die there we singaproeans dun need you neither to your cock sucking master.😀

      • yoyo said

        wow you’re so intelligent. PAP and Aliens vs WP and Singaporeans.

        WAKE UP LAH JARDEL, NS IS OVER FOR YOU ALREADY. GREAT GRANDFATHER TOIL FOR SINGAPORE OVER ALREADY.

        You don’t wanna compete with foreigners then don’t lor. You can always sign on with army what, no foreigners to compete with you. Everything based on meritocracy right?🙂

        btw since you all like to live in the past, please remember this quote from your grandfather time. “No one owes you a living.”

      • 1p1n1s said

        “no one owes you a living” and yet owe our our lives, and the lives of our children (plus grandfather’s) – to serve and to protect this country.

        If everything is based on meritocracy, then why NS is not optional based on merit?

        It is not that “don’t wanna compete with foreigners” but “don’t want foreigners to compete” …. this is not the Olympics, don’t need foreigners to come all the way here to complete with locals. Foreigners is to complement, to make the country competitive, and for benefit of the locals – this is talent. Otherwise, what talent is only “talent” in a foreign country, yet can’t do squat in their home country?

        During grandfather’s time, FT usually already Talent in their home country, others were merely foreign workers, but all living harmoniously together – very automatic, very natural – no need droning exhortation or million dollars integration fund. These days even stuffing a supermarket trolley loaded with grocery up onto a public bus full of passengers – can be called talent !

        And yes, not just great grandfather has woken up, his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren maybe too – can you hear them ?

      • Singapuraboi said

        Yoyo, ur grandfather came from ancient times. Yes, the govt owes us a living that is why they r called the govt. Our taxes go to their fat salaries and they should work for the citizens of Singapore and not for the FTs. Instead they deprive us of our jobs and take care of the foreigners.
        And don’t for one minute believe in the PAP’s stand that nothing in this world is for free. If that is the case why are they always asking for volunteers for every national cause? Good example is the Youth Olympics. Don’t forget the food they served our volunteers. For the little they do for us, they expect a handsome salary, but for our lives and the dangers and rigors of NS, they pay us peanuts. They say NS unites and everyone has to go thru as it makes us men yet the ministers’ children don’t do BMT and hide behind frivolous positions and in the comfort of an air con office and go home to mummy everyday at 5pm. What is the message they r giving us?

        Yoyo u r not in touch. Don’t live in ur grandpa’s time it is people like him that have spoilt our current govt and give them the impression they are more powerful than gods.

    • Mel said

      take your place and replace your votes too….thats they dont care abt us anymore😦

  3. Ahguang said

    Well Written Bro, your POV will resonate with the many of us that spent 2-2.5 slogging it out and 10 yrs more for ‘reservist’

  4. Singaporean said

    So? talk so much no use, its time for revo*lutio*n. you see how I typed that word? There is no freedom and all of us are afraid of ISD/ISA. Just forget about it and be obedient continue with your dog life ok?

  5. Enlightened said

    Your objective of “equality” is just an illusion that cannot be achieved. Do you think 2 years of NS is enough for those who are the cream of the crop from other countries that can easily beat up the common Singaporeans academically? I say up their NS to 4 years! What about foreigners who grew up in impoverished region, with lower life expectancy and quality of education? Can you discount it from their NS obligations since they will die early? What is worse is half of the workforce who exempted themselves from NS by claiming a “weaker” gender. They too do not have the military training that you deemed crucial to enter the workforce. Singapore’s economic health is undermined and stunted by these ill prepared foreigners and women.

  6. Lim said

    U forget the 10 years in camp training and the troublesome IPPT RT

    As long pap is in power , we will see FTrash and PRs enjoying the benefits here while true blood sporeans suffer

  7. Reservist said

    Well written! Can you pls post tis on the PM’s FB page?

  8. huh? said

    It’s not really the foreigners who lack the NS experience. 50% of Singaporeans also lack this experience. Apart from just foreigners, why should males bear the burden of defence and social cohesion? How about girls? Do you guys think that’s fair? What do you think?

  9. maahbok tan said

    Poor our fellow SGporeans who have serve NS without making any noise….our GOVT of The DAY are giving so much to the monkeys than to serve its people….!!! Now that we have learn a lesson from the GOS ( govt. of singapore ) , we should all point our M16 towards them this coming GE2016…..lets start a movement online and tell them our DISPLEASURE at their attitude and arrogant behaviour towards fellow citizen.

  10. Jaded said

    celebrate what? that how dumb we sinkies are in wasting our time protecting ungrateful aliens?

  11. NL said

    Actually, we do need those FT as human shield in times of war…

    • oute said

      or third column, within the country.

    • i say what i think only... said

      instant POW to demand additional assistance? pls ah, see how the pinoy SWAT teams fight against 1 man on HK tourist bus, u know how capable they are liao. depend on indians? they are looking out for pakistan. china? we are not worth the effort.

      all we have is UN who say they do not condone such violence, period.s ee syria still fighting like nobody’s business.

    • jamie said

      agree.
      FT can be used to clear concealed explosives, to draw enemy fire so as to pin point their position, to be used as manual labour, to be used as standby for blood transfusion, etc
      and of course the security NSmen provide will be highly selective or in the form of, targetted assistance 🙂

    • asd said

      1st(if there is war)
      2nd(FT= gone already)

    • pinoy said

      your brain must be damaged from going thru NS.

  12. Stone said

    Bro, I agree with you so much. But just one thing, will those alien truly defend Singapore? Chances are pinoys will throw their arms away when Philippine invade, PRC hiding in bush when China invade etc etc

  13. NSmen gets tax rebate. Wait a minute, so they say no deferment for university students to save on the tax rebate and salary?

  14. Bway Song said

    Honestly, if there is war, I will leave, Y shld I protect a nation of non pure singaporean or even foreigners? Patriotism will decrease if this still goes on. We only love our country if our country love us back. At least for now I know I will not die for my so call country.

  15. FUCKPAP said

    When there’s war, maybe you guys should draw arms and start killing all the aliens first since they are nearby. KILL THEM ALL.

  16. fong said

    We can use them as shooting target.

  17. Lee said

    It is the foreigners who need national experience such as NS45 celebrations, army open houses, Singaporea Day etc to appreciate Singaporeans performing NS. It is the foreigners who are taking NS for granted, not Singaporeans.

  18. 6 SIR said

    I am a true Singaporean who completed 2 years of active and 10 years of reservist faithfully in combat side. After which I still sign up as uniformed volunteer in Home Team. i am proud of Singapore and Singaporeans but sadly the foreginers think otherwise.

  19. sweetee said

    By this logic, serving NS should qualify non-chinese to be a prime minister, why is it not so?

  20. hoho said

    hope the NDP parade this year , the NS slaves on parade will give the middle finger to all the MP and FT seating watching the parade.

    This will be the proudest moment of the entire SAF NS slaves shitty history.

  21. F**K_THE_PAPigs said

    “I will give my heart and soul. But I shall have nothing to do with aliens.”
    Exactly my sentiments!
    If I hv to fight & defend my land, it’ll be for S’poreans ONLY.
    PRs, foreigners, aliens who get in my way, I’ll fcuking blow their fcuking heads off!
    Fcuking foreign leechers and parasites deserve to get shot!

  22. An two years NS course (modified) should be implemented for female citizens, and all new citizens! said

    Problem will remain problem if it is not solved!

    When NS service was introduced, there were many disagreement from Singaporean male citizens, and male had complaint on the female of not doing the two years NS and get better advancement than male in job career.

    This problem already existed and the government just ignore, and did not find a good solution to it.

    An two years NS course (modified) should be implemented for female citizens, and all new citizens!

    • Enlightened said

      No shit… we should just turn to communism. Everyone’s work is assigned by the govt regardless of experience and skills, pay and raises are standardised and equal to all.

  23. Justin said

    cheers joel yip. you’re mindset and attitude will ensure you never succeed in life.

  24. No Free Meal said

    If war comes, I would expect everybody in Singapore to take up arms and help defend Singapore, whether they are locals or foreigners. It aliens try to run away, we will treat them as enemies and shoot. If they do nothing, we will use them as shields !

  25. Fed Up Singaporean said

    I feel so cheated after I served my 2 years and find that so many foreign trashes are filling our universities. Is this the country you want for your children? A country where navies slave and defend the country while RICH FOREIGNERS come and use our homeland as a stepping stone?

    Make no mistake, the foreigners will abandon Singapore like she is a piece of trash if she gets into trouble. So why are we even tolerating them? For economic growth due to importing these trashes? Wow… PM LEE, every time you talk about how well Singapore is doing, my utilities bill rise, my fav chicken rice increase by 50cents.

    So please all Singaporean, vote PAP out on GE2016!!

  26. idgat said

    Well written. You forgot to add. In the event of a war, the boys in green, and their reservist brothers will be in trucks headed to the frontlines. However, Army truck drivers will be advised to avoid the roads to the air port, ports and the Causeway, where I expect most foreigners will be clogging the roads to get the hell out. (I really pity the airport ticketing staff if that happens. Can you imagine the self-righteous yelling while they try to get the hell out? Maybe better to give those jobs to foreigners?)

  27. Venkad said

    Well written my friend. My sentiments too.

  28. MoneyNoEnough said

    The FT’s I will shoot first in order of preference in times of war:

    1. Pinoys – they took away most of the semi-skilled jobs, engineering jobs, administrative & middle-management job
    2. Indians – They took away practically all the IT jobs as well as engineering & consultancy jobs
    3. Myanmar – they took away those supervisory, engineering and management positions in the construction, civil engineering and manufacturing jobs.
    4. Ang Mohs – Their population is small compared to the Pinoys & Myanmar
    5. The PAPies – they opened the doors to all of the above and makes our lives miserable…

    The ones I will protect with my life and lead them to the bomb shelters are the maids, Bangladeshi & Indian constructions workers cos they do the jobs that Singaporeans wont’s do.

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