<Blog post by Philip Ang>
I refer to “National servicemen to get $80 more in monthly allowance”.
I hope our youths will start to think if there’s really a need for conscription instead of relying on PAP propaganda to do their thinking. There has been no real debate in parliament for 5 decades and PAP is stuck in a dinosaur mindset.
The love of one’s country should not be defined by conscription as that would mean all Singaporean females are free loaders. Before I go on, let me state that, being a regular in the RSAF from 1982 to 1988, I did more than my fair bit for Singapore. After ROD (now ORD), I had to compete with younger Singaporeans in the job market. But it wasn’t much of an issue as PAP did not prioritise foreigners over locals, one could easily land a job and salaries were not depressed. What’s more, housing was affordable even on a single income. And I am not talking about a 2- or 3-room flat.
Due to the impact of Social Studies’ and mainstream media propaganda, I believe our youths have not realised that PAP has shortchanged them for decades with its double standard, ie one rule for themselves, another for ordinary folks. Let’s look at what PAP means by ‘sacrifice’ and some figures to put this into perspective:
– The PM’s salary was $2500 in 1970 and increased by 9000% to $3,800,000 in 2008.
– A recruit’s allowance was $40 in the 1970’s and increased by only 600% to $240 in 2008.
– Taking into consideration the PM’s $1.6 million decrease to currently $2.2 million, his ‘sacrifice’ still saw an increase of 7333%.
– Poor recruit is currently getting $480/1200% increase.
– From the 1980’s to 2002, PM’s annual salary shot up from $214,500 to $1,940,000.
– Poor recruit’s monthly allowance crawled from $120 to $240 or $1,440 to $2,880.
– From the 1980’s to 2002, PM’s annual salary increased by $1,725,500.
– Recruit’s sacrifice saw an increase of only $1,440. The PM’s increase was almost 1200 times of a recruit’s.
– From 2000 to 2008, PM’s salary defied gravity and skyrocketed to $$3,800,000 from $1,940,000, an increase of $1,860,000.
– During the same period, PAP forgot inflation impacted everyone including recruits, or they even existed: allowance increase – ZERO.
PAP has lost all moral authority to lecture Singaporeans/TKSS about sacrifice as it is clear they are all hypocrites. If sacrifice means getting a 6-month bonus on top a 13-month pay, then shouldn’t NSFs be entitled to an additional 7-month bonus allowance?
The $80 increase is really an insult; the increase should be $800 to reflect the ‘discounted’ real cost of sacrifice. Every dollar that PAP pays themselves, NSFs should be entitled to the same percentage increase.
The huge difference in NSFs’ allowance is also unjustified. Every father’s mother’s son is sacrificing exactly 2 years of their lives so why should a CPL be paid half the allowance of a LTA? Is this an elitist system that recognises the ‘sacrifice’ of white horses who eventually become officers? Why should a CPL be paid $630 while a LTA gets $1,260? A marginal difference would have sufficed because these spoilt, book smart white donkeys are really no different from ordinary citizens.
Truth be said, PAP’s objective of having 35,000 conscripts is solely to maintain an organisational structure to promote its scholars to generals. Without 35,000 conscripts, we would have a couple of generals instead of 30. All these paper generals are a huge waste of tax dollars. After retirement, PAP will still need to find meaningful work for them by parachuting them into GLCs. More tax dollars wasted.
A little red dot like Singapore probably needs a professional army of 10,000. A couple of generals with real combat experience is more than enough. It’s a win-win situation but of course PAP will not want to lose the support of its paper generals.
Conscription is therefore too costly and billions could be saved every year. Additional tax dollars could be invested in Singaporeans or saved for PAP’s 50-years-still-has-not-arrived rainy day.
The army logistics department may be doing well during peace time but having too large a military may be counter-productive: it presents a logistical nightmare during times of conflict. By the time the army activated more than 500,000 reservists and conscripts, Singapore would have already gone under.
Forget about classroom scenario planning by book smart generals. We have already witnessed reality in the Little India riot and the chaotic situation after every major MRT disruption.
If conscription is needed, it should be reduced to a 6-month stint as one does not need 2 years to learn the use of firearms. If Singaporeans require 2 years of indoctrination to convince them to defend our homeland at all costs, then we don’t really deserve to survive as a nation.
PAP says we need the numbers to deter aggression but it is essentially fighting World War 2. Are we living in the internet age or not? Why do we require the same level of manpower despite having spent billions on state-of-the-art weapons, weapons which potential aggressors do not have? Has PAP heard of missiles which could be used by aggressors to bring us to our knees if they so desire? Does PAP then intend to launch the human wave to defend Singapore?
PAP is maintaining a large army to serve its political objective, not Singaporeans.
There were already too many conscripts and PAP had realised this 3 decades ago. Some scholar in the government then came up with ‘Total Defence’ which essentially means the abuse could continue at PAP’s whim.
Since the army did not require additional men, more than 3000 youths are channeled into the SPF and SCDF every year. But what these organisations require are professionals who should be paid at least $3000 a month, not the undignified allowance given by PAP. Conscripts are being used as a cheap source of labour and they cannot be expected to have the same level of professionalism because a monkey is what you get with peanuts as allowance.
The SCDF is also being used as a recruitment centre for youths who have little academic qualifications. Opposition MPs should raise the issue on the number of SCDF NSFs injured, which have gone unreported, in Parliament.
It is a fact that we actually have more NSFs than required: PAP has recently floated the idea of using them for crowd control during major train disruptions. It would be fine during a real emergency but since train disruptions are now occurring regularly, is this not an abuse of public resources?
NSFs are also employed to patrol Changi Airport and in the vicinity of MRT stations. Without NSFs, Changi Airport Group and SMRT will need to hire private security agencies such as AETOS or CISCO which will impact their bottom line and more importantly, Temasek Holdings’. NSFs should not replace professional security personnel from private security agencies.
The scholar who came up with Total Defence is one smart ass: in one fell swoop, NSFs are at the beck and call of the government. Temasek companies are able to save millions as it now has access to public resources. After crowd control to cover up PAP’s failure in public transportation, what next?
To many from low-income families, there are real economic losses in serving NS which PAP can’t simply try to make up with free membership to overcrowded SAFRA clubs or token shopping vouchers.
Since PAP started flooding our country with wealthy foreigners 25 years ago, Singaporeans have started to question if we are actually protecting the assets of the wealthy who have little loyalty to our country. Money can buy them citizenships anywhere in the world.
There has been no real debate on the direction of national security for decades. Billions of tax dollars continue to be poured into defence and the real beneficiaries are, as usual, government-linked companies.
Singaporean males should start to think about the future under PAP’s double standard government. They should not blindly accept PAP’s propaganda on the need to sacrifice because a large armed forces is unnecessary.
PAP should first lead by example and not demand million-dollar salaries with each annual increase ranging from ten$ to hundred$ of thousand$. The $80 NSF allowance increase is nothing but a slap in the face.