Ha. NS.

An M10 screw for $5. A single roll of thread seal for $3. A transmission coupling for $8000. That was how much the force paid their external supplier. You know what, I wouldn't be surprised if I'll get some SAF apologist coming in to justify that. Bullet proof super duplex grade M10 screw perhaps? Supersonic sub-zero tested tread seal? Nah.... the same grade we could get at the hardware shop across the road or worse. A screw up organisation is a screw up organisation. Believe what you want to believe. Doesn't matter if anyone think I am the dumbest Singaporean ever because I can be assured I will be the second dumbest at worse. It is such a comforting thought there will be one a tad more stupid. In case you are new here, if you are looking for a debate, you won't find any here. If you are here for one, redirect yourself to some other gay blog or fuck yourself. My comment box is for occasional phallic jokes from New Zealand or gentle reminders from Canada. There is no intelligent life form here, so I advise you to redirect yourself here [link] if you expect any.

Back to that topic, you might as well try to figure out the difference between Melvyn Tan and Wang Yinchu. The former left Singapore at age 12 to study music in England. He did brilliantly in his field and went on to further his studies beyond the age of 18, which was only possible with his granted deferment from National Service for 3 years. He did well again and requested for further deferment to pursue a Master degree in music, was rejected, decided to show the SAF his middle finger, got his parents' bond of $30,000 forfeited, renounced his Singapore citizenship after taking up British critizenship and never went back to Singapore again. In 2005, Melyn Tan decided to return to Singapore, 36 years after he left, in order to be with his aging parents. He pleaded guilty in Court and was sentenced to a fine of $3,000.

The latter poor fuck didn't have enough luck on his side in comparison. He actually did some National Service. Quite a lot of it, in fact. One month before his ORD, he went AWOL to pursue his dreams to be a doctor, by taking up his medical course offered by the University of Cambridge. He fulfilled his dreams and returned to Singapore 6 years later, pleaded guilty in court and was sentenced to 3 weeks of detention. The chief military prosecutor appealed against the sentence and the panel extended his detention period to 18 months.

One never had the intention to serve, the other served all except one month. One went AWOL for 36 years, the other, a few decades shorter. Same defaulters, same country, same purpose, different punishments. Well, perhaps it was one too many cases of Melvyn Tans which forced the higher ups to call a 3-weeks detention "manifestly inadequate" because, they reasoned, that it could send a message to the NSFs that they would "suffer little consequences" when they go AWOL. Perhaps Wang Yinchu was made an example to fire a warning shot at young boys out there. If this is supposed to educate future NSF AWOL wannabes, the lesson to learn here must be never to surrender themselves after they go AWOL. It appears that it certainly doesn't pay to own up to their mistakes.

"National Service is about one’s duty to the country, and about placing the nation’s interests above one’s own," they said.

I'm more than convinced about the importance of placing national interests above our own. After all, not turning up to get fucked for 2 years is actually a more serious crime than killing somebody while driving drunk in this country. Hmm, I must be drunk myself to compare a roadkill to national security. We should place the nation's interest and be willing to sacrifice our own. Pretty sure parents of sons who died during service agree.

You would expect a top-down organisation like that to be rigid, structured and fair. In truth, it is the most emotional driven organisation I have participated in. Folderol were created primarily driven by a new commander on board eager to make his presence felt in order to move up the ladder. Best practices could be flipped. Standards could be raised or lowered or doubled whenever required. Officials shield one another. NSFs were used as pawns for internal factions. Injustice and skulduggery were regarded as part of the training. A peccadillo could be swept under or made a mountain of. Generations of fine practice grant the organisation proficiency to weave parades of hokum to veil the hodgepodge of irony, paradox and incongruity.

It was indeed an eye opening experience for me, as well as millions of Singaporean sons.  What I found most interesting about NS is that everyone takes away different lessons with them, as if each of us was made to go through a tailor-made magicked trial in the Tower of High Sorcery. While some understand that, you get a Drongo coming up once in a while bent on shoving his own illusions onto the others.

1 comment:

  1. Ayah, why complain like that?

    Nix you should know all military hardware including guns part must meet ASTM std wat, so that your screw doesn't melt under intense heat when you fire a lot of rounds in one volley.

    Also it's ah-gong money wat, so even if trickle a little bit of extra cash from high price down to the store man can be win win situation (no not bribery which doesn't exist in SG, but extra money to double triple check quality of stock through extra course certification, which justify more salary, wat)