Tuesday, January 17, 2006


In today's news: Finally, a decision and explanation on Melvin Tan's case.
So, it seems he took advantage of a very nifty loophole that existed in the system (not anymore, though), eh? Well, I'm fine with that. You can't help people exploiting loopholes. My faith in MINDEF has been partially restored; the grudge was never with Melvin in the first place. And it's good to see them starting to get serious about draft dodgers.

I was considering, maybe give people an option to opt out of citizenship instead of forcing them to serve? I.e. become a citizen of another nation by teh time you're 12, or be forced to serve NS. I think 12 years is a sufficiently long time for people to stay and consider. Or perhaps you want to measure by length of stay in Singapore, more than 10 years and people ought to serve? Less enlistees, yes, but also less complaints about being forced to serve without alternative.

And I don't understand the MPs' talk about Einstein and Stephne Hawking never becoming a Singapore citizen if they were forced to serve. Hey, we're an island nation, and this being reality we can't have the best of both worlds. Choose between having a well-defended nation, or highly talented nation, or a compromise between the 2.

Any option other than serving NS is the first step toward transparent elitism, and no matter how much people like the idea of seeing some actual talent in Singapore at the expense of equality, that is not something I want to see while I'm alive. Einstein and Stephen can serve and stay, or they can f*** off. I'm perfectly fine watching them contribute to science as a citizen of another nation.

Besides, I don't think it would be too much trouble for MINDEF to create new NSF appointments that allow top minds to interact with DSTA engineers on new experimental technology and whatnot, right? Ever considered this way of serving the nation? As long as you put them in military uniform and in a position that complements their abilities for the next 2 years, this NSF is happy enough.

To let on a small secret (that hopefully won't get me charged), SAF actually enlists NSFs in trial networking experiments. That's right, they're not all regulars. Not everybody has to chiong, not everybody has to clean rifles, but everybody has to serve the nation if he is deemed fit to. Anyone here disagrees?

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takchek said...

There are NSFs working for DSTA and related (non-combat) technology research. And also NSFs working as "project clerks" on highly sensitive policy issues.

But these numbers are very small, and most work in highly classified positions.

DK said...


Someone wrote to the forum to suggest op-out.