Monday, January 23, 2006

Army memories

Not us. Hawk Company (and our 'sister' company, Gryphon) represented the socio-economic diversity of Singaporeans. We had a university graduate. We had primary school leavers. We had Chinese, Malays, Indians and one Eurasian. You name it, we probably had it. We even had someone who lived on Pulau Bukom. It said so on his ID card.


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Sunday, January 22, 2006

a plea; from a medic

with regards to medicals
Dear NS men, I'm a medic in one of the Divisions. I am the medical board I/C. I have been crucified and shot down countless times because I am not working fast enough.

To tell you all the truth, I have been working tirelessly to process your medical reviews so that you can be sent for downgrading as soon as possible. But because medical boards are only conducted at 1400 hrs in the afternoon once/twice a month because Chairmen of medical boards are busy Senior Medical officers. and the afternoon has only 2.5 hours; the board will end at about 1645. Do bear in mind that the Division has average 17,000 personnel, and designated medical board medical centres have other medical centres coming to it for board on the same day.

All in all, we board about 100 people a month. But my medical centre alone see up to 100 medical reviews a month. so every month is a mad rush for me process all the medical reviews, wait for the chairman to come; and then another mad rush so process all the downgrade results. It definitely does not help when the software your working with is still in its teething pains and have ALOT of hiccups. So waiting time for a downgrade to be processed is 2-3 months.

I do understand that some of you reallly suffer from bad injuries and illnesses and it affects your health and I am workin as fast as possible. I am the only one in the medical centre who knows how to do downgrades because our estab does not allow more manpower. I as a NSF will fulfil my duties to best of my abilities. All of you have sacrificed for the country in one way or another. This is the only way the country can repay you, I represent the country's gratitude and will do my best.

I pray that this short write up will allow you to understand the mechanisms of the medical board procedure and please don't comprain so much. I, a NSF is on the other end of your comprain letter suffering

P.S. this note does NOT apply to chao keng-ers.

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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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