Sunday, November 11, 2012

Generic Arguments about why NS is necessary and Counter-Arguments

Citizens of the United States protested against Vietnam War conscription

Whenever anyone from the public tries to push for NS to be removed, you may receive a generic responses from the current authorities or MINDEF spokesperson or another current government figure.

Sometimes it is not just NS that is called to be removed, but the onerous 10-year plus ICT. This requires male men to be called back for 2 plus weeks every year throughout their most active years (20-40 years old).

These generic responses fall under the following 3 categories:

  1. Total Defence - Usually you get a full explanation on Total Defence, about how there are 5 aspects of defense in Singapore, and a 3G SAF, and how it is technologically advanced. 
    • There is no explanation at all on why conscription is necessary or why it is 24 months. There is no link between a Total Defence explanation and why you need NS!  
    • Answer the question why NS is needed and why 10-years ICT is needed please!

2. Threat from Malaysia or Indonesia - Being places with higher population and thus higher armies, we need a larger reserve force - or do we?
    • Why is there a threat in the first place? 
    • Well, George Bush did convince the USA to go to war with Iraq for 8 years over a PERCEIVED threat. So, are PERCEIVED threats always real?  
    • The government can totally convince us to serve 3 years of NS to protect ourselves against the rise of terrorism by saying there is a BIG IMAGINED hairy threat. The perceived threat argument is not an argument!

3. National Unity and good for bonding our people - I am sure there are better ways to bond our men and ensure unity, why cannot we implement community programmes from our defence budget.
    • This sounds more like a convenient excuse for making conscription necessary. 
    • Why not have females serve? 
    • Why make it 2 years and not 6 months?
    • Why do Reservist men need to return every year for 10 years? Why not make them return once every 5 years?
    • Why for PR's to integrate do we make it not compulsory for PR's to serve NS too?
    • Why do we still need persistent call-ups every year for 10 years. 2 weeks a year hurts a person's schedules, job performance and job hunt?  
    • Why disadvantage males economically, allow them to start families later, and tear the social fabric?


  1. If Malaysia threaten to turn off the tap for the water-pipe along the causeway, what will you do and how do you counteract?

  2. PUB_plumber is another person who has totally bought into the belief that Malaysia will "turn off the tap".

    There is no threat that Malaysia turns off the tap. We PAY the Malaysia government for the water many times more than what Malaysian citizens pay the Malaysia government. We PAY them for the water.

    Where did you get this logic: No NS means Malaysia stops water supply?

    Can we just have a Regular Military force? Reservist can be voluntary.

    By the way, many countries import water but they do not have reservist. Totally deflates your argument that Reservist is necessary for Malaysian water.

    1. So you have an army, what will the army do if they turn off the water?

  3. Don't you know that in Year 2003, the then Malaysian Foreign Minister Dato' Seri Seri Syed Hamid Albar said to the media reporters after talks failed that either Singapore pay more for water (for the 2nd water agreement negotiation till 2061) or go to war...?

    The very next day on a Sunday, SAF mobilized some 20,000 troopers in FBO and showcase on TV about SAF Operationally-Readiness...

  4. Monday 27 January 2003

    Malaysia has denied it had threatened war with neighbouring Singapore over a series of disputes, dismissing complaints by the island-state's foreign minister.

    "Malaysia has never talked about war. We have never said that we would go to war," said Malaysian Foreign Minister Syed Hamid Albar.

    "In a conflict situation, we would like to negotiate, and if we cannot agree, we refer it to a third party. That's always been our approach. We have no intention of declaring war with anybody."

    However, he said, "we are always talking about defending our rights and sovereignty".

    Singapore on Saturday denounced "loose talk of war" by politicians and the media in Malaysia over a series of bilateral disputes, calling it irresponsible and dangerous.

    Singapore's Foreign Minister S Jayakumar cited a statement by Syed Hamid who was quoted by the official Bernama news agency on December 31 as saying that Singapore has only two choices -- compromise or go to war.

    He also said that Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, in his New Year's Day message, had warned that Kuala Lumpur would give a "bloody nose" to any country that violated its sovereignty.

    Jayakumar noted that Malaysian navy and police vessels had increased their "intrusions" into Singapore territorial waters off the disputed island of Pedra Branca, which Malaysia calls Batu Puteh, over the past month. The two countries have agreed to refer that dispute to the International Court of Justice in the Hague.

    Another irritant is the price of water supplied by Malaysia to the resource-starved island, and Syed Hamid denounced Singapore's publication of letters on the subject from Mahathir to former Singaporean prime minister Lee Kuan Yew.

    "What are they trying to prove? I think that is lack of good faith. These letters can be published when writing memoirs or something like that," Syed Hamid said, adding that the move seemed to mean Singapore had no intention of finding a solution to the dispute.

  5. Motive behind misreading of book on SAF
    by David Boey

    BILATERAL ties between Singapore and Malaysia have gone through a bad patch
    lately, with verbal spats turning distinctly belligerent. Malaysian Foreign
    Minister Syed Hamid Albar said on Dec 31 2002: 'Singapore has two choices:
    If it refuses to compromise, go to war.'

    A similarly tense period occurred in 1991 when Malaysia and Indonesia staged
    joint military manoeuvres, code-named Exercise Malindo Darsasa 3AB, on
    peninsular Malaysia from July to August. This was then the largest military
    exercise between Malaysia and Indonesia.

    The highlight of the exercise involved dropping paratroops in southern Johor,
    just 18 km from Singapore's border. The airborne landing site was just minutes
    away by car from the Causeway.

    From Singapore's perspective, the exercise was seen as a deliberate ploy to
    test how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) would react to a large-scale military
    exercise on its doorstep.

    And lest Singapore's defence planners missed the message, the airdrop was
    codenamed Pukul Habis (Malay for 'Total Wipeout'). It was also executed with
    unprecedented proximity to Singapore on Aug 9 - Singapore's National Day.


    SINGAPORE responded by launching an Open Mobilisation Exercise at 5.30 pm on
    National Day eve. In those pre-Internet days, the exercise was widely
    publicised on Singapore's television and radio news on Aug 8 and received Page
    One treatment in local newspapers on Aug 9 - the day on which the Pukul Habis
    airdrop took place.

    Fast forward to Sunday, Jan 26, 2003. The SAF conducts its second Open Mobex
    for 2003. This was barely a fortnight after the year's first Open Mobex on Jan

    Since Singapore's first Open Mobex was held on July 8, 1985, there have been
    only two instances when Mindef held such exercises twice in the same month - in
    June 1987 and in May 1988.

    The latest mobilisation was notable as it was held one day after Foreign
    Minister S. Jayakumar made his landmark parliamentary speech on
    Singapore-Malaysia relations.

    The drill also coincided with Malaysia's apparent bid that same weekend to hike
    up military activity in Johor. After weeks of provocative talk, the Malaysians
    used a Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) career expo in Johor to display some of the
    MAF's firepower.

    The SAF rarely mobilises troops on a Sunday. And when it accords full media
    coverage for the exercise, one can sense that Singapore's Ministry of Defence
    (Mindef) wants its deterrent message heard loud and clear.

    The Open Mobex publicity, when augmented with moves to quietly enhance the
    SAF's defence readiness, represents a carefully-controlled, measured approach
    to warn outsiders of Singapore's readiness to deal with military

    Singapore cannot allow itself to be desensitised to bellicose talk or hyped-up
    military activity close to its border. If it chooses not to respond to such
    unneighbourly activity, Singapore risks sending a signal that war-like remarks
    will be tolerated - or worse, that the city-state has been cowed into silence -
    everytime the tone of language used breaches accepted behaviour among erstwhile

  6. It is amazingly strange, that in order to react to Malaysia's threats, we enslave our own children for a total of 12 years.

    Singaporean men are FORCED to serve for 2 years, and then for 2 weeks on average EVERY year for 10 YEARS afterwards, with NO ALLOWANCE for NOT SERVING.

    MEANWHILE, Malaysian men go around the world, obtain higher paying positions in the 2 years, and have better family lives WITHOUT the 2 weeks.

    Is SINGAPORE not a THREAT to MALAYSIA by having such a large conscripted force? How did Malaysia react? They just relaxed.

    By not focusing on the IMPORTANT things, such as a MORE TIME for work and family, Singapore has wasted the vibrancy and youths.

    Malaysia is even wiser to just simply know that by using verbal threats, it can get its neighbour Singapore to panic and enslave Singaporean men for 12 years.

    Americans, Indonesians, Turkish, Thai, Canadians, French, English, Chinese all do not have a FORCED military. Why do we have it?

    1. Hi Author,

      I strongly disagreed fully with your views.

      I hope you can be voted in parliament to abolish NS, only lawmakers in Parliament have to right to abolish NS. You only can make noise here. But in reality, NS still continue, perhaps even you die, NS is still on in Singapore.

      What can you do?
      Be voted into political office to abolish...

    2. Hi Anonymous,
      Yes, that is of course a possibility. To get voted into office. But for now, there are only maximum 3 key issues on my mind.
      Singapore is a fine place to be in, this blog was never intended to constructively criticise the entire system, but certain, maybe total 3, out-dated policies.
      Thanks again.

    3. So in conclusion, it's either you can get voted into political office to abolish NS or even on the day you die on your deathbed/ coffin to be cremated, NS will still continue to go on...


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