World War II poster

National Service under the microscope

Back in the days when I did my 2 years 4 months of National Service, it never crossed my mind whether the system was fair or unfair to us guys with regard to the opposite sex or to foreigners. That is not to say that I enjoyed NS. In fact, like many others, I think of it as the biggest waste of time in my life. I hated it, from all the regimental restrictions to the stupid wayangs to an unmeritocratic system where a veteran warrant officer has to address a commissioned officer fresh out of OCS as “Sir”. The…

You can have the flag. I'm off to my second career.

A SAF military infiltration

The Straits Times report that SMRT CEO Desmond Kuek is looking to hire more senior SAF officers to beef up his management team was, not surprisingly, greeted with some incredulity from Singaporeans. We are well aware of the ubiquitous presence of retired generals and admirals given easy passages into top-ranking posts in the PAP, government agencies and GLCs based solely on their achievements in the SAF. And after the recent troubles at SMRT with its current ex-army CEO and former CEO from a similarly unrelated retail background, it is right that we must question if their experience in the armed…

Lest we forget

Saving future Private Lees and Third Sergeant Tans

It goes without saying that we need to protect our sons and daughters in service before they can protect us. Reports on the findings of the inquiries into the death of full-time National Servicemen Dominique Sarron Lee and Tan Mou Sheng, coming just days after Remembrance Day, make for some tragic reading. Amidst the details of what went wrong and who were at fault was a short mention that Dominique’s mother, Ms Felicia Seah, has been visiting her son’s grave in Choa Chu Kang Cemetery every day since he died in April. How depressing is that? My own experience in…