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11/24/2005

nguyen tuong van versus melvyn tan

both issues are hot topics for the moment. in terms of response and participation, nguyen tuong van has a greater audience, including international audience. but in terms of views, there is probably a 50:50 divide on both sides. some support the death penalty and some against. in the case of melvyn tan, it is domestic and apparently more subdue. but the anger is there. the group in channelnewsasia perhaps is more expressive. the response from mindef is atypical, trying to adopt a calm, composed, no opinion, official statement. and thinking or hoping that the subject will end by itself. unfortunately it will not go away. every year you will have new ns men coming on line. the issue is simmering now and will affect all ns men, currently serving or have completed their liabilities. how serious are its implications only time will tell. remarks in the channelnewsasia forum revealed very sore sentiments. some feel cheated, their sacrifices to the nation cheapened, that they were treated like fools. the psychological impact on the morale of ns men and ns as an institution are being questioned and shakened, by the homecoming of a pianist. there must be some damage assessment and damage control before the issue runs out of control. many are not saying anything, very typical of singaporeans. and many are thinking or cursing within. it is crazy for inter state relationship to be held ransom by a criminal. it is just as crazy for a critical institution like the national service to be rocked by a pianist.

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