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3/14/2012

A critical time in our history

1963 we were part of Malaysia. Before we became independent in 1965, we were in an undeclared war with Indonesia that opposed the formation of Malaysia. Our two Singapore Infantry Regiments were sent to East Malaysia and Johore to defend Malaysia, and their barracks were occupied by new troops from Malaysia. Great musical chair strategy.

I could not remember the exact dates and details, but when the two SIRs returned, one or both could not move into their barracks and had to camp in the field in Farrer Park. The old soldiers could fill in the gaps on this part of our history. It was a precarious time when foreign troops were in our soil in a way, yes we a state of Malaysia then. We were once colonized by the British, then conquered by the Japanese and then became part of Malaysia. It was sheer good fortune that we were given independence without bloodshed. It was dicey that our troops could return to their barracks. It was like your flats being occupied by your FT tenants and you had to squat in the field.

The lack of a credible military force to defend our country was something that most scared the light out of our pioneering leaders. We then had the colonial masters around whose main interest was to keep us independent and friendly to their interests in the Far East. As long as they were around, we were safe within their protective umbrella, and as a semi colony. The stark reality of being walked over by a foreign power led to a hurried effort to build up an army of our own.

1967 saw the first batch of our local boys being trained in SAFTI by the Israeli advisors. The following years saw the dispatched of more young men to the UK for training for our future Navy and Air Force. And we thought time was on our side, to gradually build up our defence capabilities only to be hit with a double whammy. The British decided to pull out from their bases here in early 1970s. This was a big hit to our trading economy. And our national defence was still in infancy. We had just introduced National Service a couple of years back and everyone in uniform was still technically a trainee. Everything had to be short circuited to gain time. It was all a mad rush to put an army together out of nothing.

We were in a vacuum of sort as far as soldiers were concerned. Without the people willingly coming forward despite that it was called National Service, we would have a hard time building up an army. The people responded to the call of the nation and everyone played his part in a big jigsaw puzzle with blank pieces. And every piece had to fit or knock in to fit at the quickest time possible. It was that easy if we don’t think about it. It was DIY quick fix and hoped for the best.

Though we were fortunate not to have been in a war during our formative years, it was a critical time, and a treacherous time. The British were there holding the umbrella. But they could fold it up if the people and govt did not have the resolve to pull it through. If the govt was weak and could not rally the people to build a nation for themselves, we would have been doomed, economically and politically as a country. The British could give up and give the island to anyone able to hold it together. They could have abandoned us if we did not treasure the moment and the opportunity.

The early batches of NS men were there to fill up the void, to hold the fort for the time being while the bigger picture was being put into place. Their sheer presence was what was needed in those precarious moments of truth, to exist or to fade away, or be taken over. Our future would have been different if the people did not gel together to answer the call of a young nation in the making.

Those were the times when nothing was a luxury. Everyone was a piece of the big jigsaw puzzle in formation, the NS men, the workers, the entrepreneurs and the civil service and the govt. They were living for a strange new mission, to build a country, a nation. It was not starting a SME. And many things they were doing were completely alien to them. They were all learning on the job, doing things for the first time. Yep, like the blind leading the blind. It was only forty odd years ago. Many have walked in those days and have vivid memories of their experience.

We have forgotten. We have forgotten the difficult times, the times when personal sacrifices were part and parcel of nation building. Many civil servants and military officers were just told to get the job done with no issues of sacrifices. We forgot that at one time we were struggling to turn this island into a country. We forgot the price our parents paid for what it is today. $90 NS allowance and rubbery meat that bounced off the floor. The bread and kaya for breakfast were not much different from what prisoners got then. Today, we talk about sacrifices like having diarrheoa. Every little drop of shit is damn big sacrifice. If the NS men of then did not turn up at CMPB in Kallang, or if there were violent protest to NS, how would we have turned out today, an independent state or part of someone else’s state?

We have forgotten that together we have built a country, a nation. And still some would rubbish it as a state in the making. So we can give it away, invite everyone here and issue citizenship certificates like toilet papers. Come, take, it is no man’s land. We are migrants or descendants of migrants. You migrant, good, same same. Come share my home. Feed yourself and take all you want. There is no ownership to this land. No one feels that it belongs to the pioneering migrants who crafted it out as a country and wanted to make this home for their descendants.

And the daft descendants are calling themselves migrants and not owners of a country their forefathers have fought, worked and died for. They are willing to share with anyone, give to anyone. How generous!

How stupid can they be? No, they don’t think so. They don’t know that this is home, their country. When there is no ownership, you can expect what it will become next. Think public toilets. The daft Sinkies don’t deserve this country. And the new arrivals will tell them to go if they are not happy here.

When you lose your inheritance…or sell your inheritance away….

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR?

Fascism is a radical authoritarian nationalist political ideology.

Fascists seek rejuvenation of their nation
based on commitment to an organic national community
where its individuals are united together as one people in national identity by
suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood through
a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilization of a nation through discipline, indoctrination, physical education, and eugenics.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fascism

Does the lightning logo on the right look familiar? See link below.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Union_of_Fascists

Matilah_Singapura said...

Those soldiers defending Singapore (many of them tough sam sengs) were regulars.

Also the communist fucker and coward Bung-hole Soekarno was opposed to East Malaysia being in Borneo. British troops were helping out there, nicely kicking Indo ass.

NS is conscription. The historical data show that conscripts tend to make lousy warriors. Although people can be trained -- and they should -- conscript force vs regular, seasoned professional warriors usually leads to conscripts being butchered.

In the 1700, the Americans kicked out their British occupiers by essentially what was guerrilla warfare enacted by a citizen militia.

S'pore small cuntree, like all cuntrees needs to be able to defend itself. NS served the purpose in the early days -- some kind of force is better than no force at all. Can't rely on Malaysia -- they did not wish Singapore well after the forced secession. Thanks to those UMmmm-No! dog-ball lickers.

If S'pore is to have a military, then it must be a professional military -- non of this lame-ass NS shit.

Or go the other way: a citizen militia, Swiss-style, and then a few units of special ops (which Singapore already has)

Matilah_Singapura said...

anon 1017:

Most people have no problem with fascism. They like state control and free-market side-by-side.

Fascism also inculcates a chest-swelling national pride, and the controllers can "sell" just about anything to the "lucky" citizens.

Fascism, is , by far, THE most successful political system ever conjured. People LOVE it!

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

You are so contradictory. The American militia were as good as NS, voluntary, not professionally paid. So is the Swiss militia.

What is important is ownership and identity, that one belongs to a country and the viability of the country is one's survival. The American and Swiss militia fought for their countries and themselves.

Anonymous said...

Fascism is linked to the belief that there is only;
ONE best way
ONE best organization
ONE best leader
ONE best idea

Problem is that all these "one best" are self appointed and self proclaimed.

These self appointed "one best" are always "nurtured".
Nurtured as in "subsidized".

Never subjected to the true Darwinian debate of ideas such as is found on the internet.

Example:
You don't see any of our elites openly debating redbean's ideas in his blog.
If our elites' ideas are so superior, why so shy?

Anonymous said...

They wldn't even talk about the cost of building HDB flats, what wld they want to talk about to bloggers? And the mountain wld not to go Mohd.

Neither wld they want to talk cock and end up saying sorry.

newhik said...

Professional soldiers or not, conviction is what will truly win the day.

Look at the guerillas of the Vietcong and those in Afganistan. Those are civilians who were trained or conscripted into the army simply because of the beliefs. Look at the yong brave kamikaze pilot conscripts of the Royal Japan Army who willingly surrendered their lives in the "misguided" beliefs of the good of Japan.

Conscription is not always a poor scheme or idea. However, the Gahment must make sure that the civilian militia must feel very stongly connected to the wellbeing of Singapore.

However, as we often read online, alot of the NSmen have been grousing that the Gahment had betrayed Singapore and are selling off Singaporeans to the foreigners.

Is it a wonder why many people say that National Service is no longer protecting our homeland, but rather more like being a doorman for the foreigners to come in.

Victor and Vanquished said...

Even though most political ideal is isolated one from another, I don't approve of the comfortable compartmentalisation of political ideal or belief.

Its political evolution through and through. Scaring ourselves with anticipations of a political algorithm may contribute only further confusion and fear-mongering.

There are flaws to democracy as well as any other political system.

Because we rely on majorities, as long as the majority is easily fooled by a clout of fear, or worry of any securities be they financial or health or safety, then these voters can be goaded at the polls.

What happens next is that the minority (even if its 49.9%, mind you) have to bear with the next 5 years of something they knowingly do not want. Thats democracy.

This is the battle of hearts and minds. How many succumb to their accustomed comforts? How many vote for things to not change and remain the same because as long as they benefit from a flawed system, they are willing to look past it?

How many further yet, vote out of fear because they themselves are meek and submissive and have not built themselves (or been given the chance and opportunity to develop thus so) to challenge the status quo and why things are the way they are, how things can be much better than what is merely presented in front of them.

We have much to go before we reach the ideals we seek. And that is not made easier with people who claim to devote their life to the betterment of society and nation, yet consciously indulge in self-righteousness and conceit when they are challenged, and mock, instigate and wax hardship on the supposed people they have 'sacrificed' for.

Maybe the sacrifice refers instead, to the sacrifice society needs to accommodate to them.

We're all in this together and we need to change captain and crew before we shipwreck ourselves into an iceberg and create bad history that was avoidable from the conscious start.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Singapore belongs to the young of today. They will inherit it from the old. At least we must ensure, like the Aussies said, that they inherit something better or not worst.

The young must increasingly stand up, speak up and take charge of this country, to own them. Not to let anyone or group to mess it up for them.

The meek shall not inherit the world, at least not Singapore.

Anonymous said...

Frederick Douglass (1818–1895) was a runaway American slave. He went on to become a social reformer, orator, writer and statesman.

Some of his ideas are timeless:

QUOTE
"Find out just what people will submit to;
And you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong; Which will be imposed upon them;
And these will continue;
Until they are resisted with either words or blows, or both.

The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."
END QUOTE

"Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will."

I guess Frederick Douglass would probably have told Lim Boon Heng.
Cry no use.
Talk no use.
Vote wisely instead.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frederick_Douglass

http://www.quotesnsayings.net/quotes/9073

Anonymous said...

The next time I remind you that HDB owns your HDB flat.
You don't own your HDB flat.
Think about the following warnings from history:

"Now what liberty can there be where property is taken without consent??"
Samuel Adams, America founding father and leader of the Boston Tea Party

"Property must be secured, or liberty cannot exist."
John Adams

"No freedom is secure if your property rights are not secure." Neal Boortz

Anonymous said...

I totally disagreed with you that Singapore got its independence without bloodshed.
Singapore was literally forced to join Malaysia in a phoney referendum with no opt-out choice.
Singapore was then forced out of Malaysia because too many Chinese,Malay and even an Indian friend of mine,blood were shed in the racial riots of 1964 and 1965.
Hot spots in 1964/1965 were Geyland Seria,Chinatown,Kampong Baru.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Those blood was shed for very different reasons than a fight for independence against a colonial power. There was blood but for the wrong reasons.

Joining Malaysia, for right or wrong reason, was the best thing that had happened to our sustainability as an independent country. The wrongs of the British colonialism, to have taken the island from the Johore Sultanate was righted. We were returned to Malaysia.

And we were given independence by Malaysia. This marked a new chapter in our history as a legitimate country, not a hubris of colonialism.

Anonymous said...

Those blood were shed as a result of an oppressive majority in power wanting to show the minority who was boss.

Veritas said...

////
The wrongs of the British colonialism, to have taken the island from the Johore Sultanate was righted. We were returned to Malaysia.
////

The real history of Malay archipelago has a greater dimension.

The true ownership of Singapore is Bandahera dynasty whose seat is in Riau.

So the rightful owner of Singapore was "Indonesia" -- a even more dangerous idea that PAP tries to wipe out from our collective history.

The 1824 Anglo Dutch treaty was illegal and this treaty basically divide Singapore into British zone.

Tememgong was richly rewarded for selling out Malay interest in Singapore. His descendent is now the sultan of Johor.

Chua Chin Leng aka redbean said...

Thanks Veritas. You know your history.

theonion said...

Veritas

How far do you wish to go back, instead of Riau, it would be Malaccan empire and prior to that the Siamese empire.

Regards

Veritas said...

No need to go too far, just Anglo Dutch treaty will do.

This treaty is instrumental in breaking up Malay Archipelago into Malaysia and Indonesia as well as delivering Singapore.

The scions of traitors that sell out Malay are still very much in power -- the house of Tememgong, the ruler of Johor.

Living up their reputation, the house of Tememgong produce the most scumbag rulers among sultan of Malay.

Eg, Sultan Iskandar are well known murderer. To progress further, our Malay brothers need to be aware of many historical context.

Knowledge will free them from prejudice and fundamentalism.

Matilah_Singapura said...

The meek don't inherit anything lah. That shit was a BIG FAT LIE told by that fictitious zombie Jesus Fucking Christ to make losers feel good about themselves and fill them up with false hope.

That how cruel a cunt the man was.

Matilah_Singapura said...

@anon 150

That's right: there is no PROPERTY RIGHTS in HDB.

You lease it from the govt. When you buy and sell HDB, you are buying and selling a lease. There is some limited property rights in the lease. But unlike freehold structures, you have no rights in the HDB itself.

HDB + CPF = massive political leverage for the ruling party (whoever they might be in the future)

BTW, you have no property rights in CPF either.