Is there still a need for NS?
‘Mr Lee(MM) goes on to say that the economy and defence are closely interlinked and “without a strong economy, there can be no strong defence. Without a strong defence, there will be no Singapore.’ Rajiv Chaudhry
I was thinking about this same issue when I read Rajiv Chaudhry’s article. Rethinking of Singapore’s Defence Needs. He came to the conclusion that Singapore was overspending on defence and also there was no need to defend Singapore for its wealth. He also repeated the point that Singapore was indefensible and thus it was all a futile attempt and a waste of valuable resources to build up a huge defence force.
My earlier view coincides with the establishment’s view, that it is necessary to build a capable and effective defence force to protect country, people and our sovereignty. My views have since changed with the new developments in our national policies. We used to have something to defend and die for, our country, our national wealth, our sovereignty, our way of life, the future of our children. All these are passé, no longer relevant in current context.
Our military is to defend the country from foreign aggression, preventing foreigners from coming in to occupy our land. This is irrelevant today when we open our doors to invite foreigners to live with us and help themselves with everything we got, and with the citizens having to compete against foreigners in a playing field that is tilted against the citizens. Why waste trying to defend something that is already given away? Why defend something that is no longer a right or a special privilege as a citizen?
What about our national wealth, our national reserves? Another illusion that is no longer of any meaning to the people. What national wealth? It is only hearsay, like our CPF savings, a statement to feel good but benefitting who? Who is being paid in the millions from our savings? Even our own savings in the CPF, in a sense, are no longer our savings. So what is there to defend when it is no longer yours?
Our national assets, strategic assets, land and properties, even islands, could possibly be put on sale when the price is right. Who knows, Sentosa will be on the auction table and going to the highest bidder one day. What is there to defend?
Our way of life is no longer to be treasured. It is being adulterated, diluted by the worst of the new immigrants. And with so many here, the call for integration of migrants to our way of life could be the reverse, the locals integrating into the migrant’s way of life.
The rationale for NS is no longer valid with the new circumstances and economic situation. Some may still remember that one of the reasons, other than defence, was the flood of employable young men and women coming of age. The British were withdrawing and the economy was still very backwards. There was a big problem of employment and a way must be found to delay these young people from entering the job market. NS could absorb and delay the males for two and a half years, taking the pressure off for a while.
What we are facing today is exactly the opposite. By keeping the men in NS, we are causing more shortages and strains in the supply of workers to the economy. There is no need to hold them back anymore, and rightly they should be released to the job market instead of crying father and mother that there are not enough workers available and we need to import more. When the need to defend the country is no longer there, no longer necessary, when everything can be sold, when foreigners are invited to share our wealth and our land, NS has outlived its usefulness and no longer needed. What is there to defend when there is nothing to defend? The only thing left worthy of defending for the average NS men will be their HDB flats and the wealth and properties of the rich, including foreigners. The foreigners need not pay or contribute to our defence. They got a free right at the expense of our NS men.
It is so strange that we have arrived at such a scenario as a nation, a country, when we are no longer a nation, a country, but a hotel. A hotel only needs to employ security guards like the Gurkhas. At best we are just a city state for citizens of the world.
Time to ask the NS men what do you think, or what are you defending?