Mar 18, 2007

One for Mr Wang's Files

Not much to say about this topic that I haven't already said before. I'm just preserving the excerpt below, from a STAR article, for my own records:
NS Rumblings on the Rise
By Seah Chiang Nee
17 March 2007

...... With Singaporeans facing growing competition from foreign workers, however, national service has become a strain when bosses pass them over in favour of permanent residents (PRs) because of their “cumbersome” reservist duties.

Singaporean employers who have gone through it are generally more ready to employ reservists, but foreign companies often feel no such responsibility.

They often turn away locals who are still doing reservist duty, preferring to hire foreigners or PRs, who are free of the obligation.

An average of 30,000 foreigners (2006: 57,000) and PRs are accepted every year, and they are not required to serve military service.

This anomaly is causing rumblings among NS men who feel – quite rightly – that the system reduces their ability to compete in the workplace.

Recently, a fresh Singaporean 26-year-old graduate related his interview at a foreign-owned fabrication plant here.

The first question the Taiwanese manager asked him was: “I see you are a Singaporean. Do you need to go back to serve NS every year?”

When he replied that he had to report back for in-camp training every year, the manager reacted negatively, observing that reservists who failed fitness tests would need to train until they passed.

He also mentioned frequent absence of employees who had to attend occasional military meetings, which disrupted workflow.

“If every Singaporean needs to do all this, then I’d rather not hire you all then. Every year you all have to take long periods of absence for NS and no work is done,” he added.

The Singaporean didn’t get the job.

“Singaporean males are going to suffer from this influx of foreign talents. We don’t have an even ground to compete on!” he complained.

The government appealed to employers not to discriminate against reservists, but it in many cases, it has fallen on deaf ears.

The logic of appeals borders on the absurd, remarked a blogger.

“Why should a business entity which has to earn a profit for shareholders support an obligation imposed on Singaporean males?”

41 comments:

recruit ong said...

NS is an institutionalised disadvantage on all male Sgians.

le radical galoisien said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jc student blcy said...

Ah yes, very valid article. Could it be the government's plan for pushing more men into th civil service?

le radical galoisien said...

Er, yes. Abortion is murder. Both respectable views, but at times I wish people would do more than just regurgitate ...

Anyhow, for me, in order to be eligible for FAFSA college funds to attend colleges here, I'm going to have to register myself for US Selective Service, which means I can get drafted if the time comes. Or get deployed to Iraq, like the US Marine who graduated from my high school but I learn just got killed. Then another possibility is that I could also get a draft letter from the US Army while serving my NS.

Very fun, having military obligations in two countries. But I'm not particularly worried more than just slightly sardonic and slightly curious at the whole situation. (I respect the US armed forces and am considering voluntarily signing up as an option anyway.) But I'm wondering, why can't Singapore have an equivalent of Selective Service?

In order for foreigners to study here, they should have to apply and submit themselves to be eligible for conscription. That solves part of foreigners' not undergoing NS problem.

private said...

I wouldn't join a company that 'discriminates' against NSMen. I'm not just looking for a higher salary but also my all-round well-being.

2 ICTs this yr.. how lucky! said...

"I wouldn't join a company that 'discriminates' against NSMen. I'm not just looking for a higher salary but also my all-round well-being."

What a joke. Going to reservist will give you an all-round well-being?!
I suppose that guy who died doing his IPPT during ICT got a "all-round well-being."

Meng Chong said...

Well, this is one of the multi-faceted issues with our government bringing in, my apologies, ALLOWING a high number of FT into Singapore to contribute to the local economy.

IMHO, the bottomline is this. While other countries (Australia, US e.g.) do welcome immigrants, the pace is much slower/numbers much smaller as a percentage of the local population.

They have very strict criterias so as not to rock the local social fabric and economy. One is to ensure within reason if there is no one within the country has that sort of skill/knowledge, the other being a minimum wage policy. On top of that it ain't that easy to get a PR or work permit; for PR we are talking about years.

With no such barriors to entry into the Singapore job market; why would logically any company pick a local over a FT if all others are the same?

The government says it practises meritocracy. Guess what, this is one sure sign of it being bad for Singaporeans. Where the ideal of meritocracy is good, like any ideal if push to extreme will be detrimental.

Jimmy Mun said...

Mr Wang chopped off the last line in the article. Not that it is terribly important, but for completeness sake, here is the missing line:

"The answer is obvious: “Security guarantees its own stable existence,” but it’s not always evident in their business annals."

Anonymous said...

strangely.... or not.. our govt doesnt treat the NSmen in potong pasir and hougang fairly either do they?

if the govt can punish NSmen for not voting for them once every 4 or so years by witholding citizen benefits, companies can also punish NSmen for disappearing every year... by not employing them.

Anonymous said...

To begin with, to be drafted into the amry is simply just too draconian. I say that people should be given a choice as to whether they want to kill get killed or be injured in the name for serving their country. To put it bluntly, parents made sacrifices and painstakly nurture their sons. Why should they then put their lives into the hands of strangers whom they have never met. War is just a waste of human lives; Murder in the name of patriotism. Don't you think?

Unless I can be convinced otherwise, I am not going to have anything to do with the army.

le radical galoisien said...

"While other countries (Australia, US e.g.) do welcome immigrants, the pace is much slower/numbers much smaller as a percentage of the local population."

Erm, no. I think you should relook the immigration rates for both countries. Also, try France.

Immigration rates are such an issue that nationalist groups and bigots have arisen. The history of the US is a lot about really high immigration rates. The amount of immigrants (in proportion to the population) coming into Ellis Island in the 1900s is way higher than you think. It's not some ideal "slow pace" and lah-dee-dah integration. Over 50% of the population in France today are of immigrant origin. (Check out the Wikipedia article on the demographics of France.)

AND if Australia's immigration rates were as low as you said, then Singaporeans wouldn't be flocking to it. The high rate of immigration is actually why nationalist groups like One Nation or whatever make their racist campaign against Asian immigration. Why some Republicans want an immediate zero-tolerance policy against illegals (there are an estimated 11 million in the US).

But you see in France for example, the immigrants are often very aware of the issues surrounding them and their identity. They sometimes have a cynical view of France. A French rap song goes, "Cette France me désintègre" (this France, it disintegrates me!). The French hip-hop scene is a very lively one, in the past it has slammed French nationalist Le Pen (who campaigns against immigration), often with a lot of swear words. But despite the large number of immigrants, they are a very outspoken group, and they fight for their right to be here.

As for Singapore's immigrants? I don't hear their voice in the media often. Do they regard themselves as Singaporean? I don't see a lot of foreign workers fighting for the right to be recognised as Singaporean, or any local equivalent of a hip-hop group accusing Singaporeans of bigotry for theit attitudes towards immigration.

I suspect this is because a lot of them aren't really immigrants at all. They don't intend to integrate. They are just foreign workers, working on a temporary permit.

But perhaps it could also be because the government censors the true immigrants' voice.

"They have very strict criterias so as not to rock the local social fabric and economy. "

You make them sound like Singapore. Yes, the immigration departments have strict criterias, as do we. The issue is not our immigration rates, but our integration policy. We don't integrate our immigrants. The government doesn't seem inclined to.

You think Singaporeans are the only ones upset about foreigners stealing their jobs? That's what all the illegal immigrant fuss in the US is all about - legal immigrants even. While we hire Bangladeshis to clean our windows, the US is hiring Mexicans to try to serve customers in Spanish in McDonalds. (ahem) The lure of market forces is stronger than the government job market controls set in place.


"Where the ideal of meritocracy is good, like any ideal if push to extreme will be detrimental."

This is rather non-sequitir from the rest of your post. You talk about immigration rates, then barriers to the job market, then a canned conclusion like this.

I'm upset with the government as the rest of y'all, but I think the immigrant problem and the meritocracy problem are two different things.

Meritocracy isn't an ideal because it ignores socioeconomics. Ideals should be allowed to be pushed to an extreme. For example, efficiency in the government is good. It never hurts to have more. Yet, if we have to restrain ourselves on meritocracy, it seems that it is not an ideal, after all.

I too support a minimum wage. But as for "barriers to the job market", well, increasing them to preserve jobs will also make it harder for people to get jobs.

The issue I see, is that you still call them "foreign talents". That is to say, you don't regard them as new Singaporeans. It's not about the immigration rates, but the integration policy.

For example, I would think it reasonable for a company to choose to employ someone and prefer them over another because they are more skilled, whether the person was a naturalised Singaporean, a PR, or a citizen.

What I *am* upset about is when companies choose FTs just because they are FTs, or they have white skin, or because they have to upkeep military service that in part, (excessively or not) guarantees the environment in which the companies operate.

le radical galoisien said...

"To begin with, to be drafted into the amry is simply just too draconian. I say that people should be given a choice as to whether they want to kill get killed or be injured in the name for serving their country."

Two points:

1) It's a draft in peacetime

and

2) it's a draft in peacetime

The first - well, drafting people in peacetime can be seen as a waste of manpower. Hence, the debate over whether it's excessive or not.

The second - you aren't likely to get killed in a peacetime draft - you exist solely to be a figure, a deterrent to other countries in th world (whether that is needed or not).

Switzerland, which to me has a far better democracy than the US, practices NS.

To me, it's not the NS idea itself but the quality of the NS, and our NS policy. I think NS needs reform.

Length is one. Perhaps in 1967 we required two years because of the sheer urgency and because the programme was experimental. But dude, it takes 10 weeks to train a basic US infantryman. Then perhaps some extra more weeks to specialise him in an MOS. IIRC, it's 20 weeks for a US Marine. Perhaps 40 weeks if you want to get into the Special Forces.

If we're taking 2 years to train Singaporeans, I expect us to be churning out Delta-Force quality troops.

But we're not. That suggests a boatload of inefficiency, wasted time, perhaps abuse of power. NS needs to be streamlined. I also suspect the length is a major money drain.

IIRC, it's also Lee Hsien Loong's faction in the PAP which controls that sector. I smell major entrenched interests. Perhaps some major money laundering we have yet to really hear about.

Anonymous said...

Yes, major waste of money. Remember our NS men made to serve as porters at the airport and manning MRT stations during the last IMF conference. And the vast waste of manpower when the men has to set up the National Day stands and packing all the goodie bags. Lost of wastage of money and time. Again we ask - if NS is reduced from 2.5 years to 2 years, why is there no reduction in budget? It is a sinking hole.

Just another FT said...

This topic always gets me going. My Singaporean wife and I are planning another child. Assuming it's a boy he'll be eligible for NS.

My gripe here is with the length of time invovled. Regular call ups don't seem to impact the work flow that badly, but what I disagree with are the 2 years, right around university or career start that my (hypothetical) son would have to go through. There are probably some pretty good life lessons to be drawn from the whole experience, but judging from other comments on this post, they don't take 2 years to impart.

I like this debate, because I hope the powers that be will take note and reduce the drag on Singaporean and 2nd generation PR careers by the time my children are grown up.

Alot of European countries have NS. Does anyone have data on the length of time involved, and the level of committment/call up after the initial spell?

Anonymous said...

In a recent Review article (ST - dated 16 Mar 07) by a Ms Lydia Lim, she seems to be implying that we Singaporeans are not willing to come out from our shells to embrace these new immigrants. Not sure if you had read it.

IMO, she failed to realize that the hunger of the government to attract foreign talents, and ignoring to first review existing policies that causes the concerns and unhappiness of local citizens, has helped to create this state of inequality amongst the 2 groups. This NS thing is a classic example.

The government should seriously consider making it a compulsory requirement for all new male migrants to also be trained to protect this country as well. Have them go through national service and the duration of their service to the country, their new home, will be based on their age. For instance, if they are 35 years of age, they too have to be active in national service up to the age of 40 years old.

This will certainly help to address, to some extent, the prevailing negative sentiments that “us” have towards “them”.

Anonymous said...

If there are sacrifices to be made as a Singaporean, I am willing to accept it even though I don't particularly enjoy NS. However what is really irks me is that the Singapore Government takes sacrifices made by Singaporean men for granted. I attribute it to the fact that our people in the administration and esteemed leaders don't feel the same pain as the rest of the Singaporeans.

Firstly, a disproportionate number of our leaders/government leaders sent their children abroad to the best schools money can buy. (definitely not to NUS and NTU). If there is any minister's son that is studying in local university, that is definitely a minority. Not surprisingly, most of them ended up working abroad, so despite the 2 or 2 and half years stint (which they allegedly have favoured treatment despite constant denial), most of them don't get to serve reservist duties if they still away long enough.

Secondly, even if they do end back in Singapore,they normally end up with good jobs in the military (as scholars) or administration, which further encourage reservist duties since these organisations actually support the national agenda.

Who gets the raw end of the deal? Your normal average Singaporean male, who are not rich or smart enough to study abroad, and ended working for foreign or local companies in Singapore. These are the very jobs which most Singaporean male need to compete with foreign talents as well as our female counterpart.

whybegay said...

Blame the parents of Singaporean males who knew full well what their sons would face in their lives but still chose to gave birth here anyway.

And then in the present now we see young couples getting married to buy HDB flats and having children for their baby bonuses as well as lifelong investments. They care little of the hardships their children would face, rather they care more for the monetary returns their children could offer them.

It is all the greed of parents who cause their children to suffer.

Blame the parents!

Anonymous said...

whybegay - do you blame the PAP policies?

Anonymous said...

My previous company was a very well-known MNC. My boss was so upset that I had to go back reservist during project period. She decided that I will be the last Singaporean male she ever wanted to employ. She is an american and naturally did not understand what conscription is. Like my current boss.

I feel that SAF need to understand as globalisation is the trend to go. Most of our direct superior need not necessarily be Singaporean or sitting with you in Singapore.

Other thing is that even though my boss wanted to be very neutral on me. I can't really climb high with this company. I have to abandon critical project twice because of the 2 weeks reservists. I have attempted to appeal for reservist deferment. However even I wrote in and appeal for 4 or 5 times to show that it is very critical to my career, it was never approved.
Last year, I was devasted that I never get my promotion. I thought if I continue to stay as a Singaporean and my life will be doomed.

One factor I realised is that all NS units are so shortage of people, they will never let go a single manpower.

Interestingly, do you know that Taiwan don't have reservist call-back at all. I have a taiwanese colleague younger than me, who don't have reservist problem at all. My Korean colleagues said they only get call back within first 2 - 3 years after being operational readied. And they only go back 2 or 3 days to practise shooting. My israeli colleagues said they are liable for 25 years, but usually they only go back one weeks (rarely 2 weeks) to do beach patrol, guard-post patrol.

If you look at Taiwan, South Korea, Israel, aren't these countries more likely to have war than Singapore?

Anonymous said...

There is no debate.
The decision's been made.
Whatever's been said.
You will just have to take.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...
There is no debate.
The decision's been made.
Whatever's been said.
You will just have to take.
----------------------------

Democracy's a ruse
NS makes us lose
Elites take us for a cruise
We just keep hanging on the noose

Anonymous said...

At a recent grassroots dinner, attended by reoprters, a grassroot stood up to speak to PM Lee. He asked for a reduction in the SAF budget, by giving the suggestion that SAF promote officers to Generals only if they have served duty in war or war zones.

PM Lee replied,"SAF needs to be well equipped...
... I will increase the GST if necessary, to keep the Generals." The Straits Times reported the next day that the "SAF currently has more than 20 Generals". How many more are there retired and on pension? There goes your GST.

Equipping the SAF with Generals. Good call PM, good call.

LuckySingaporean said...

Use your common sense. Reservist duty is for your own good. If you're not well trained and fit when war breaks out, your chance of survival is poor. It is for your own good that you have to do reservists. All the govt wants is for you to have a better chance of survival during war.

As for foreign talents, it is not necessary because if war breaks out they get to fly back to the safety of their home countries, hence it is not necessary for them to undergo reservist training. This is simply common sense.

Apparently, this has little impact on employability of Singaporeans. Singaporeans get to work until age 80 a privilege not enjoyed by foreigners. We also get workfare if we are forced to take up menial jobs that don't pay enough. The foreigner would have to suffer the great indignity of going back to his home country to collect unemployment benefits instead of having a useful life of menial labor.

We Singaporeans cannot be small minded. We should welcome the additional millions (when we get to 6.5M) coming here to work because they help to prove that our island is a desirable top 1st world nation that people want to come to. The more people coming, the greater the affirmation. We should be happy about this.

Singaporeans should serve their NS +reservits with pride because we have a system worth preserving. Our leaders are always concerned about our work ethics and are there to motivate us to work harder. The provide neverending challenges by importing competition to help keep us on our toes. When we get to age 80 we can clean tables instead of wasting our life away looking after grandchildren. This is indeed a system worth preserving...something we should all die for.

boon said...

Married women might start a family and take maternity leave. Men can be called up for reservist.

So if you wanna hire Singaporeans, best to go for single women. And work them hard, so they don't have time to date and get married. Otherwise you'll be back to square one.

Anonymous said...

Work till you die....sounds like Boxer the horse in Animals' Farm by George Orwell.

Just as Boxer was made into glue, your organs are valuable too. ;)

Be obedient and listen to what your government say.

Remember what Napolean says
All animals are equal, but some are more equal than the others.

Terry Pratchett has this to say,
Ankh-Morpork is governed on the principle of One Man, One Vote. The Patrician is the Man; he has the Vote.

So, don't complain. Stop Whinning will you.

Anonymous said...

I've given my comments before to Mr Wang on the same issue. I'll re-state the points again:

a) The issue is not really one of reservist training (although I can fully empathise with Singaporean males who dislike their ICTs and remedial training). The issue is one of having a level playing field in the job market. In Singapore's case, the playing field is more favourable towards employment pass (EP) holders and first time PRs than locals, in contrast to the situation in other human capital-importing countries.

b)Why not level? Besides not having to worry about the disruptions caused by reservist training, employers hiring EP holders can opt to hire them not on CPF terms i.e. they don't need to pay the 16% CPF for EP holders. This is a real saving for the employers' bottomline. If they hire Singapore males, they have to pay 16% extra, no buts about it. Can Mr Loyal Singaporean Reservist compete against the 16% differential?

c)EP holders have higher disposable incomes, since if employers don't pay them 16%, they also don't have to contribute 20% each month to CPF. They have more in their pocket to spend each month. But you might say they won't have CPF savings too. True, but that depends on the intentions on the EP holder, whether he's here for the long haul or just work for a few years in Singapore to make money and off to another place.

d)Since Singapore employers can hire workers from all over the world, they can easily 'churn' their workers. The world becomes the employer's recruiting oyster. Once an EP finishes his/her term, the employer can replace with another EP, all the while enjoying the 16% savings.

Tell me, in all honesty, if you're a rational bottomline-focussed employer in Singapore, with the system as it is now in Singapore, who would you hire - an EP holder or a Singaporean male who has to do reservist 30 days a year and at a 16% cost disadvantage? For such employers, it's very easy to give lip service about supporting NS and reservists while at the same time enjoying the low corporate tax rate in Singapore.

Anonymous said...

I understand that male Singaporean can get/justify for starting higher pay from the "work experience" of NS.

Can anyone give an opinion if this is true or not?

the Stark in Winterfell said...

I believe the higher starting pay is only for those in the civil service. But i am not that sure of that.

Anonymous said...

Don't think it is applicable for private sector dude. I get the same pay as my female counterparts

Jimmy Mun said...

NS increments only apply to fresh grads. No luck if you make a mid career change.

Anonymous said...

That increment from NS is at the very most 10% more than the starting salary of the gal in your class...who had probably already gotten 15-25% increments during your time in SAF.

Also, going purely by the loss in wages over 2.5 years (i'm from that batch, so i dun know about the 2 yrs batch with the higher "alowance") excluding opportunity loss, increments & bonues, I would need more than 16 years to recoup my losses with this 10% increment...

If I had chose to go to the private sector, then even that 10% is lost...

& don't think you're safe working in the civil service...low wage workers from less advanced countries are taking up all the lower positions & you have to handle all the problems that they bring.
PRC chinese & Indians are fighting for your job & some bring with them really bad work ethics & practices that you have to endure. Then after screwing up things, they disappear to the US or back home. Good ones do exist, but those normally don't stay long enough to contribute enough to counteract the bads.
Ang mos & other "talents" happily take up all the top posts, ensuring that even more experienced S'porean are forever stuck in the middle management, trying to deal with the change in policies & management everytime their ang mo boss "moves on" to a better job & a new one takes over (no, our guys are never considered for those sacred posts).
& Angmos bring their own politics into the game...
Americans vs Europeans...

Integrate? More like this country is gonna DISintegrate

le radical galoisien said...

"She is an american and naturally did not understand what conscription is. Like my current boss."

She should wait until America starts drafting people for its wars. Then perhaps she'll know ...

But the US government compensates employers for the missing draftees. What about the Singapore government?

Anonymous said...

Honestly guys, does anyone of you find being called back for ICT meaningful and valuable?

Well, they paid me handsomely for being an "area cleaner"

I am too embarrassed to even tell my bosses what I had learnt for 3 weeks every year.

Yau-ming's blog!! said...

The only way to solve this is to impose a quota on companies to take in male workers. Call it NS affirmation. lol. But gahmum won't help in this regard cos of the economic implications.

Another way is for the individual companies to apply for exemptions for the workers. Same as how during WW2, young men in America avoided conscription because they were key workers in important industries.

Yet another way is to employ more mercenaries like the Gurkhas to do our job.

le radical galoisien said...

Selective Service. In the US drafting system, local committees decide who is drafted and who is not, because they are likely to know about parents with a sole remaining child, or a family who depends on an otherwise potential draftee for a critical source of income.

Can't we have the equivalent thing with the grassroots orgaisations?

Then again, our "grassroots" organisations are actually quite ignorant of the populace of the RC they preside over anyway. (So this needs reform too.)

Women should enroll in NS too.

Anonymous said...

from XCS

Meng Cheong, I see a lot of similarities between the Spore govt and the FT employers - basically they do what's to their own advantage , the citizens can starve/burn for all they care.

Do the former even pause to ponder the impact on you when they decide to pay themselves a million $? According to GCT's 'communitarian' society, the individuals are like the dispensible worker bees/ants, completely dispensible as they are aplenty, as long as the community (read govt) prevail. Beneath the apex of the Singapore society pyramid are the piles of bodies of such dispensible personalities like you and me.

Anonymous said...

一將功成萬骨枯

monash medical student said...

in reply to what "Anonymous" said...[March 18, 2007 6:14 PM]

"To begin with, to be drafted into the amry is simply just too draconian. I say that people should be given a choice as to whether they want to kill get killed or be injured in the name for serving their country. To put it bluntly, parents made sacrifices and painstakly nurture their sons. Why should they then put their lives into the hands of strangers whom they have never met. War is just a waste of human lives; Murder in the name of patriotism. Don't you think?

Unless I can be convinced otherwise, I am not going to have anything to do with the army. "

i understand ur valid point that lives are precious and that parents have put in the time and effort and money to nurture their precious sons till the age of 16.5 or 18.

However, if there is no one to do it, do you know what will happen to singapore?

malaysia can threaten to cut our water supply any time they want. singapore can't wield any muscle, cos we have no credible force.

do understand we are surrounded all over by muslim states. it is an understatement that terrorism is a problem for the world, and more so for SEA, with the number of muslim states around, and the high numbers of terrorist cells and bases in the region.

with no credible anti-terror force, and show of force, do you think the terrorists will fear doing anything in singapore?

it only takes a successful attack or bomb on jurong island to make singapore lose millions of dollars in a day. plus, the MNCs that invest there will start pulling out. the reason they continue to stay is because of our credible fighting force to defend the various key installations around singapore.

monash medical student said...

in reply to le radical galoisien [march 18 9:05pm]

"Length is one. Perhaps in 1967 we required two years because of the sheer urgency and because the programme was experimental. But dude, it takes 10 weeks to train a basic US infantryman. Then perhaps some extra more weeks to specialise him in an MOS. IIRC, it's 20 weeks for a US Marine. Perhaps 40 weeks if you want to get into the Special Forces.

If we're taking 2 years to train Singaporeans, I expect us to be churning out Delta-Force quality troops.

But we're not. That suggests a boatload of inefficiency, wasted time, perhaps abuse of power. NS needs to be streamlined. I also suspect the length is a major money drain."

i think you do not understand the time taken to train troops. have you been into the military?

i can't speak for the navy and air force, but i can speak for the army, having been in it for 2 years 2 months, and from a leadership position.

it takes 10 weeks for BMT, to transform a recruit into a soldier. a private. this private will be equipped with basic military skills, and introduced to basic military regimentation. it is only the beginning...

it takes 42 weeks (in my time) to churn out officers and at least 3 months (i think) to churn out 3rd sergeants (specialists). these are essential for the leadership structure in the unit. they come in handy in future times, during war, during reservist.

from a "men's" perspective, it takes 1 year after their BMT to be operational. that is because there is a high amount of content and military tactics and skills to be drilled into them after their first 10 weeks still. they will have to understand the concept of fighting as part of a larger unit. and that takes time. you have to go thr section level training, then proceed to platoon, then company, and finally battalion. it is not easy to churn our operational soldiers. each level of leadership in the unit has to go through this learning process.

the 2nd year is where we can negotiate. we need not a full 1 year after their turn-operational date. perhaps half a year will suffice because a battalion's 2nd year syllabus is not much. now most troopers serve 1 year 10 mths after a 2mth reduction from attaining a silver/gold in napfa test in school prior to entering army.

2nd year syllabus cannot be understated as well, because a unit progresses to more advanced and special operations. there is a final evaluation of the unit called ATEC stage 1 and 2, which many NSFs or NSmen will fondly recall. also, the chance to go on a fully sponsored overseas trip is often thrown into this package. i know a unit that has gone to at least 2 countries. it is not uncommon to find NSmen who have gone to more than 3 countries in their NSF term, and this increases in their NSmen time.

as i mentioned earlier in my comment, this 2 year period is essential to churn out operationally ready soldiers. i do not know the validity of your 40week special forces training guideline. i would imagine that to be the basic training they receive to be inducted to the unit. thereafter, it takes years to hone their skills and become fully operational.

it takes about 1 year to train to become a SOF in singapore, and a few more years to become fully operational. that is how i understood it. of course, once a certain landmark phase has ended within the 1 year, the SOF troopers can respond to anti-terrorist operations.

so do understand this, and the important role of using our civilians as part of our military defence.

monash medical student said...

in reply to "Just another FT" [March 18, 2007 10:41 PM ]:

being in an overseas uni now, i find that the singaporean guys here are much more mature and independent than the ang moh kias here. they have not much aim in life, and often indulge in drugs and mainly alcohol. it is the 1st time in their life they leave home and go to uni, perhaps staying in halls or dorms. they misuse their new found freedom.

the guys who have been thr NS know their purpose, at least those i know. they are clearer. they know they are here to study. this does not mean they are bloody nerds, but they know when to let loose, when to be serious.

the maturity the NS guys have cannot be understated. having seen more of life in our 2 years in NS, we have grown and gained more perspective on life.

some say we have wasted our time. some say we have learnt a lot of life experiences.

some just find us very bonded and patriotic.

some just find it damn bloody cool that we fired a GPMG and thrown a live grenade before, not just in CS or Call of Duty.

;)

monash medical student said...

and yes i do find that i have given my youth to the army. i feel that i am old, and have lost that youthful energy and exuberance as compared to my ang moh friends at 18.

and yes i do realise that my female friends from JC are going to graduate earlier than me and i lugi cos they work first, earn more money that i did in NS.

but what to do?

after all we have said and done, comprain, whine, still lan lan have to do right?

suck thumb and take it like a man lor.

bo pian mah...