Speaking at a conscription “appreciation” ceremony held at his constituency Nee Soon GRC, Law Minister K Shanmugam said that propaganda is key to implementing national policies. Citing conscription service as an example, Minister K Shanmugam said Singaporeans “understanding” policies and not asking questions is key to Singapore’s success:
“But Singapore’s success was also partly due to the Government’s ability to communicate, and grassroots leaders going around to explain, the need for National Service, which was deeply unpopular in 1967.”
The Minister then used the Singapore-Malaysia currency disparity to prove that Singapore is more successful than its neightbour, saying that the Singapore dollars is now 3 times that of the Malaysian ringgit:
“It was a period of great uncertainty, and Singapore has a relationship with Malaysia that no country in the world has with another country. Neither Malaysia nor Indonesia nor anybody else thought we would survive. But we not only survived … we soared high, and today, S$1 is 3 ringgit.”
The senior counsel lawyer then lopsidedly concluded: “NS was key to this success,” and even brought out Lee Kuan Yew’s name to back his support for conscription – disregarding that Singapore then was a dictatorship under Lee Kuan Yew and still is today under Lee Hsien Loong:
“No Government that wants to win elections would introduce NS. But Mr Lee Kuan Yew did, and there was a tremendous need to go and explain because, suddenly, the families were going to lose their sons.”
Opposing conscription and refusing to sign up warrants a jail sentence of up to 3 years, according to the Singapore law. The Singapore government also do not allow dissent by threatening the people with defamation lawsuits and the colonial sedition act – which the PAP government kept to control the population and consolidate political power.
Minister K Shanmugam then dumb down those who voiced out against conscription saying that they are afraid of suffering:
“They would wear a uniform, and they’ll go out, and you don’t see them for months and … they were going to suffer. People were very unhappy.”
Conscription is however opposed, albeit silently, due to to its damaging impact on the employment prospect and, more importantly, the critical thinking skills of Singaporean males. Due to the indoctrination taught in conscription camps where every conscript are demanded to be subservient or punished with corporal punishments, entrepreneurship and creativity among Singaporean males are non-existent.
Law Minister K Shanmugam said that his ruling party PAP grassroots members has been in the community “explaining” conscription, and that Singaporeans today no longer question the government:
“The PA and grassroots leaders went down to the ground, door to door, to explain the rationale. Today, nobody questions it; everybody understands.”