Photo of BG David Koh from Lianhe Zaobao

Speaking at an international military forum, Singapore Ministry of Defence’s (Mindef) deputy secretary Brigadier General (BG) David Koh told foreign delegates that Singapore believe if Steve Job is a combat-fit Singaporean, he should be serving conscription too:

“We raised the question – if (an NSF) is the next Steve Jobs, should he spend his two years of conscript life as a rifleman or should we better employ him in cyber? The answer said: If he is combat fit he should be a rifleman in the foxhole, and that’s the way it should be.”

BG Koh was referring to the “resistance” he faced in the Singapore Armed Force during the implementation of new technologies. The BG said that the Ministry is against having full-time conscripts being posted to the technology division:

“Similarly, while Singapore is now trying to build up its Defence Cyber Organisation – Mindef’s cyber command that develops cyber defence policies and strategies – it is facing resistance when it comes to getting skilled full-time National Servicemen (NSFs).”

BG Koh also blamed high ranking officers for resisting technology and recounted that the former Chief of Air Force and the fighter pilots resisted the use of drone technology:

“One area that Singapore finds challenging is fighting the resistance to new technologies and change. When Mindef wanted to introduce drones into the airforce, there was significant resistance from the fighter pilots who were running the airforce. The ministry’s Permanent Secretary then had no choice but to build its drone capabilities in the Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) Joint Staff.”

In recent years, there has been increasing displeasure voiced against Singapore’s mandatory 2-year conscription service due to the unfair advantage in employment and university education enjoyed by foreigners, female Singaporeans, permanent residents and male new citizens.

During conscription service, Singaporean males were drilled with propaganda beliefs and corporal punishments to learn how to be subservient to the authority. While some suffered permanent physical injuries, the mental damage to Singaporean males have more far-reaching effects – evident from the lack of entrepreneurship and linguistic abilities of Singaporean males.

Unfortunately, an overwhelming majority support having conscription because they either do not have to serve it or they have finished serving it. The majority also fall victim to propaganda hoaxes believing that neighbouring countries like Malaysia and Indonesia are as violently inhumane as the World War 2 Japanese invaders.