Monday, February 20, 2012

A Trojan Horse Of Sorts

"If we are not vulnerable, why do we spend 5 to 6 per cent of GDP year after year on defence," he said. "Are we mad? This is a frugal government." This was how Lee Kuan Yew justified the defence spending as necessary to resist any possible pressure from its larger neighbours, implying that there are more foes than friendlies out there.

Singapore, which has one of Asia's best-equipped militaries and ranks high internationally in per capita defense spending, raised its national defence budget by 4.3 percent on Friday. The Ministry of Defence's total expenditure for 2012 has been earmarked $12.279 billion, an increase of $504 million over last year.

In time of war, Singapore’s reservists will be activated to be cannon fodder at the frontlines. Unlike the estimated 20,000 locals every year, the foreigners and permanent residents (PRs) who make up some 36% of the populace need not undergo National Service training or be tied down to in-camp reservist commitment for 10 long years. Even Goh Chok Tong sensed there was a serious problem when a Nanyang Technology University (NTU) student once told him at a student forum: “Why must I defend foreigners? I feel that there is a dilution of the Singapore spirit in youth. We don’t really feel comfortable in our country any more.”

Therein lies the moral dilemma. Enemies are supposed to come in from outside our territorial limits. However, thanks to some ill conceived immigration policy, the foreigners are already within the city limits. As it was in Troy, the Trojan Horse had been welcomed with great fanfare. The 200 foreign construction workers who initiated a lightning strike at the premises of Sunway Concrete Products and Techcom Construction & Trading Pte Ltd demonstrated how easy it was to disrupt Singapore’s usually orderly and well-functioning daily routine. The police may have cordoned off the site of Singapore's first industrial action for many years, and barred reporters from the scene, but the world press has already reported on the fiasco. None of the foreign protestors were arrested for staging an illegal assembly.

It may be argued that the real bad guys here are the people at Manpower who allowed these migrant workers to be exploited at $2 per hour. But our cabbies are punched up by drunk Ang Mohs who fly off scot free, thanks to the HomeTeam members who turn a blind eye to the flight risks. And our women's anatomical bits are groped by similar types at $10,000 a squeeze. The fine is peanuts when country clubs like SICC are prepared to pay $30,000 a month for a non-Singaporean general manager with faked academic credentials. Even the football clubs have their share of FT cons with less than fortright business disclosures. The barbarians are definitely within the gates.

Here's the additional rub. While the dollars allocated for defence have been ramped, National Development spending, which includes monies meant for public housing and infrastructure, has been cut from $3.07 billion(FY2011 Revised) to $2,514 9 (FY2012 Budgeted). This year's budget has been billed as one to produce a more inclusive and stronger society. The question on everyone 's mind will be, who is included, and what society.
The biggest slice of FY 2012 Budget


  1. Everything is a pissing contest. It is good to be well armed but this place is too much eg.

    The frigates are too big - half the size would do. SG is not going to undertake blue water operations much if ever.

    Submarines - debatable. Cheap sub hunters will do.

    Tanks - the Leopards are overkill.

    Planes - just one multirole eg F16 will do. Having a few types is a logistics nightmare.

    AEW & C - 24/7 coverage is overkill. Use good ground based radar and sensors.

    I live near TAB and planes fly everyday. Do they need to? Do we still have an aerobatic team - a total waste of money.

    Even if we spend half, we can still get a good force. The money saved should go to health and social spending.

  2. Ver good analogy. Just that the Trojan horse was not needed in the first place. We welcome any foreigner by the boat loads. Net effect will be a massive displacement of local born n bred S'poreans. So much for nation building, going full circle back to our fishing village roots.

  3. Singapore will be occupied with no foreign military incursion.
    Singaporeans know and so do others.
    There is oni a need to prevent terrorism and to contain them whence they happen.

    Better use the money to make Singaporeans healthy than to throw away the money on the military.


  4. Just wonder how is our ever increasing spending on defence going to help if some hostile unknown enemy or extremist were to drop a bomb or two over us under the guise of some commercial flight to Singapore ?

    And then where on earth are we going to direct our latest fighter planes ? Malaysia or Indonesia ?

    Maybe our Defence Minister can assure us that nothing of this kind will ever happen to Singapore ?

  5. Not to worry, our boys are so good at computer games, they can destroy any enemy advancing to Singapore territory.

  6. Not only that poly student is questioning,I myself keep asking this question - what am I defending for?

    During my young days,the army kept pulling me away from my job for in-camp training. Wait till I reached 40,the army told me you're free now. But then,employers start to discriminate against your age,saying you're a bit old for them and to add salt to the wound,they employ a lot of cheap-skate so-called foreign talents.

    What am I defending for ? Defending for a society that turns it back on me when I need it?

    To Be A Singaporean Is Getting Less & Less Attractive!

  7. 2000 foreign scholarships worth $36m were given out past years.
    Is that why $10,589m in Education is the 2nd highest item after Defence?
    What exactly do these people reply us the taxpayer money?
    Why is money used to fund other foreign scholars and not our own kind?
    I didn't skip university, slogged so hard just to throw my money at other people's children.

  8. Looks like more transparency needed!

  9. I always have this impression that 5-6% is actually the percentage on budget. Didn't realise it is 24% of total budget. This means our budget is just 20-25% of GDP. Woohoo.. What a waste of money!

  10. When an old folks home has to make way for a highway, that tells you that you are included when you can pay COE or else you have to move to JB or Batam. This is the society we live in and so do you still belong? Or have they taken ownership while you were sleepwalking?


  11. Well here is the rub - they have taken both ownership & censorship once again. The slaves is lording over the masters..with threatening law suits.

    Seriously, one would think if lawyers or politicians can’t engage in or refute civil debate online, why should we expect any more from the average Joe posting his reasonably fair comments or thoughts on a blog?

  12. I was let go free after a long NS - 16 years to be exact. When I was fighting hard to gain a foot hold in the market, I kept receiving the In-camp letter every year , my absence upset my marketing esp the first few in-camp that lasted 5 long weeks.

    It was necessary , I thought , to defend day & night my beloved country.

    Things started to go the wrong way from 2000 onwards, my sacrifice turned out to be opportunities for FT who came here & inched in every customer that I've built. Some scumbag FTs even being awarded jobs at Government agencies that I used to provide services to, under the umbrella of another FT turned Citizen.

    My frustration reached an all time high when a Mindef lady called my office when in fact was transferred to my mobile as my absence meant business close door, highly suspicious that I had false claimed my made-up pay by operating business during in-Camp. I was so damn disappointed.

    They don't trust us, they have a new pet call FTs, let these FT defend SG if they wish, I am telling my 2 sons about these & am not going to let Government take advantage of any of us anymore , NOT ANYMORE !

  13. The defence budget is actually a bribe for the US to 'value' Singapore since the 'recipients' of the lion's share of our defence spending are US origin defence hard and software contractors.

  14. Defence is waste of money and NS is waste of time and resources.

  15. Defence is necessary but not at 24% of GDP.