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Specters of Unnameable Soldiers: On Necessary Deaths & Singapore's Tragic Modernity
MEEK
mollymeek

Death in NS has always been a big issue that cannot be ignored. Thanks to Internet forums, the authorities may be worried about not divulging it in the media. (At least the good, reliable mainstream media won't be . . . hostile. ) On the other hand, it also seems to me that NS deaths must never become to big an issue at least in the mainstream media. At least I think no one working for the mainstream media will try to kick up a Mas Selamat fuss about NS deaths.

NS deaths are a threat to the powers that be. It is not whether there was negligence or not. After all, there are always, to use Catherine Lim's words, "little people" to blame, charge or discharge (unfortunate lame pun intended). NS deaths pose a threat because every time it happens, it could stir people's repressed sentiments towards the very policy of NS, towards compulsory conscription, towards the whole myriad of issues that NS raises, including how local men are disadvantaged by NS in various ways such as employment.

Compulsory conscription is an atrocity against mankind. This is my personal opinion. The state may decide to have a military, but it should not have the right to decide who to draft. In Singapore, I feel that it is an atrocity against mankind. I don't usually use the word "mankind" here, but since it most directly affects men, I thought the term would be nice. In every country, there are prohibitions. I mean, there are rules everywhere that tell you what you shouldn't do. Sometimes, these rules are repressive (e.g. if there is a law saying that you cannot criticize the government, it is repressive). But the most horrifying rules are those that say what you must do--rules that, instead of preventing you from doing something, tell you to do something. Perhaps these rules can be minor. But the worst of these rules violate basic liberties of people.

NS is not one of these must-do rules. It is many of them put together. You must register for NS. You must serve NS. You must take fitness tests. And so on. There are so many musts. Each one of them is already bad enough in itself. Put them together and you have an orgy of horrors.

Imagine what happens if one day there is a rule saying that all fertile women are obliged to be impregnated by men (or some sperm-injecting machine), that it is their responsibility to ensure that they give birth to the babies safely (otherwise they would be charged), that they have to bring up the bodies they give birth to for 21 years.

Oh, that won't happen. Such things are only found in dystopian fictions such as Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale. But the truly disturbing aspect of dystopian fictions is that they are often set in the future, but they parallel contemporary horrors.

Who says that it is not possible for a law requiring women to be impregnated? The exact justification for NS can be used. The word I hate most in public discourse: necessity. NS is necessary because . . .

And given the ageing population and declining birth rate, the law requiring all fertile women to get themselves impregnated is necessary because Singapore will not be able to survive without more babies and there will be economic decline. We need to protect and maintain Singapore's way of life and it is therefore necessary for women, as citizens of Singapore who are born with wombs, to do their part. Defaulters have to be severely punished. Over the years, people have come to accept that the policy is necessary and important - for this thing we call Singapore.. It has become accepted as a rite of initiation for every Singaporean woman whereby girls become women.

Singapore is a small (yada yada) island and is vulnerable (yada yada), so National Service is necessary because the economy will suffer. We need to protect and maintain Singapore's way of life and it is therefore necessary for men, as citizens of Singapore who are born with penises, to do their part. NS defaulters have to be severely punished. Over the years, people have come to accept that NS is necessary and important for Singapore. It is a rite of initiation for every Singaporean man whereby boys become man.

Stuppid cliches.

There is primarily no difference in the two scenarios except that people's weak minds have been conditioned to see them as different. The horror is that no one finds it horrifying. OK, not no one. Just too few. This is just a personal opinion. Slam me if you wish. I doubt I will change my mind about it.

But of course people will hate Molly for saying things like that. How irresponsible! How insensible! How ignorant of the harsh realities of the world! Singapore will be attacked if we don't have NS. And and ... the nation will suffer.

I don't care.

I don't fucking care.

Even if there are undesirable consequences, there is no reason to oppress people, to deny them of the right to choose. You can't tell a segment of society to be sacrificial lambs just because it is deemed necessary for some ridiculously valorized ends. You can't say that just because I'm born with a womb, I have a duty to get pregnant because if I don't, there will be Bad Result X. What if I would rather suffer the possibility of Bad Result X than be raped, abused and treated as a means to an end - and end up being disadvantaged by it? You can't say that you are raping me for my own good.

There is absolutely no acceptable justification for oppression. If you want babies, you jolly well let people make babies out of their own free will.If you want a military, by all means have one. But let people join it out of their own free will.

Ah, ah, ah. Molly is joining the ranks of those people like Chee Soon Juan, always talking about abstract things like rights, freedoms, liberties. Tsk. Tsk. Not in touch with the ground. Must talk about bread and butter issues.

Fuck bread and butter. Wait till something that really matters to you gets taken away from you by law. Just wait till you are required by law to become a free whore. (I don't even want to use the word "prostitute" here.) The violence of conventional wisdom. The horror...

Why must people be conscripted against their will? Why must people be conscripted against their will, with the knowledge that a few random ones would die? "Despite thorough health screening, safety measures and medical support in training, such deaths 'cannot be completely prevented', he [Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean] said then." ("SAF suspends physical training for three days", Straits Times, June 13 2008) Yes, they can't be completely prevented. So?

Half the population has to be conscripted. They have to be conscripted knowing that they might just be the unlucky (or lucky?) ones to die. It doesn't matter when one takes risks willingly. But it matters when they have no choice but to take the risk.

The NATION vs. the individual

How selfish it is for people to put their individual interests before the interests of the nation.

Men have a responsibility to protect their mothers, their women, their children.

Women have a responsibility to be impregnated.

Governments have a responsibilities to respect individuals as individuals and not treat them as pawns to achieve a supposed good for the nation.

OK, no one will be caught dead saying the last sentence in the context of NS. No one except irresponsible, irrational and subversive bloggers.

Perhaps that's where people call it their responsibility to be irresponsible. No one is forcing them to, at least.

What is Singapore's glitter, its economic growth, its prosperity built with? The ashes of dead soldiers who never got to choose whether to "sacrifice" or not? The bones of the most unwilling modern-day slaves (paid an "allowance")? No wonder Singapore ghost stories are always so popular and NS ghost stories are a sub-genre that is especially well-liked.

I heard of the story (probably grossly distorted from real events) of the Tekong Charlie Company recruit who strayed from his company. The most intriguing version of the tale is the evisceration version. (Everyone wants to adapt a version of horror for himself.) One version of this version: there was a head miscount during a route march and the recruit was left behind; by the time he was found, he was dead. With his internal organs placed beside his body - neatly. Some versions may suggest the work of a pontianak. And I think there are versions about how the recruit haunted his bunk: rumbling cupboards, etc. Eventually, the bunk was converted to a lecture room and a third door built to ease his spirit's passage into the next world.

The best army ghost stories are really charming. There are a mixture of horror and mournfulness. They often reek of an inexplicable sense of irrecoverable loss. And irony. In the evisceration story, the organs could have been arranged by a commando pontianak. She lays the organs neatly (probably there is a standard layout to follow). Scary and funny at the same time, this perhaps unintentional parody of military regimentation. Skeletons in the closet. We must suppress. We must repress. Build a third door. Send the ghost away so that we can continue life as per normal. An allegory of how we get worried and critical each time a soldier dies and how we will eventually open a third door in our hearts to send him away? Goodbye. I'm sorry, but we have get back to our (ab)normal lives, to building our economy. We cannot afford to have you around. We have to remember that NS is necessary and good for us. The state will triumph.

Pity those who are somehow unable to open a third door in their hearts or their minds. No one believes them when they talk about ghosts.

The fuss about the two NS deaths this week is already on its way to the third door, which will disappear the moment it has served its purpose.

Goodbye.

There's nothing wrong with Singapore.

Despite being a small island with no natural resources, we have managed to overcome difficulties and become a developed country.

There are no ghosts in this country.

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"Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive." (C S Lewis)

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"paternalism is the greatest despotism imaginable"

(Anonymous)
"But the most horrifying rules are those that say what you must do--rules that, instead of preventing you from doing something, tell you to do something."

"There can, in principle, be only one correct way of life; the wise lead it spontaneously, that is why they are called wise. The unwise must be dragged towards it by all the social means in the power of the wise; for why should demonstrable error be suffered to survive and breed? The immature and untutored must be made to say to themselves: 'Only the truth liberates, and the only way in which I can learn the truth is by doing blindly today, what you, who know it, order me, or coerce me, to do, in the certain knowledge that only thus will I arrive at your clear vision, and be free like you.'"

Two Concepts of Liberty
Isaiah Berlin

"The horror is that no one finds it horrifying. OK, not no one. Just too few."

"Few governments, it has been observed, have found much difficulty in causing their subjects to generate any will that the government wanted. The triumph of despotism is to force the slaves to declare themselves free. It may need no force; the slaves may proclaim their freedom quite sincerely: but they are none the less slaves."

(ibid)

Re: "paternalism is the greatest despotism imaginable"

It may need no force indeed. In fact, slaves who fail to recognize their slavery find a certain pleasure in it.

A qn of fundamental beliefs?

Wow Molly, this is one post that has more punch than usual.

The Confucianist Ethic of structure and social interests to create a harmonious society doesn't emphasise individual rights. In such a society, the "General Will" (Rousseau) may be used to justify a myriad of 'progressive' measures. Though it is justified according to the doctrine of social interests, it sweeps under the carpet the fact that in such a system, man is slave unto man as a polity - which means individual choice is irrelevant. Others decide what he should do, investing that power into a sovereign government.

Unfortunately, it seems that very few treasures these philosophical concepts and normatives. Maybe they just don't think enough about it, or aren't inspired by their education to do so.

Re: A qn of fundamental beliefs?

More punch? I don't know. I was expecting to be punched (pardon the lameness) instead. I thought that most people are going to object and tell me about necessity.

As for philosophical concepts, they are ways of understanding things. Some people use them critically. Others use them to support a belief that is already built into them: "I'm right because someone said so."

There's only one education in Singapore. National Education. And it's not very educational. By the time any alternatives are remotely suggested, it is often already too late.

The Old Media

(Anonymous)
From now on, the New Media is the Main Stream Media. Why? Because:

1. It is interactive - readers can comment and writer can respond.
2. It caters to the whole world's readers instead of only local
readers.
3. There are more writers writing from the heart instead of for salary.
4. It is a new technology that is still expanding.
5. It can incorporate video clips, pictures, links, sound and music.
6. You can write what you write without being censored by anybody.
7. It is here to stay for a very long time, until another new technology
is discovered/invented.
8. It cannot be controlled by any one party for selfish reasons.
9. Last but not least, it is free and can be read freely.

From now on, the newspapers, prints, television and radio shall be
known as The Old Media (TOM). Why? Simply because they are old
and getting obsolete very soon. And the term MSM would give them
too much credit that they do not deserve any more. They may be
the main stream in the past when there was no Internet. With the
dawn of the Cyberspace Age, things have changed and therefore
terminologies should also change. Moreover, why should users
and supporters of the New Media help to promulgate the credibility of their own "enemy"?

New technology has been invented and Time has caught up. The old
must be rightfully be referred to as old, and the new shall take
over as the main stream, just like son taking over the estate
father. So, it is time to change with Time. Any reference to
existing MSM should rightfully be amended to TOM, if appropriate
and if you so wish.

This is a strategic move. Please give it a thought.

Thanks for your patience.

From: TOM, the piper son. 14 June 2008.

TOM dude, I don't know if this is a good idea. People might confuse MSM with TOM, since the label of MSM as "state news" has been around for so long. I suggest you find another term for your own definition of MSM. :)

Are rules really for our good?

(Anonymous)
Molly wrote: "But the most horrifying rules are those that say what you must do--rules that, instead of preventing you from doing something, tell you to do something. Perhaps these rules can be minor. But the worst of these rules violate basic liberties of people".

Compulsory annuity comes to mind. Why should we be rule-bound to pay for the failure of the state's investment arms whose dismal performance gives us a return below inflation rate on our compulsory savings (another rule) while rewarding the state's coffers with reportedly 8-18% p.a. returns?

Molly wrote: "If you want a military, by all means have one. But let people join it out of their own free will. ...The ashes of dead soldiers who never got to choose whether to "sacrifice" or not? The bones of the most unwilling modern-day slaves (paid an "allowance")?".

Yes, many guys said that 3 months BMT is enough to equip the emergency-soldiers with relevant skills, the rest of the time is really cheap labour for the government. After all in War World II, the volunteer armies of locals recruited last minute put up a good a fight too. Since we're not at war, a properly paid group of professional soldiers will be a more effective 1st line of defence. No one willing to take it up? How about offering world-class pay like those that our MPs get? Surely national defence is no less important than policy making, ha ha ha :-D

Talking about MPs and other elites. It is often remarked that their sons get the "white horse" treatment which practically removes their risk of being one of the "unlucky" ones. Any wonder why then the elites are not personally motivated to push for reducing the risks? Every son goes into the army, but we only hear of the heart-lander's son dying from accidents, yah? What are the statistical odds of that?

Maybe the elite soldiers are busy creating email sagas?

Re: Elite email sagas (Anonymous) Expand
Re: The Old Media (Anonymous) Expand
Molly, can u email me the entry? pple need to read this. i tink the parellel u draw wif forcing women to bear children is perfect. my body is my own, and nobody should have the right to dictate how i use it, especially at the risk of physical/ emotional trauma and death.

may i embed a link to ur post on my lj? the more people can see it tt way the better.

mandatory conscription means that all what we ever have is a civillian army. and there's no such thing as that. why doesnt any humanitarian group oppose this? forcing civillians to undergo military training is BULLCRAP!

Re: Are rules really for our good?

Yeah, sure. Link it if you want to. How to email to you?

What to do ? It's happened

(Anonymous)
I emigrated when my son was 9+. I did not realise that if he extended his S'pore passport , he's deemed to have "enjoyed the benefits of Singaporean citizenship" and has to serve NS. My son is now 14+. He enjoys being with his mates here. He wants to go on to uni with his mates. But he has to go back for 2 yrs of NS when he's 18 and his mates go to uni here. He cannot get a deferment till after he finishes uni cos of the Melvin Tan incident. I try to "pep" him up saying it's good - treat it as 2 gap years for him to discover himself and get fit (I'm also kidding myself i know..) but what to do ? It's happened ... let's move on.. Everytime I read about mishaps in NS training , my heart aches for their families. Short of making sure my son never steps into Singapore (where he will get handcuffed, I'm told) , there's nothing else we can do. So I'm sad to say that this quitter has to take the "what to do , it's happened , let's move on" view. I don't want him to be a "wanted man" just to avoid 2 yrs of conscription. The irony is Singapore allows him to renounce his SG citizenship when he's 21 but he has to do NS before then. What a waste of tax payer's money and 2 years of a young man's life especially when he loves his new country. To parents out there thinking of emigrating , do it before your son reaches his 10th birthday and don't extend your son's passport !! Give him the choice to do what he wants when he's 18...without ending up a "criminal" in his country of birth !!

Re: What to do ? It's happened

Die Die also want you to do.

All your freedom is belong to us.

so this is it?

(Anonymous)
that's what you're good at, isn't it? setting forth an argument based purely on ideology, associating the object of your attack with wild exaggerations, and littering your post with painful histrionics and irrelevant anecdotes - filler material to distract readers from your post's lack of substance and qualification, as well as your overall intellectual laziness. sure, you do make a whole lot of noise, but i don't feel any more enlightened or intellectually satisfied after reading your rants.

of course, you have every right to rant without backing up your stand a 400-page academic paper, joining the civil service to help think of a good alternative to national service, or running for political office in the hope of eradicating our land of the persistent top-down injustices that you rant against. i also think that MM Lee's "start a political party and run for office or go sit down and shut up and don't criticize the government" challenge is utterly invalid when each of us is deeply affected by what happens at the top. but if people like you can spend hours designing dramatic posts and stirring up controversy, then you are also obviously capable of much more substance. Dr. Chee is one of those people. it's not my place to say what he should do with his time and talent, but i've always thought about what a presence he would have been in parliament.

it may be surprising, but i'm with you in lockstep on your stance regarding national service. many lost weekends and two lost years have seen to that. what's more, i'm heading to America for university this year where my fellow freshmen would be 2-3 years younger than me, and where the smartest people of my age would already begin their first careers. but until someone comes up with a viable alternative, i'm all for the continuation of this injustice.

Wait till something that really matters to me gets taken away from you by law? Take away a viable and adequate military (or at least, the outward appearance of one) from any country and let's see what really matters.

[Good at? Hardly any reader sees what Molly is truly good at or perhaps good for (even something bad).

Argument? What argument? Are you referring the the apparent stand, the ostensible argument or the cultural interventions in the post? Arguments are meant for people trying to convince or persuade others. I didn't set out to make an argument.

It is no responsibility of mine to come up with a viable alternative to an inviable policy. That's as good as slapping me non-stop and then telling me to suggest a viable alternative to slapping me if I wish to just say that the slapping should stop, bearing in mind that the alternative has to be deemed "viable" by your standards.

Maybe your stance is ideological (too?), and one that is a tad uncritical of its own ideology. The difference is just the dominant ideology will seem like immutable, indubitable truth. I hope your university education will do something for you. And I don't mean this disparagingly. You are young and it will serve you and the rest of society well to ideas that don't complement the pragmatism that has been built into you.

Perhaps ... perhaps Molly has been in your shoes, seeing from the same perspectives. Somehow she managed to morph into the monstrous creature that now appears before you, trying to lure you to hell. [Ah, filler material.]

If I'm forced into prostitution, at least I won't allow myself to be shouting "Come rape me! Come rape me! every day, secretly pleasured by the violation. I will call for it to be abolished. And if I'm asked for an alternative to forced prostitution which is deemed necessary for the ends of pleasuring certain groups of people, my only response is: chop off your dick and fuck yourself with it. [Clarification: "You" does not refer to the reader to whom I'm responding or any particular person.] [Sigh, histrionics!]

From the outset, I have anticipated hostility and you have already been relatively polite. I don't hold anything against you. As for whether posts like this are lacking in substance, please go get your American education, open up your mind and revisit Molly's writing/whining later, maybe years later. Maybe you will never change your mind. But maybe you would learn that there is always something beyond the surface. What you call wild exaggerations, histrionics and anecdotes (did I have any anecdotes?), what you think is a lack of substance could well have a significance beyond its surface.

Many of Molly's posts should be read more like literary text (though not necessarily a good one) than as one of those good old rational essays where meaning is not supposed to go beyond what seems to be stated. Read one post against another. Consider the significance of the style. . . . . I must be asking for too much again. Too fluffy. Too much indulgence on emotional histrionics to be taken seriously. And I sincerely apologize even as the pain cuts deeper.

I don't even know if you will get to read this, but thank you. Thank you for reading. Thank you for serving NS - or rather, not for serving NS, but for your good intentions of being willing to go through NS, though I might have already irked you so much that you are having an impulse to shoot me.

Of course, there is a viable alternative, one which is probably too seditious for even Molly Meek to blog about. That is, to actually run the risk of abolishing "the nation" by phasing out NS. I thought you implicitly suggested this. I might as well go a step further and question if Singapore's sovereignty is to the long term benefit of its people. After all, it was a state within M'sia once, and only the quarrels between the political parties and their political approach as regards to race split them apart. Remember that Singapore was brought into M'sia by a referendum; it was brought out by the PAP.

From the history textbooks I studied not long ago, I suppose that the major reason Singapore left Malaysia was the communalistic governing of UMNO, along with things like personal friction between party figures and too little economic autonomy. My point is that these are temporary problems. Malaysia is changing; these problems can be negotiated out over the long term. But the price that Singapore has to pay for its sovereignty due to its permanent constraints will not change for the better.

And what are the benefits of S'porean sovereignty? The joy of living with "constraints" that curb freedoms, offset by material wealth? The impression of independence under the illusion that oppression by your own kind is somehow better than that by others? Or is it that Singaporeans are made to feel grand from its independence that they cannot stand being a small state within a country anymore?

I don't know. If states came about as a contract for bettering the lives of its people, then it would be commonsense to preserve that goal in its laws. Our divergence from the average (brainwashed) Singaporean on what those are is the whole problem, isn't it?

(Don't ask me what organization I'm currently working for now. That is an argument in itself). Even I wouldn't reveal that.



















Mandatory conscription. No welfare. Limited free speech. Limited free expression. etc. All because Singapore is QUOTE a small, vulnerable island with no natural resources and racial/religious sensitivities UNQUOTE.

Because Singapore is Singapore, you cannot be a free individual.

Is Singapore as an independent country a "viable alternative" to Singapore as a non-independent country?

Of course, we are supposed to believe that it is. There was a time when people said that Singapore wouldn't make it, but we did. (Did we?) We built a nation, strong and free. (Did we?)

If you have been reading this blog all this while, I think I must have said somewhere that all a lot of the constraints and the sacrifices that are (supposedly) required of citizens seem to point to the idea that Singapore is not quite viable as a independent nation. And we are supposed to maintain this inviability.

If the existence of a country is premised upon the perpetual oppression of all or some of its citizens, then perhaps it doesn't deserve to exist at all.

And no, I don't have a viable alternative to an inviability. Neither am I advocating that Singapore should stop being an independent country. I just don't believe in independence and economic "progress" at the expense of the people's freedom. Slaves adorned with diamonds are still slaves. Those who grudgingly accept it will probably not have too many problems. It is those who can't make themselves accept it - not even grudgingly - who are going to be tormented in one way or another. These are the people who will be made to go to war - to defend their oppression. It's a grotesque irony of Singapore's independence.

Once again, we are reminded of Orwell's Animal Farm where the animals defend the farm against the humans only to perpetuate the tyranny of the pigs. And the pigs eventually become even more efficient tyrants than the humans. But no, they must defend the farm - otherwise they will be taken over by the humans again. Boxer, the most hardworking, the bravest - and the stupidest animal - who sacrifices his labor eventually do not even get to retire, but is send to be slaughtered for profit. For the good of the farm-nation. . . .

Maybe it isn't too bad being Mollie the bimbotic quitter of Animal Farm . . .

A reply (Anonymous) Expand
Just because you've been wronged, doesn't give you a right to be wrong.

The Singapore GOVT may have big time issues (or perhaps you just have big time issues with them :)) but the PEOPLE of Singapore need to be defended. And to do so, we need (sorry, I know you hate "necessity") a certain number of boots on the ground. There is no country in the world without a standing army.

"There is absolutely no acceptable justification for oppression."
I vaguely understand what you are trying say, what with wombs and rape and ghosts stories, but give respect and credit to those who "stand on the wall" (present and past). Conscription should not have been ... well, I think your choice of comparison is ... not the best. So much so that your article seems vaguely insulting of and detracts from the sacrifice of the NS men that you are apparently on the side of.

How many boots do we need?

(Anonymous)
3x of what Malaysia has? or 3x of what Indonesia has?
Anti-conscript is not the same as not having a standing army.

(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand
(no subject) (Anonymous) Expand

go in as boys

(Anonymous)
In Singapore, we go in as boys and come out as men. It means that in countries without NS, like America, Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Costa Rica, and Canada, there aren't any men. That's why Singapore is better. Our men are somehow enhanced men. And none of the rich foreign talent in Singapore are real men. That's why girls prefer Singaporeans...real men.

Re: go in as boys

(Anonymous)
Edmund Hilary is a man. So are the All Blacks. And they don't need conscription to be real men , for crying out loud....Even the women may be more "man" than Singapore men. Case in point Helen Clark vs LHL; lol !!!

Re: go in as boys (Anonymous) Expand

BIMBO????

(Anonymous)
Why would a bimbotic woman be so worked up over NS. Seems like ranting from a man hiding behind a woman's skirt. I think the brother writing this may be very scared.

You have a point to make?

Re: BIMBO???? (Anonymous) Expand

BIMBO???

(Anonymous)
My point is instead of blogging using the pseudonym Molly, would you be better to reveal your true identity and engage the authorities on this issue. You should not be fearful but you should be brave to face tyranny in the face.

Why assume that one uses a pseudonym only out of fear? Can one simply dislike the prospects of the attention one might get when one exposes one's identity? Or perhaps a pseudonym allows one to blog according to one's conscience without worries about pleasing not just the authorities, but also the range of people one knows?

Is it possible to "engage the authorities"? Must I engage the authorities (whatever you mean by that) and is it necessary to reveal the name in my IC in order to do so? (WIll the points made - if any - be different just because I use the name on my IC instead of a pseudonym?)

Pseudonym or not, bimbo or not, if you get what I've said many times before (maybe you haven't read that much here), the point is that it shouldn't matter. It shouldn't matter whether Molly is an 18 year-old bimbo, an 80 year-old ah pek, a 48 year-old auntie or perhaps even a minister in disguise. If it matters a lot to you, then I can only say I'm sorry for not being able to satisfy your readerly expectations. :) Try reading the youngpapblog, Singapore Dissident or something. There are lots of people out there who reveal their names.

concerned reader

(Anonymous)
Do you worry about whether the authorities will catch you for writing about all these issues?? Its all very educational but LKY may be on the lookout for these blogs. Aren't you at all concerned?? You may be in danger........I wish I had your writing skills and language abilities............

Re: concerned reader

I won't bluff and pretend that I have no worries at all. But if I had no worries at all, perhaps I would have less reason to blog to begin with. Because I am blogging precisely against things that make people worry about speaking up without any malicious intent.

What writing skills and language abilities do I have that you don't?

How very apt dear Molly. You posted this on the very day I got conscripted. :o

To protect the Singapore way of life, for deterance.

mr. lim

Aww, poor thing. Share your (horror?) stories...

Someone said that you (conscripts) are sacrificing for your country. I think it's better to say that you are sacrificed for your country.

Another conscript that agrees with your view

(Anonymous)
I am yet another unfortunate conscript that would like to express my views. I feel very exploited by NS and this is worsened by the fact that Im more of the free-spirited kind. Still, I feel obliged to help defend the nation but would like the whole thing to be cut down to a year, since every week in here passes like months...
Furthermore, the SAF is all about show and wayang. They are obsessed with image. I don't mind coming here to learn how to fight a war, but Im hardly interested in doing drills, kiwing boots, being forced to sing songs or just being ordered around like a dog.
As much as they would like to think of us being a professional (one of the 7 core values) army, we are not. We are a conscript army, paid meagerly ;And I will express my dissatisfaction at the elections when i turn 21 ( that is if I don't die during some training).

Re: Another conscript that agrees with your view

All the best to you. Army is professional. Someone deserves an OScar for the wayang. Best Picture or something.

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