I was reading some rather interesting arguments against continuing National Service as we have today.
While I think there are some nuggets of compelling reasons to discontinue the conscript army, we do have NS in both the police and the civil defence. Those are entities that have a very different experience and opportunity that NS offers.
I *much* rather be in the SCDF – as a life saving force – than anything else even though I was both in the police as a full-time NSman as well as five years as a reservist and then transferred to the SCDF and completing my full NS obligations 2 years ago.
Perhaps my two-week stint in Banda Aceh following the tsunami in 2004 offered me a point of view that I did not have. The value of NS was clearly evident – both the SAF and the SCDF were on the ground helping and doing all that we could with the stuff we had to help a people that were cruelly impacted. Could we have done that if is not for a prepared SCDF and SAF? I don’t know. Did the NS complement in these two groups help with the preparedness? I think so. Did it help build a positive image of Singapore in Indonesia – very much so. We were no longer the “little red dot”. We were the knight in shining armour. Yes we were. And I am proud to have been part of the team.