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Monday, July 16, 2007
NSF vs Regular
There has been this saga lately about this 2LT officer in the SAF mass sending emails to authorities without going through the "chain of command". He was being charged as a result n had brought much attention to netizens as well as the general public. Juz how special is it that this matter is brought up in the news? The 2LT is named Li Hong Yi(pic). Ok, u may ask who the heck is this person?? Let me tell u he's our PM's son n our MM's grandson. Our dear PM Mr Lee Hsien Loong n MM Lee Kuan Yew.
Alright, this is getting serious n i think i have to be careful with what i write here when this entry is gonna involve the SAF n the ministers. So, what actually happened that made 2LT Li to mass email the different authorities as well as defence minister Teo Chee Hean? I'm not clear of what was written in the email, but according to the news, 2LT Li is complaining about a fellow soldier, an LTA, of being AWOL on two occasions.
2LT Li was enraged with how the matter was being treated so lightly that he wrote a complain letter n sent it out to many people, including defence minister Teo Chee Hean. Having served my 2yrs of NS in the Army between January 2004 n March 2006, i have to applaud him for his courage. Son of Singapore's PM, nonetheless, was not spared the punishment n was duly charged for his actions. He committed the fatal mistake of not going through the "chain of command", which is ever so important in the SAF.
So what is "chain of command"? It's very simple. What ever u want to complain or feedback, u can only bring it up to our direct superior n NO ONE ELSE. 2LT broke the rule by going straight to the defence minister as well as those authorities that have no power in dealing the case of "AWOL". His actions left the authorities with no choice but to charge him, eventhough he's the PM's son.
After 2yrs 2months in the army, I've seen many many different types of people. They come in different shapes, colours, sizes, personalites n backgrounds. No matter how bastard some people are, you have to work with them, cos u have no choice. In the outside world, if you're screwed up, your boss FIRES u. But in the army, they can't fire u, cos u're serving your NS. Haha, how i wish they can fire me then, n i can be free from NS!! Haha, i'm crappin.
Talking about firing, let's zoom down to Army regulars. Regulars are those people that signed on to the Army as a career. In the case of 2LT Li, he's complaining about an LTA regular going AWOL twice. Unless they commit a serious offence, the regulars will not be fired, they only don't get their contract renewed when it expires. Some signed for 5yrs, some 10yrs n some 20yrs.
Ok, I'm not condemning regulars, but I found the working efficiency of some regulars really not up to standard. Some push their work to NSFs, thinking that the NSFs won't complain about them since all NSFs' mentality is "Serve my 2yrs n i can fuck off", which is true. That's is why many chose the option of keeping quiet when they see something not right. They would rather keep quiet n do the extra work than create a hoohaa n end up on the losing end. So who's the loser eventually? The NSF of cos, cos his life will be made even more difficult if his complain is unsuccessful. In short, NSFs will juz "close one eye" n "Serve my 2yrs n i can fuck off", I dun want any trouble.
This is the reason why i applaud 2LT Li Hong Yi for his courage. He actually dared to speak up n question the Mindef's system. I understand why he chose the email rather than going through the chain. In the Army, the chain will usually take ages to go through n may even not be addressed at all, which eventually leads to nothing being done.
If i'm 2LT Li, I could have jolly well kept BOTH my eyes closed n pretend nothing has happened, cos it doesn't help being a busybody n risk getting myself into trouble. Dat's the mentality of SINGAPOREANS isn't it? Keep quiet n MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS. OK, let's juz say no system is perfect in the world. I won't reveal anything about the insides of the Army from my experiences during the 2yrs of NS. Only the Males of Singapore will know how is it like inside the Army. There's always flaws, enough said.
To end it off, our local famous blogger, Mr Brown, juz added a damn hilarious podcast about this incident. Listen to it------> MY GRANDFATHER'S ARMY