Defence Spending in Singapore is a waste of money ?


overheard from The Reservist

The writer of this article felt that Singapore is spending too much on defence and the money could be better used to fund social needs. He doubted Singapore would stand a chance against an invasion from Malaysia or Indonesia. His “solution” was to allow US, UK and Australia troops to be based in Singapore. This, he feels, will deter aggressors.

Let’s see :

(1) The last time we were occupied by another country was when we depended others to defend us.

(2) The fact that we remained sovereign since independence shows that we don’t need another country’s military in Singapore to act as a deterrent. WE are the deterrence.

(3) Come on, give us some credit. We may not be professional soldiers but we’re definitely good enough to defend Singapore. We don’t go back for our ICTs for fun. Ok, we do to a certain extent but we also train hard and are ready to defend Singapore.

That being said, we do agree that more can be done to help Singaporeans, especially the less fortunate. But it shouldn’t be at the expense of defence.

Without a strong defence, we may not even have a place to call home.
Comments : 
  • The guy who wrote the article probably is a foreigner or someone who wants to poison the minds of Singaporeans.. Only the brainless will agree with the writer
  • The guy who wrote the article is, in my view, a traitor to his country, people and his own faith.
  • Boastful? We are not boastful. Its an act of confidence. Once our enemies sees we lack any bit of confidence of defending this land of ours. That will surely be our downfall. Just like a crack in a dam. Though small but will lead to a disaster. Never doubt the will of our people. See how far have we come now. We may not b in numbers. But we’ll sure give hell before we give up our home!!!!
  • If the author is Singaporean, then what he wrote is tantamount to treason. And the law will hang the treasonous.
    In other news, we really need to kick out internal parasites.

how to defeat terrorism ? Not over reacting and Stay Clam !

Chan Chun Sing -> Chan Chun Sing

10 Jan 2015

We discussed terrorism at last night’s informal policy discussion. The ongoing situation in France is a stark reminder to our challenges.

Hope participants have gotten fresh perspectives on how we need to counter terrorism – from detection, deterrence, crisis management to ultimately building the resilience of our society.

It is not easy. We cannot be complacent. Terrorists will seek to disrupt our way of life through violence, killing innocents etc to create fear and panic. Our challenge is to deny them from doing just that.

Early detection requires not just the vigilance of the security agencies but the whole society.

Deterrence is not just about securing our facilities or punishing the perpetrators. But it must encompass going after the real masterminds who manipulate their foot soldiers to do what fulfills their agendas.

Resilience, not over reacting, staying clam, and responding logically will all be important to send the message that we will not be defeated by the terrorist acts. Nor will we succumb to their goals to disrupt our peace and normalcy. We must not allow their acts to attract even more attention and support.

Vigilance and resilience will determine our victory or defeat…


Overheard : 

  • The how do we defeat them was very interesting. We must know the perpetrator’s motive. One of which is to cause fear and disruption to our way of life. If we are resilient during an attack and not cause undue panic and fear, the perpetrator’s goal will be defeated.
  • Yes agreed. To recover fast and live life as per normal.

When one says that “so what if Lim Chin Siong was a Communist”

Overheard :

The problem of “presentism” in Singapore’s historical debate

The storm that erupted when PM Lee talked about his visit to the Merger exhibition and his link to an open letter penned in response to Dr Poh Soo Kai makes for a most interesting case study in the discipline of history.

As usual, whenever the Government gives its version of history, it elicits a flurry of negative reactions.  Usually, you have on the one hand activists who know naught about history and just demolishes whatever the Government says by falling back on romantic ideals of human rights et al.  In truth, these activists do not care about whether Lim Chin Siong is a proxy of the violent Communist Party of Malaya. To quote Teo Soh Lung’s rather child-like argument, “But honestly, I don’t care if Lim Chin Siong was a communist or a CPM member. After all, the PAP does lots of business with communist Russia and China.” 

They do not care about Merger, Separation or historical accuracy for that matter. They constantly harp on the need for government to declassify its records and from there, they assume that some great wrong committed will be revealed and hence, demand a COI to seek redress for past detainees and ultimately remove the ISA. As a prominent socio-political website often claims, “As it stands, releasing the official documents of the secret branch would be the surest way of verifying this fact,” and ” it would be in the best interest of the government to open official documents”. 

But where do these activists get the idea of declassifying records from?  Behind these activists, there are actually some historians who were really the ones who started this historiographical debate by arguing that either there was no Communist threat in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s or that this threat was inflated.  These historians actually did cite from declassified records by the British government which makes some sense since Singapore was in effect, ruled by the British until 1963.  These records did show doubt by some administrators of the extent of communist threat in Singapore then.  But the Government cleverly also cited from the same declassified British records of a shift in the administrators’ positions with regard to the Communist threat.  What’s more is, there are primary source materials of the Malayan Communist leaders at that time, who themselves profess to instigating violence, riots and political subversion to achieve a communist state.

That’s why, when you see the responses to PM Lee’s attempt at teaching history, you hear only the activists voices most clearly; simply because they are not historians and do not know or care that a fait accompli has been achieved.  When an activist says declassify all records, what does he mean? It is actually an empty call.  Even the CIA redacts sensitive information from what they declassify.  Does declassifying records mean that great wrongs will be found?  I am afraid not. And if wrongs are not found but justifications found, what happens then?  The activist will just accept meekly? Or perhaps they will say that some of these documents are forged?

This is the problem when “presentism” seeps into the study of history.  It tends to blind objectivity.  When one says that “so what if Lim Chin Siong was a Communist”, it is clear as day to those who study history that it is a statement with great ramifications.  Today, admitting that you are a communist makes you a harmless laughing stock; but in the 1950s/60s, if one was a Communist, one was a terrorist, supporter, sympathizer of terrorism and a criminal.  There is no “so what”. 

It’s a very slippery slope and therefore the historians who really started this debate, have been very smart to stay in the sidelines, preferring to use the activists to fight their cause. The activists are not historians, they do not profess to be and they do not need to put forth sound arguments backed by sources. Romantic, emotive arguments and ideas are what move the present internet. 

But what about the historians watching this show, of their own doing, unfurl?  What are their intentions?  Are they truly noble and seeking historical truth or are they just seeking, like the activists, to redress present political concerns?


  Lee Hsien Loong   <-link
20 December 2014

I visited the Battle for Merger exhibition in October. This was the book of Mr Lee Kuan Yew’s radio talks in 1961, explaining what the fight against the Communists was about, and why Singapore needed Merger with Malaya. 

The Communist Party of Malaya (CPM) was a violent, illegal organisation. So it operated secretly, underground. But the Communists infiltrated open, legal organisations like trade unions, student associations and political parties. These supported the Communist cause, but denied that they themselves were Communist. Mr Lee exposed this Communist united front tactic.

I took these photos of a fascinating exhibit: a pair of original handwritten documents. One was a trade union document, signed 林清祥 Lim Chin Siong. He was the leader of the Barisan Sosialis, the main open front political party. The other was a Communist study cell document, signed 王明 Wang Ming. The handwriting was identical. In fact Wang Ming was Lim Chin Siong’s party name; Communist cadres took party names to conceal their real identities. So Lim Chin Siong was a Communist, and the Barisan Sosialis was Communist controlled.

This was more than 50 years ago. Many old Communist and pro-Communist activists have reconciled with their past, and become good citizens. But a few hard core ones still deny these historical facts. They don’t want to admit that they had fought on the wrong side, and that luckily for Singapore they lost. Some “revisionist” historians make this argument too. One motivation: cast doubt on the legitimacy of the PAP government, not just in the 1960s, but today.

The British have been declassifying documents from their archives in London, and making them available to the public. Also senior CPM leaders like Chin Peng, Eu Chooi Yip, Fong Chong Pik (aka the Plen) and others have published memoirs. Their first person accounts, like the British documents, confirm the extent of the Communist united front in Singapore, and leave no doubt that the Barisan was formed at the instigation of the CPM, and that Lim Chin Siong was a Communist cadre.

We have put together an account using evidence from the British archives as well as CPM sources, which confirm that Mr Lee Kuan Yew told the truth. Here it is, for your weekend reading – > Reponse to Poh Soo Kai’s allegations – LHL


(Photo by me)


Reponse to Poh Soo Kai’s allegations

It will be tough to eradicate terrorism. But we will keep Singapore safe, if we work closely together.

Lee Hsien Loong   Lee Hsien Loong  <- link

Extremist terrorism is a serious, long-term problem. Met community and religious leaders this morning to discuss the ISIS threat. We updated them on what has been happening, and they shared their views on what all of us can do to protect ourselves.

Grateful to the Mufti and Malay/Muslim groups who have worked hard to counter ISIS propaganda. The Religious Rehabilitation Group (RRG) has produced a brochure ( and online videos to point out the fallacies of the ISIS Islamic Caliphate, and explain why their brutal methods are against Islam.

Glad that others – the Singapore Buddhist Lodge, Taoist Federation of Singapore and the Bright Hill Temple – have also contributed towards helping Syrian refugees.

It will be tough to eradicate terrorism. But we will keep Singapore safe, if we work closely together. 



Ng Eng Hen - Defence Minister  Ng Eng Hen – Defence Minister  <- link

<< Protecting our trust and harmony against extremists >>

The fight against terrorism by extremists must include winning hearts and minds. We need the community’s help to prevent radicalisation and rehabilitate those affected back into society. We also need community and religious leaders to keep the community together, if ever there are attacks, so that the trust between Singaporeans of different races and religions remains solidly intact. 

PM Lee Hsien Loong, together with a few of us Ministers, met about 300 community and religious leaders yesterday to talk about this challenge. Many of these leaders recognised how the threat of terrorism can cause doubts and sow divisions among communities. And that each of us has to stay vigilant and do what is necessary to protect Singapore and Singaporeans. Community and religious leaders expressed support for what the SAF is doing together with other nations to stop the threat posed by ISIS. It was a fruitful session and I am heartened by the unity and support expressed at the meeting.    – Ng Eng Hen


K Shanmugam Sc    K Shanmugam Sc  <- link

Attended PM’s dialogue with our community and religious leaders earlier this morning regarding the conflicts in Syria and Iraq. While these conflicts may seem distant, our region is not immune to terrorist acts and violent extremist ideologies – our people, community leaders and government must stay vigilant and work together to safeguard Singapore and Singaporeans from such threats.


Overheard :

  • 除暴安良,人人有责。
  • Thanks God, our PM and his team are always visionary, vigilant and proactive.
    Singapore and Singaporeans are well taken of, at all times by them.
    Let us not be complacent and do our necessary part too.
  • We must work together to preserve the hard fought harmony and social cohesion Singapore has achieved. This make us stand out not only in the region but the world.
  •  These words ” VIOLENT EXTREMEIST IDEALOGIST” are huge threats to all of us that embrace INCLUSIVE & PEACEFUL society through RESPECT for individual as a decent human being and UNITY as a citizen for our Nation.
  • Yes our PM is rite. We also must stop RACIST. Those Racist shld nt be in Spore. Those cannot tolerate with Funeral n wedding under voide deck shld also be out. As one unity Spore must always fight for our safety & secure our future. Those who also don’t want to learnt English shld take the English course as we sporean shld be united to converse ONE LANGUAGE that can be understand for all and keep our Mother Tongue among our family.


  • Dear PM, Sir. I attended the session yesterday and I’m appreciative of the effort thus far made by the government. 

    I believe that whatever the case is, our actions must always be based on right principles. And I believe that this is what the government has always been trying to do though at times it may be difficult.

    Another factor of paramount importance to me is the issue of knowledge. The true knowledge. And in this instance we understand that all who have become victims or are vulnerable to become victims of misguided/deviant ideology are those who do not attend any formal religious classes.

    When a person enters a dark room, he will not be able to see anything. But the moment it is lighted up, he will understand what is happening and what he should and should not do.

    I therefore believe that the effort to convey the true message of Islam through a structured, systematic way should reach to as many Muslims as possible so that they may be saved from any misguided/deviant ideology.


  • It’s good. We are with you. 
  • Mr PM LHL, thank you very much for your care and concern for Singapore and Singaporeans.
    You looked very tired and having a flu. Please rest well and take great care.
  • Sir it is not at all tough to eradicate terrorism…we just need stable and strong government like Singapore.


  • Mr Prime Minister, its good to have you as our leader. As a citizen, we will always be positive and supportive.
  •  No matter how terrorism is personified, it is and maintains to be latently disastrous.
    In this context, Mr Lee Hsien Loong as the Prime Minister, officially the political leader and head of the Singaporean government through this status and message of his has given evidence of not only inspiring leadership but exemplary statesmanship as well.
    He has had the Singaporean people seriously realize of the enduring present but not yet active, developed or visible danger which could be a threat too to his city-state.
    Aware of the fact that he and his government would not be able to face and overcome this problem on their own, he has motivated, encouraged his citizens and made rapprochement to face this challenge preventively nationwide at its earliest stage. Preventativity is far better than cure!
    Well done, Mr Prime Minister! You really have learned a significant lesson from the latest polls where PAP did not gain the landslide win as had been the tradition before. Experience is the best teacher. Keep close in touch with the Singaporean people. They deserve interpersonal contact with the government. Together the Singaporeans stand, don’t they?


  •  ISIS is a very dangerous elements in the universe, so every countries should step up their security to combat this terrorism led by ISIS. Singapore is a small nation n we have to be more vigilant n prepared. Our PM Mr Lee HL is very concerned n he always initiate to conduct talks n discuss with all the religious leaders to have a common mindset to eradicate this ISIS practices in our country. So we are the citizens of Singapore should stand united with government to fight against this terrorism led by ISIS.
  • Dear PM Lee
    Thank you that under your leadership, we are able to dwell in this peaceful nation.


  • Many Singaporeans (including me) are really thankful that we have capable government and leaders to lead and manage our country. I have never take it for granted of the security, peace and racial harmony that we have in Singapore. 

    Some of our people may feel that what is happening in other far away countries doesn’t affect us and feel that we should not get involve. It is definitely not the case. ISIS fighters came from many different countries and its ideology can be spread like a virus especially with internet and social media. Singapore is very small country and our people live very close to one another in a small city. If any terrorist successfully attack us in our homeland, the consequence will be very serious. We really cannot afford to wait for things to happen to us before we decide to do something. It can be too late. 

    Making a stand on the issue of ISIS and educating our people on this matter is definitely the right thing to do. Thank you Mr Lee and team. Salute to you for your dedication for our country and our people.


  • Which ever religion do we belong to, we all should stand against ISIS.

The terrorist activities by ISIS pose a threat to all Singaporeans, regardless of race or religion.

    Yaacob Ibrahim  <-

The terrorist activities by ISIS pose a threat to all Singaporeans, regardless of race or religion. Our decision to be part of the multi-national coalition against ISIS is primarily to protect Singapore and Singaporeans. Although based far away in foreign countries, we know that terrorist groups can pose a direct security threat to us through their efforts to export terrorism to this region. We cannot be complacent.

I know some of us may think that Islam and Muslims have been put in the spotlight again. But this move against ISIS cannot be interpreted as an act against Islam, or Muslims, because ISIS is not Islamic. Mufti, the Singapore Islamic Scholars and Religious Teachers Association (Pergas) and the Religious and Rehabilitation Group (RRG) have joined international Muslim scholars and leaders in condemning ISIS unequivocally. They have all declared that ISIS’ radical teachings and actions have nothing to do with Islam. Islam upholds peace, the preservation of human life and its sanctity, and it is thus forbidden in Islam to wage war wantonly on others.

The Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS), Malay/Muslim organisations, community leaders and the Government have worked very hard together for many years to combat radical teachings that abuse the name of Islam.

I strongly urge all communities to continue to work together so that our people are more informed, understand each other better, and are not easily swayed by inaccurate or provocative foreign or social media reporting. This way, we will emerge stronger as Singaporeans, united in our common goal for peace, understanding and harmony.

Overheard :
  • There’s just too much killing in the middle east, all in the name of their God (s). It is so hard to imagine how life is there. The social media postings are making us very biased in our opinions.Whats important in my opinion is that we do not become radicalized with these ‘skewed images’ and start plotting one against our own people in the region and destabilize communities.There are so many lies in this world that its hard to believe what is true anymore. May Allah grant us the Hidayah to see the truth.


  • The ISIS ideology; to make non-muslims submit by force and brutality poses a threat to all Singaporeans regardless of race or religion. This ideology is misrepresented as Jihad and is misleading followers from the Middle East to South East Asia and coercing them to take action against non believers.As worse as it gets, the Palestine-Israel conflict is a contained conflict between 2 countries. ISIS however exports terrorist to other countries and pose direct threat to every citizen in every sovereign nation.We must therefore stand united for peace and not let this threat divide us.


More readings : SAF to join coalition in global fight against ISIS


Our RSAF never sleeps, working hard 24/7 to protect us including undeserving idiot

  The Republic of Singapore Air Force  <-

From defending Singapore’s skies 24/7, to responding to emergencies, to training overseas, there is never a typical day at work for our airmen and women, and indeed the RSAF never sleeps.

Over the last month, we’ve shown you how #24HoursinTheRSAF looks like. Now catch this short clip for some non-stop action in the RSAF style!

Don’t forget to head over to  to check out our #24HoursinTheRSAF series too!


Overheard :

  • Somebody wants to be famous. Sad that our men and women in the military have to work so hard to protect undeserving idiots like Hady Afadly
  • Sigh. Another one wanting to be famous. Small island, occasional night training may indeed disturb one’s sleep, but that’s the sacrifice we should bear in exchange for peace.
  • The fact that he cited old ppl and babies. He must be under some level of stress at home.
    This kinda ranting is not uncommon in a neighbourhood with frequent flying going on overhead. Take it as a pinch of salt n move on, if u’ll rather take a serious note about it then try to educate lo.Put it simply, u will rather it’s our own guys flying above than others.
  • His complains are not unfounded though. I have been staying in Jurong all my 33 years, n I do realise that the planes are flying lower compared to previously. And they are starting earlier in the morning, as early as 8am and later at night, as late as 10pm. It’s quite a nuisance at times, especially when we just got our infant boy to sleep, n the plane come zooming past, so near even the adults at home need to cover our ears.
    • You ain’t completely wrong. However, this post aims at the way the guy put it. It shows complete disrespect for the Air-Force. I have friends who are RSAF pilots and they don’t exactly enjoy the frequent flying schedule but they still do it to serve the nation
  • What is fly non stop? Aviation fuel cheap izzit? 
    He don’t know aircraft need to keep minimal distance from residential area izzit?
  • Another who does not appreciate the men and women in uniform….. The things they do behind the scenes to protect Singapore and keep us safe.
  •  Tengah airbase is commissioned in 1939. Singapore’s frontline squadrons are there. How you expect supersonic aircrafts to fly silently? Besides daytime flying, pilots need to train at night too(war doesn’t operate from 9am – 5pm. Duh!) The airbase is there for decades, if u don’t like the noise, stay away from flying area. We can’t jeopardize military defence just because someone is losing sleep!
  • This is a person who does not deserve to be a Singaporean. They are there so that we can live without fear.
  • Where do you want them to fly? In Malaysia air space? He should appreciate we have a airforce to protect us. I am an elderly but I never complain


Josiah heard the call of duty and stepped up.

<<Josiah – Hearing the Call >>

From time to time, I get to meet people serendipitously. People whose life story uplifts and warms. Josiah Tan is one such example.

I met Josiah during my visit to the SAF’s Imagery Support Group (ISG); he was one of the NSFs serving there. Josiah did not need to be in that unit or, in fact, any unit. He was born deaf and was, appropriately, medically downgraded and exempted from National Service.

But at age two, life took a better turn for him. Josiah was among the very first Singaporeans to receive cochlear implants. It changed his life. Hearing impaired persons usually have problems with speech too, but Josiah speaks normally. In fact, he speaks very well and it’s because he could hear normally from very young.

When the time for NS enlistment came, Josiah, on his own, appealed for his medical status to be changed because he wanted to fulfil his duties and perform NS. Josiah went on to complete his BMT and is now serving at the ISG.

He is working in the team whose expertise we need when Singapore or countries in the region get hit by natural disasters.

Josiah heard the call of duty and stepped up.

– Ng Eng Hen

Overheard :

  • We’re humbled by our own best
  • A great Singapore son…admire!
  • Must be show cased at our 50th Nation Celebrations. The Making of a Nation.
  • Thats The Spirit Of Singapore Josiah
    Excel and Go Beyond our disadvantage into Good use
  • Wow Wow , Jia You, perseverance , determination & a fighting spirit ,pushes one forward …. to achieve greater goals in life
  • ISG, pls take care of this Singaporean Son! Josiah, we thank you for stepping up and be counted as part of the Int family.
  • Now that is a remarkable specimen of a extraordinary young man!