Who am I? What am I? Where am I? Where am I headed to? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea. A cynic, an idealist, a person with ideas, but NATO. Am I? I really don't know. RNFI. Really No F**king Idea.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Under the Rug

so for the last couple of days, we had things related to NE. supposed to help make us more able to brainwash conduct NE in schools.

and as part of this entire exercise was a visit to some army camp. which included a presentation about the 3G SAF. and of course there was a question and answer session.

the Q&A was super disappointing. not least because the questions asked were totally irrelevant and basic. some one asked how secure army camps really are, citing how one could just masquerade as a trainee teacher and sneak into the camp when we have one of such visits. obviously the person wasn't thinking. obviously all us trainee teachers would be restricted to a certain area and if we strayed, we would probably have been shot.

there was one interesting question though. one that i had wanted to ask but didn't think that it was the right place to ask. it was about the lack of Malays in certain formations in the army.

unfortunately, the question was asked in such a way that allowed the army person (some full colonel) to smoke his way through. and smoke he did. he gave the 'official', politically correct answer that we all know is wrong.

the essence of the question arose from the issue that there are no Malay officers in the Signals, Armour and Military Intelligence formations (and perhaps even Airforce). and the answer that the good colonel gave was that this is purely coincidental, that so long as a person meets the physical, mental and skills requirement, the person, regardless of race and religion (and even gender) would be posted to the area that he/she can contribute most.

the obvious problem with that line of thinking is that the probability of something like that happening is infinitely small. consider this, 20% of our population are Malays. now let's say that we assume the overall educational level of Malays is lower and hence less of them are suitable for the 3 formations that i've mentioned (i'm not saying whether this is indeed true... i'm just saying that we assume it to be true, just for arguments' sake). we still have 10% of our population who are Malays and should qualify to be officers in the three formations.

now let's take the Signals formation for example. every batch, there are about between 30 to 40 cadets. that means that there is no active discrimination, then, statistically, we should have at least 3 or 4 Malay Signals officer for every batch of cadets. and there are 2 batches every year. so that means that every year, we should have 6 to 8 Malay Signals officers. but we don't. now it is still possible, though unlikely that it so happens that in one batch, or even a year, we cannot find a single Malay that does not have the ability or merit to be a Signals officer. but what is the probability of there not being a single Malay who has the merit to be a Signals officer in the throughout the entire history of SAF? infinitely small.

so it is logically impossible that it is purely coincidental that there are no Malay officers in Signals, Armor and Military Intelligence. the only logical explanation is that there is active discrimination of Malays resulting that there being no Malay officers in Signals, Military Intelligence and Armor formations.

but why this discrimination and what are the implications? is this discrimination justified?

the first 2 questions are inter-related. to answer them, let's look at the military doctrine of our SAF, parcticularly our 3G SAF. we all know that SAF's doctrine is based upon rapid and overwhelming force projection into enemy territory. now with the 3G SAF, another critical aspect is to have IKC2 platforms to deliver co-ordinated strikes in a Network-Centric War. our military doctrine is thus built upon our Armor, Signals and Military Intelligence. once these are compromised, we are effectively screwed. so, it is understandable that these 3 formations are supposedly more 'sensitive' and hence we need officers there whom we have absolute trust in. therefore, the fact that we do not have Malay officers in these formations thus implies that we do not trust them enough to not compromise the operations of these 3 formations.

why not though?

a reason could be that a lot of Malays have friends and family in Malaysia. and should (and it is not impossible) a war break out between Singapore and Malaysia, then the Malay officers in SAF, and more so in the sensitive formations, would be put in a moral and emotional dilemna. should they go to war? if they do, then they most certainly would be endangering their friends and family in Malaysia as well as attacking the nation that protects their friends and family. if they don't, then they would be disloyal to their own nation. another reason could be that the Malay officers might face the dilemna of having to choose between nation and religion. therefore, in order to ensure that our operational capacity is not impeded by such dilemnas, it is most likely that the SAF has decided to not have Malay officers in Signals, Armor and Military Intelligence.

is it justified though?

perhaps. it is not that we do not trust our Malay friends to make the right decisions, it is that choosing either course of action is wrong in some ways. so the best thing to do is to not put them in a situation where they have to choose, while yet allowing them to contribute to the defence of our nation. and hence a lot of Malays, some of whom are more than capable to become army (and perhaps even Signals or Armor) officers, end up in Civil Defence.

should things change?

it depends. i think the Malay community has more things to worry about than a Malaly not being able to be an armor or signals or intel officer. but having a malay officer in these arms certainly helps send out the message that we trust our Malays. it therefore goes a long way to demonstrating that we are truly a racially harmonious society. and i think the top decision makers realise this. and to their credit, things are indeed changing. but i suppose it would take time.

however, i do believe that hiding this fact won't help. i feel that it would definitely not help our NE effort for us to be continued to be fed the obviously false and illogical 'official' and politically correct response. on the contrary, i feel that we should openly discuss these issues and, as a society, understand the constraints that we are operating in and, as a society, move together to resolve all these very real moral, emotional and ethical dilemnas.


Post a Comment

<< Home