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S M Ong
Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014

Singapore

Humour: Dear Aware, NSmen are not your enemy

The New Paper | S M Ong | Tuesday, Apr 29, 2014

SERVICEMEN: SAF troops participating in Exercise Golden Sand at Pulau Sudong last week.

Something must be wrong with me. I feel a little ill.

It's Aware's fault.

Yes, the Association of Women for Action and Research is at it again.

Last week, Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen said that the Government is coming up with a set of "meaningful" benefits to recognise the efforts of NSmen "by giving them a greater stake in Singapore, whether it's housing, health or education".

In response to this news, Aware posted on its Facebook page: "Every person deserves access to housing, education and health care, because these are basic requirements for human sustenance and social participation.

"Aware disagrees strongly with any link between support for fundamental needs and an individual's status as an NSman, especially when the military may not be suitable for many people, regardless of their gender.

"Aware has long maintained that military service should not be held up as the single gold standard of citizen belonging - an approach which this proposal threatens to intensify, creating different tiers of people with different social entitlements and worth."

Almost right away, Aware kena tekan online like a sotong recruit on Tekong.

Aware seems to be saying that "access" to basic needs is given only to NSmen when that's clearly not the case.

I shall resist any puns about Aware being unaware.

Why doesn't Aware "disagree strongly" with the link between getting the Jubilee Baby Gift and the year a baby is born?

What sacrifices have these infants made for the country? They're not even born yet.

The latest affront to NSmen comes after last year's Purple Light episode, which also irked a few army guys.

Aware even gloated about it on Facebook: "Ever wonder if speaking up about sexism really creates change? Here's one case where it has!

"Earlier (last) year, Aware learned of Purple Light, a marching song sung by many NSmen, which included the lines: 'Booking out, see my girlfriend, saw her with another man, kill the man, rape my girlfriend with my rifle and my buddy and me.'

"We were troubled that NSmen were bonding over misogynist lyrics about committing sexual violence against women. So we raised our concerns with Mindef and SAF.

"And now we have excellent news: Mindef and SAF have confirmed that they took steps to investigate. They will 'immediately halt' the singing of these lyrics, which they describe as 'contrary to the values of (their) organisation'.

"It's really encouraging that Mindef and SAF are prepared to listen to feedback, recognise this as an issue and take action on it. Thumbs up!"

So Mindef and SAF gave in to Aware and now Aware is hitting us with this "military service should not be held up as the single gold standard of citizen belonging" thing?

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