Friday, December 31, 2010

Conscript System And Rifts In Society

Not all articles in TR can be considered good and balanced. Below is one of the good articles sent to TR. How true it is!

In any country or nation with a conscript system, it is expected that the system hold responsibility for shaping the fabric of national psychology and integration to set precedence to a viable governance of the nation. But in some cases, it just fails after some point of time.

In Singapore, a small city state in south east asia with conscript style policies for almost everything, the boys spend 2.5 years of their life serving the nation before they set a steady course in their lives. But is not all over it seems as what follows is a 10 year cycle of reservist obligations. The girls have no mandatory requirements. In comparison to the girls, the boys loose out in employment and further education opportunities by 2 years. Then they lose the pechant to study further due to the long distractive national service duty and numerous psychological taunts in by their military superiors, ironically moulding most of them them into simplistic and narcisstic persons, rather than strong creative individuals. The girls, without this form of distraction climb the career ladder and as a result do not want to marry and settle down with the boys who are left behind. And factor in the foreign women influx, men shun away from local women, disregard them and generalise them. The girls also grow up in a life of luxury and are generally apathetic to political or social affairs in the state . Clearly evident, in their lack of understanding about the conscript system and purpose, state governance and its associated problems , one being the boys who have to compete with foreigners for jobs and reservist liabilities hindering their progress.

To add insult to injury, the cost of living does not tally with earnings and the low wages that citizens earn does not help in procreation in the city state. The other factor is the predominant materialistic culture prevalent in this city state that is causing traditional asian values to be eroded over time. And being females, their natural instinct tend to put materialism as top priority.

The foreigners who arrive, many are unwilling to settle down in the system and contribute to national security as they found that there is no real value in settling down in the city state which has no natural resources, economically unstable , politically underdeveloped and lacking in the diverse array of life found in other developed nations.

Those who do, are most often, not the top talents the govt wants to retain often not highly educated or employed in jobs that require entry or low level skills. These locals and foreigners, mainly professionals in the middle class working sector have also realised that the defective state conscript style is ruining lives by holding citizens hostage decide returning to their countries or use the city state as a stepping stone after a stint is the best option.

In addition the local talents after receiving education and work experience, have been already migrating in droves to nearby countries like Hong, Kong, Australia and the US. When the going gets tough , the tough gets going but elsewhere. Of those who are left behind , are ones that do not have the resources and skills to leave. As a result, the state is left with a mediocre workforce and an apathethic population left to fend for themselves and constantly being hammered down by the relentless state machinery apparatus which in itself is an enormous conscript system of sorts.

The problem here lies in the social fabric of the nation that was engineered for decades to fulfill a narrow mindset dominated purely by twisted and unnatural capitalism , meritocracy and elitism while showing a total neglect for social issues.The manouever has set the ground for an initial social problem that has since intensified and has been seen to cause more problems over time. Though the city state has flourished in physical resources through merticulous planning of infrastructure, transport, medical and security, it is way behind in the social context. While other developed nations have addressed these concerns with effective social planning and ethics, Singapore yet remains unwilling to take concrete efforts. Observers have noted that Singapore’s social and secuity hybrid policies are geared towards bringing about a secure and suitable environment for continous trade and economy, rather than as a whole solution which does not take welfare and rights into account . The system which collapses when the world economy turns its back , the social scenario is now paying the price. Rather than implementing protectionist policies to avert this situation, the authorities expect the social landscape to wait and ride out the tide till things improve.

The other problem here lies with the city state’s obsessive paranoia, stubborness, lack of foresight and outdated styled policing on issues relating to national security, citizen rights and social situation tied in as whole picture. The city state is known to invest in cutting edge defence technology, and yet why is there a need to maintain an army conscript system, when other similar countries like Taiwan have successfully abandoned it? The system together with the other issues is causing problems in the social fabric and how long before they start to realise this issue, until the birth rate reaches zero? Does the expenditure on the conscript system producing any real output value?. No it does not, at best a superficial face value.

Do we have to ask ourselves on why we are spending enormous amount of money on human assets of the conscript system that produces unhappy soldiers, who view NS duties as a hindrance and burden, get disadvantaged in employment, risk their lives, and most importantly bring about dysfunctionality in national birth and marriage rates? The conscript system is an enemy of its own existence, outputting results which is contrary to what it set out to achieve in the first place and along with it bringing added problems. And of course no problem is complete without addressing the the root causes .

It seems the city state is suffering from a major fundamental problem that needs to be addressed – Problems which are made up of myriad of problems. The Singapore, popularly known as the lion city we know today, is best described as the lion with an erectile dysfunction unable to set things upright, a trait which is of outmost importance in maintaining the success the it has than actually building it.

Who are we to blame? Ourselves or the govt? The answer is obvious. Both.


NS Joe

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