Difficult question from my young boy ---Army days

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Difficult question from my young boy ---Army days

Postby tianzhu » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:46 am

Difficult question from my young boy ---Army days

A few months ago, my son (then in P5) stunned me with this question
Daddy, why must I go to the Army?
I was momentarily lost for words. If this question had been put across to me twenty years ago, my quick answer would be, of course, you should, it’s the duty of every citizen to protect our country. But, now, with the flood gates opened widely for foreign talents, we are now surrounded by many foreign citizens in our daily lives.
My son will grow up to know that some of his foreign classmates will also benefit from our system without the obligation of NS. One may argue that PR of the second generation needs to serve NS. But, how many are actually doing it, or are they taking the easy way out of leaving the country during the NS liability period and coming back later under the foreign talent schemes.The line separating Singaporeans and PR is now razor thin. Why should our boys take up the additional burden of defending the country?
I may have my doubts, but I know one day, I’ll have to send him to Pulau Tekong. Thankfully, I still have time to think about a good answer to explain to him on why he needs to serve NS.

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Postby smurf » Fri Feb 13, 2009 12:07 pm

I hope the garmen people will read this. :celebrate:

smurf
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Postby mintcc » Fri Feb 13, 2009 3:11 pm

erm, I guess many do feel that way but there are still some benefits we enjoy more than PR. e.g. Childcare subsidy. however, I think when the time comes I will try to explain to my boy the concept of patriotism.... it is not really about the benefits we have. Think about yue fei and some other patriots in history. I would think life is hard and they don't really benefit from their gov either but it is more about love and devotion.

But then again I do think that we do benefited being citizens here. Think about it, what if we/our children are citizens of countries where crime rates are high and education, jobs and peace is not a some thing to be taken for granted? Where would we be now? Many foreigners wants to come to Singapore and be PR for a reason.

on the bright side, our boys may also pick up some life or transferable skills + net-work during NS.- My bro learnt driving durring NS but then it is easy for me to say. I don't get to do NS....

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Postby jedamum » Fri Feb 13, 2009 5:47 pm

mincy wrote:I will try to explain to my boy the concept of patriotism.... it is not really about the benefits we have.

Yes I agree.
Since my boys' family's (ie us) homesoil is here, it is his duty to protect SG more for the sake of his loved ones.
Image my boys' granddad is PR turned citizen (he actually ran away from home to SG and that changed his life forever :wink:), the dad's a civil servant involving in the protection of civilians' welfare, so patriotism influence is pretty strong in the house.

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Postby matrix0405 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 9:10 pm

your boy is smart to have asked this question. maybe there was some 'national education' brainwashing in school that day to instill the importance of NS which set him thinking and comparing.

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Total Defence Day

Postby buds » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:43 pm

Heyya matrix0405,

Not national education brainwashing,
but TOTAL DEFENCE DAY was done in
school.

buds
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What a coincidence..

Postby buds » Fri Feb 13, 2009 11:45 pm

jedamum wrote:.......the dad's a civil servant involving in the protection of civilians' welfare, so patriotism influence is pretty strong in the house.


Ours too!
What a coincidence..
:wink:

buds
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Re: Difficult question from my young boy ---Army days

Postby ChiefKiasu » Sat Feb 14, 2009 8:44 pm

tianzhu wrote:...why must I go to the Army?
I was momentarily lost for words. If this question had been put across to me twenty years ago, my quick answer would be, of course, you should, it’s the duty of every citizen to protect our country. But, now, with the flood gates opened widely for foreign talents, we are now surrounded by many foreign citizens in our daily lives...


I thought it strange that only the mummies are answering your question, so I want to put in some words to represent the group of people who would actually be affected by NS.

Most people believe that we go to wars for territory. Indeed, in the old days, before we knew that we are all stuck on a tiny ball (yes, another ball reference for anxiousmummy123) floating around the Sun, that's how most wars are fought - for greed, jealousy and territory.

These days, the world has grown a lot smaller, and everyone knows that we are all dependent on each other (case in study: today's financial mess). Wars are no longer fought for territory (there's only so much earth to lord over), but rather for a people's way of life.

If we like our way of life so much that we are willing to die for it, then we will find it meaningful to go to war to defend it. It's not about foreigners coming to milk our country while we native-borns bear the brunt of defending it, but whether we like how we live today as a society. Issues such as requiring PRs to commit to the same regime of sacrifice that citizens have to go through are important, but more fundamental to the issue is the question of whether we, as PRs and citizens, care enough for our existing way of life.

That's just my naive view. Off the soap box now for my Valentine's dinner before my darling (wife, not computer) gets annoyed at me.

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Postby jedamum » Sat Feb 14, 2009 10:15 pm

insider wrote:'Defending' the country is just one of the reasons.

They get to learn 'Hokkien' language FOC too!
My husband picks up Hokkien when he was in NS and henceforth couldn't escape my dad's hokkien stories anymore.... :wink:

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Postby buds » Sun Feb 15, 2009 1:14 am

jedamum wrote:
insider wrote:'Defending' the country is just one of the reasons.

They get to learn 'Hokkien' language FOC too!:wink:


Geez... mine too!
But mostly the bad words he said.
He cud remember them due to the
constant reinforcements from the
trainers. FOC ya know? So, just
take it lah, right?

buds
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