"You can't buy loyalty, but you can create legal institutions to enforce compulsory loyalty."

Blog Feature: National Service

Today’s Blog Feature,  is from Thinking Better, Thinking Meta, on National Service.

Here is an excerpt from the article, Defending what’s (y)ours!

I do not share the same definition of “ours” as the government and its self-professed state-independent military organisation do.

Most of us will not buy one morsel of the advertisement/infomercial. It is merely to justify what is already there. If such a segment is to advertise and provide information, then let it stand in a country where military service is voluntary. Let us see how many Singaporean men will sign up (maybe since times are bad, more will sign up voluntarily, we won’t know).

Make National Service voluntary, and you will see the extent to which people identify with the government’s message of “defending what’s ours”. Make it voluntary and you will get what people think about how things are run. Maybe in the advertisement/infomercial, there was a minute parenthesized “y” before the word “ours”. It sort of speaks from the perspective of the Singaporean male, wherein we are asked to defend the second person (yours) that is the state and its interests.

I personally do not believe in National Service. It tears me away from my family, my work and the things I love to do. I do not want to be part of any organisation that promotes and reinforces dominant gender norms and structures.

I am not willing to do defending what is “yours”. Because we have seen the way our Singaporean sons are forsaken and forgotten, and could have known even more, if not for the state secrecy and media machinery that protects the military organisation.

Read the rest of the article on Thinking Better Thinking meta.