By Ghui
National security is a subject that ought to be taken very seriously. This is especially relevant when put in the context of increased political volatility in many places in the world and the rise of terrorist groups such as Al Qaeda and of late, ISIS. It is precisely because of the importance of national security that the term should not be used inconsistently or lightly.
Recently, an incident whose plot read like that of a thrilling TV show, an UK citizen hired the services of Child Abduction Recovery International to retrieve her child from the custody of his/her Singaporean father. I do not wish to speculate on the motivations of the clearly desperate mother or cast aspersions as to the rightness or wrongness of the whole episode as these are the result of family conflicts which are private, subjective and complicated. What I would like to focus on however, is the manner in which employees of Child Abduction Recovery International were able to enter Singapore without detection.
Given that the perpetrators of the 2008 Mumbai attacks had gained access to Mumbai through the sea and through the reconnaissance efforts of the half American and Half Pakistani David Headley who posed as a rich playboy and was thus never investigated, the government should really give our more pressing national security breaches more weight. A shining yacht should not be exempt from police supervision just because of a presumption that its rich inhabitants are not up to no good. Just because Raffles Marina is the domain of the rich does not absolve it from being monitored.
It is ironical that while the government is focused on the banning of a film out of “national security” concerns, a real breach of national security was being carried out. A case of misplaced efforts?
Another incident that comes to mind is the Yang Yin saga. Given the rights granted to PRs in Singapore, shouldn’t there be a transparent, objective and standardised means of obtaining PR status? How is it that someone like Yang Yin has managed to infiltrate even the PAP through the PA and grassroots activities?
Are we unwittingly welcoming people with malevolent intentions onto our shores without question? What happens if a terrorist organisation manages the same feat? What is being done to deal with real national security issues such as those allegedly perpetrated by Yang Yin? Given the ease at which Yang Yin has gained PR status and how Child Abduction Recovery so easily stepped onto Singapore shores, we really need to urgently focus our attentions on what really constitutes national security and tackle those as a matter of priority.
Is the government focusing too much on perceived national security issues and too little on what could potentially have more grievous outcomes for Singapore?
What does national security really mean to the government? It needs to clarify this further, and Singaporeans have the right to know. To me, and I am certain to any other average Joe, national security concerns relate to war, terrorism, riots and unrest. Foreigners without benign intent fall into this category much more than a film about Singapore made by Singaporeans discussing topics about Singapore.
More efforts should be placed on ensuring that the integrity of our island is made secure as opposed to the banning of a film which Singaporeans can easily cross the border to watch. Not focusing on what is really dangerous, such as how foreigners with ill intent can gain access to our country, could have much more dangerous consequences for Singapore than a film.
To use the term “national security” on a film is, in my humble opinion and with all due respect, a mockery of the term and the gravity it is supposed to instil. This is even more so when real breaches of security have occurred at around the same time.

Subscribe
Notify of
14 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
You May Also Like

SDP’s youth wing – who’s in charge?

~by: Ravi Philemon~ Update: Mr Seelan Palay who has been a long-term…

Anwar Ibrahim reiterates that he will give up his Prime Minister salary

KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA — Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Malaysia’s newly appointed Prime…

明年起,中学生可获笔电或平板电脑供学习用

明年起,所有中学生将可获得个人笔记本电脑或平板供学习用,比起原定目标提早七年。 国务资政兼社会政策统筹部长尚达曼于昨日(17日)演说中也强调我国必须强化社会流动性,在全球爆发疫情前,一些国家就已出现社会分化现象,而我国需避免这种问题,缩短贫富之间的差距。 因此,为避免问题发生,政府一直积极为新加坡人提供平等的教育机会,并应为弱势家庭的学生分配额外的资源。 针对学童的培育,政府推出幼儿培育辅助计划(KidSTART),为低收入家庭的子女提供支持,使他们能够在早年发展有良好的开端。此外,政府也设立国立幼儿培育教育学院(National Institute of Early Childhood Development),让所有孩子能够拥有相同的起点。 他也表示,教育部一直以来为弱势家庭学生拨出额外资源,未来数年,他们也将会获得更多的支持,投入更多教师、教育工作者、学生福利官员,加入到提升”(UPLIFT)工作小组,针对在小学表现较差的学生工作进行改善。 尚达曼指出,“当你把所有努力付出加总在一起,从学童时期开始,就可以知道我们决心让每位新加坡人能够取得很好的成绩,无论他们的起点为何。”