A member of the People’s Voice Party took his Facebook on Friday (22 February) to ask why the government is still using Gurkha soldiers after PM Lee said that Singapore should not outsource its security.
Brad Bowyer wrote his post after Singapore People’s Party (SPP) politician Jeannette Chong-Aruldoss was blasted online for questioning the presence of Gurkha soldiers in the country.
In his post, he questioned why are pro-People’s Action Party (PAP) and Internet Brigades (IBs) so sensitive over the legitimate questions that she asked.
“While nobody questions the professionalism, prowess and great service that the Gurkhas have rendered to Singapore over the years, surely it is fair to ask are they still needed especially given PM Lee Hsien Loong’s statement in parliament that Singapore cannot outsource its security and defence to anyone else,” wrote Bowyer.
He also revealed that the Gurkha men are “kept largely isolated so they develop no ties” with the local people. This is so they are kept as a neutral force and will leave the country once their tour is over.
As such, Bowyer’s biggest concern with the serving men are their “enforced isolation”.
He wondered, “If the Gurkha’s are here to protect the Singapore people, why are they not allowed to interact with them? Why would you intentionally want to stop them forming bonds with those they are here to protect?”
He added that if the government thinks that locals would not be able to operate at the level of Gurkhas, then he can accept that Singapore still need their “unique skill set”. However, what the public should question is why these men are not integrated with the locals.
He concluded and asked, “I agree with PM Lee that we should not outsource our security so we MUST ask in the case of the Gurkhas why does the government continue to use them? And why in this questionable manner that can breed distrust with the local population?
After reading Bowyer’s thoughts, a bunch of netizens replied to him in the comment section. A few of them agreed with him and said that Gurkhas should mix around with the local and they are indeed loyal beings.
However, Sas Karma said that he disagrees with Bowyer and felt that the Gurkhas don’t mix around due to security reasons, although they would if they’re given the chance.