Singapore is suffering from a serious national security issue that does not seem to be taken seriously as it should be. The declining birth rate and population places us in a precarious situation in many areas, one of which is in terms of our national defence.
Having served in the National Service, and being called to return for reservist as an overpaid security guard, there appears to be a serious lack of manpower that is seemingly addressed by getting typically unfit, unhealthy, and unexperienced men with no motivation or passion to “help out”.
It makes it very apparent what we are lacking severely. There are so many ways an adversary could easily waltz into any of our military bases, and wreak havoc or steal secrets critical to our national security.
Getting reservist men to stand guard in such critical positions seems like a huge waste of tax dollars. Actual reservist training or exercises would serve as better motivation, and give purpose to the need for reservist troops.
Upgrading of physical security controls enhanced with investment in newer technologies would make such a great difference in terms of base security, which seems like it should already be painfully obvious for a smart nation with a 3G army.
From a very personal perspective, there is little value or purpose for me to take my role seriously. While reservist might serve as respite for some, it is just a reminder that my time is wasted, and my companies’ resources are wasted.
Two weeks of my work would bring in revenue that would cover my pay together with a few other colleagues. My falling sick from the irregular and long “guard” hours would just impact my work even further. I have never been physically fit, nor in the greatest of health in my “prime” BMT days, and after so many years, even less so.
In camp, there is no reason for my presence aside from standing with a rifle, and looking very unprofessional because I cannot physically stand in place for 6 hours, nor am I adequately familiar with the processes to be of any use to the active personnel serving besides me.
The planning is also frequently terrible with the active personnel offloading duties they dislike, and my physical fitness is no help either. This makes it a very depressing experience.
Which brings about the question of how useful would I actually be in responding to security threats. In all likelihood, I would rather give them my loaded rifle to end my miserable experience.
As mentioned earlier, the reservist men would be much better off performing training exercises. Although it will be a lot more strenuous, it will however offer better opportunity for the men to work together, and regain some form of camaraderie.
From experience, our bases would benefit greatly with integration of new technologies so as to enhance security. This is something very critical that I hope the nation will look into, instead of waiting as they usually do for some tragic event to occur.