National Service

Thursday, December 22, 2005

National Service for Foriegn Born Singapore?

If they are born in Singapore and has been living in Singapore for at least 16 years, i think it should be yes! although they have dual citizenship.

Should the government impose stiffer penalties on those who skip NS?

Yes! The government should impose it. Currently, the situation is those who skip NS are just being fined for example in the case of painist Melvyn Tan who was fined for evading National Service. I think not fair to others who have to go go through tough military training for 2.5 years. So, the government should make new law on this matter like those who skip NS would undergo training for 3 years plus being fined heavily.

What if there's war with Spore's neighbours?

Defending the Lion cityTabloid Malay Mail report on Tim Huxley's book following Malaysian ministers' rejection of author's tipping easy victory for Singapore in a war.Jan 14, 2003Since the 1980s, Huxley wrote, the military balance moved decisively in the favour of Singapore, making an offensive strategy - the so-called pre-emptive strike - a realistic option for the island republic.By the 1990s, Singapore's Armed Forces (SAF) quantative and qualitative strength over the Malaysia Armed Forces (MAF) became well-entrenched.In 2000, the potential mobilised strength of the SAF stood at 350,000 personnel.By comparison, the MAF totalled only about 145,000 personnel, although 105,000 of these were regulars.Singapore's army formations, most importantly, the three combined arms divisions - each with integral armour and artillery, and a rapid deployment division - are coherent and highly offensively-oriented, in contrast to their Malaysian equivalents, which duringthe 1990s remained dispersed thinly throughout the peninsular and were only beginning to develop combined arms capabilities.Huxley (in"Defending the Lion City") said the SAF's crucial strength lies in its armoured force and air force.The Singapore Army operates some 120 upgraded Centurion main battle tanks and some 350 AMX-13SMI light tanks. It's air force has more combat aircraft than Malaysia and Indonesia combined.Together with tanker and airborne early warning aircraft, the Singaporean combat aircraft could wreck havoc in a conflict.Huxley stated that the SAF with it highly educated soldiers, high-techology equipment and synergistic relations among the three services yielded important military advantages over Malaysia or any other potential adversaries.He said the economic recession in Malaysia in 1986-1987 and 1997-1998 was an obstacle for its armed forces modernisation and re-equipment.He said the plans to build major bases in Johor, one each in Gemas and Mersing, would probably strengthen the defences in the south.What if war broke out between Malaysia and Singapore: Bombs away![Following scenario is quoted from Pg 58, A Scenario of War with Malaysia.]IT'S 4am.The early morning calm is suddenly shattered by the deafening screams of low-flying jets.Seconds later, Kuantan air base is rocked by multiple explosions, followed by "secondaries" as Malaysia's air assets in aircraft shelters and revetments are obliterated.Klaxons blaring, pilots are scrambled to whichever aircraft that are still air-worthy, but it's useless. The runways had been cratered.In the ensuing confusion, reports start streaming in. It seems that this is not an isolated case.Butterworth checks in and reports that its entire complement of F/A-18D Hornets are now smoking, twisted hulks out on the tarmac.And the entire Third Division which has overall command over Johor and Malacca had also been annihilated.The National Power Grid had not been spared, plunging the entire country in darkness, adding to the chaos and confusion.Reports also indicated that the Ministry of Defence building in Jalan Padang Tembak, Kuala Lumpur, had been hit by at least six GBU-31 1,000-pound JDAMs (Joint Direct Attack Munitions).Even the KLCC had been struck with such ferocity that only the Maxis Tower was left standing.On Bukit Nanas, only a blackened stump is left of what used to be the Kuala Lumpur Tower.Down in Johor and Malacca, the situation is much worse. A torrent of armoured vehicles, including tanks, are hogging all the roads linking Johor Baru to Muar and Kota Tinggi, disgorging armed soldiers who took over all the towns.Senai airport, captured in a pre-dawn attack was being used by the helicopters and planes taking part in the on-going offensive.On the North-South Expressway, main battle tanks and armoured fighting vehicles together with towed artillery with fighter jets and attack helicopters providing close support were going north, destination unknown.Reports of troops landing from helicopters were coming in from all over Johor, from Mersing to Muar.By noon, Johoreans find themselves under Singapore military rule.If you think the scenario described above are wild imaginings of The Malay Mail writers, think again.The scenario, in less graphic form, was written by a British scholar, Tim Huxley, in his book Defending the Lion City: The Armed Forces of Singapore.It was published in 2000 as part of a series which examine the military capabilities of Asian countries by Australian publishing company Allen & Urwin.Huxley's book, which is available at local bookstores, offers a fascinating look at a little-known but effective military organisation.Among others, it brought up issues that were almost never discussed - including sensitive questions of war plans with Singapore's neighbours.Drawing on Israeli and other foreign experts and using only their country's limited resources, the Singaporeans have moulded a technologically sophisticated and large military that is capable of striking far from the island State.Given the country's absence of natural resources and lack of strategic depth, said Huxley, it's a remarkable achievement.He said while the Singapore military has not yet been tested in real combat, few observers doubt its professional ability.In the second chapter of his book, Huxley points out that Malaysia was the most likely adversary to Singapore, with Indonesia second.He gave a detailed picture of how the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) capabilities were tailored to meet such adversaries.Huxley wrote: "While it is clear that the SAF is sufficiently flexible in terms of its organisation, equipment and doctrines to be useful in wide national security contingencies, its capabilities have been refined with specific contingencies in mind - above all, the possibility of war with or in Malaysia."Singapore defence planners have also planned a war with or in Indonesia.Huxley said such plans have been played in SAF staff college exercises since the 1960s.He said that from the Singapore viewpoint, a war with Malaysia could be triggered due to communal conflict in Malaysia which resulted in the disruption of water supply from Johor.Singapore, according to Huxley, have not dropped plans for a pre-emptive strike.Huxley further states: "To make intervention possible, the SAF would need to disable the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF) with a brutal and fearless pre-emptive offensive or at least retain such capability as to execute such an attack after absorbing an initial(Malaysian) onslaught."Probably in conjunction with electronic attacks on the MAF's communication and sensors (such as radars), the SAF would first attempt to establish air superiority by devastating the Malaysian air force - in the first few hours of any conflict - before mounting further air strikes against other military targets."Singapore's army would then seize the initiative on the ground with commandos - infiltrated by air and sea - and helimobile Guards unit securing the Malaysian side of the Causeway in Johor Baru and the Second Link bridge in Gelang Patah."Combined armed forces, most importantly, armoured battle groups equipped with tanks and other armoured fighting vehicles, would then cross into Johor and rapidly advance into the Peninsula."They would be supported by Guards battalions and transport helicopters, strike aircraft and attack helicopters."The Singaporean Navy will also play a vital role by landing troops on Johor's coast while keeping the sea-lanes around the island from any blockage by the Malaysian navy.Malay Mail

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

What if there's war with Spore's neighbours?

"Defending Tiger Country"There have been alot of tensions between Singapore andMalaysia, on issues pertaining from water to Pedro Branca orPulau Batu Putih.Some Singaporean websites present things thatif there was a war it will be a walkover forthem, then there is this book by Tim Huxley, "Defending the Lion City",which makes out the war scenario with pre-emptive strikeson Malaysian Forces.
Where Malaysian Forces are defeated and Malaysians are subject to Singapore's Military rule.First of all Singapore and Malaysia, their fortunes are entwined, with blood ties across the causeway. There will be no winners in this war. Let me explain, Singapore considers itself the little Israel of South East Asia, thats why a lot of hawks down there advocate confrontation. There is no denying that its forces are well armed. The Israelis have always defeated the Arabs in all their wars, this confidenceis ingrained in the Singapore minds.Let's have a reality check here, the Arabs do not regularly have Combined Arms Exercises, meaning they do not exercise simultaneously with their Armies, Navies and Airforce.Why ? To conduct combined exercises there must be clearance from the highest levels, so as to place the state police apparatus on the ongoing exercises, so that the Generals can be monitored. None of their despotic Arab leaders wants a coup conducted against them when all these many generals gettogether. So in other words their forces are never really tested. Only when cleared at the highest levels are they ever held, as it is a hassle to get clearance, therefore their forces are rarely tested, they learn most oftheir lessons during the war with the Israelis, but then it is too late.
Normally the Military is used against it's own citizenswhich they are very adept at. At lower levels, tank regimentsdo not exercise with infantry regiments, artillery and with others which is important to coordinate attacks and defence, these exercises not only strengthen coordination, weaknesses can be identified and rectified, logistics needs for hour to hour requirements on the battle field can be enhanced toimprove deliverability, strengths noted to be improved upon, doctrines tested, ifneeded, changed to evolve into a magnificient fighting force.
There is a dictum "the way youtrain is the way you are going to fight".Malaysian troops constantly have combined arms exercisesthroughout the year, they have elaborately planned out training cycles for the individual,units, brigades, divisions and the corps as a whole. The Singapore mind, toplace the Malaysian forces in the same category as the Arabs is an underestimation. Malaysian soldiers, sailors and airman jointhe regular forcesfor the love of the profession, most of them. There are servicemen with an impressive lineage of soldiering. Most Malaysian servicemen have beenblooded. They exercise in peacetimes with imaginery enemies, they have mademistakes, they go back to the drawing boards. They know their weaknesses,they improvise, adapt and overcome. They also conduct lotsof cross training with foreign forces.
The confidence factor in the Singapore mind is their formidable airforce with their air to air refuelling capability, to bring them in from Australia, Taiwan and the US.. One does not strike pre-emptively out of the blue. There should be an escalation of tensions. The majority of the Singapore servicemen are conscripts, the key elements oftheir forces are made up of their regulars. That means there is no continuation in training. It is a major factor that will contribute in the performance of it's frontline troops.
Malaysian troops are the only forces in the world to have defeated a communist insurgency. They happen to be the best jungle fightersin the world. Elite fores all over the world are trained by them. The jungle warfare school in Fort Benning, Georgia was set up by a Malaysian team. Just to recapture, on the 3rd of October 1993 incident, inMogadishu, Somalia a combined team of 4 Pakistani tanks and 24 Malaysian Infantry fighting vehicles rescued America's elite fighting unit, the Rangers. You can see the fictious account in the movie, "Black Hawk Down". For your information asthey were moving into the combat zone, when hostile firewas being received the Pakistani tanks turned tail and fled, this has been hushed up in the name of diplomacy. The Malaysians persevered, rescuing the Rangers at the cost of one Malysian killed, 9 wounded and losing 4 IFVs. Seventy, so calledelite American forces did not litter the streets of Mogadishu with their bodies because of the sacrifices made by the Malaysians.Of course US magazines belittled the contribution of the Malaysiantroops by calling them 'gun shy', as mentioned in Newsweek. The Malaysians kept all MSRs openedwhen the Americans withdrew into a shell after that incident and to later withdraw from Somalia.In the decades in the fight against the Communists, thereis no record of a Malysian soldier taken alive. In Singapore's case during the 'Confrontation' against the Indonesians, there is one sorry episode the Singaporeans would like to forget involving the 1st Singapore Infantry Regiment. The Malaysian military remembers it's past, this is an incident which took place in the Congo in the sixties, when 8 Italian airmen, who took refuge at a Malaysian camp, were surrenderd to the rebels by a Malaysian Company Commander, of the 6th Battalion of the Royal Malay Regiment. The 8 airmen were literally hacked to pieces in front of them. That is one of the reasons the Malaysians, did not refuse the Americans who were trapped in Mogadishu.Just to show a weakness in Singapore's anti-armour weaponry, the MILAN needs to stabilize after launch for 400 meters, meaning it needs flat and a clear area before it is guided onto the target. There are not many open places in Malaysia to accomodate that. There are many other weaknesses that I will not mention here.The AWACs Singapore has, are nearing shelf life, the Malaysians are going to acquire new ones. The Singapore subs are second hand andtheir tanks are antiquated AMX which have been upgraded so many times, using Frog (French) technology and the British Centurions. Their APcs are still with technology from the sixties. The Malaysian tanks which will be acquired are from the New Europe, Poland. Malaysians are in the process of getting new IFVs from Turkey. Very effective air defence systems are being purchased. The 'Apache' helicopters AH64D have not been very effective against the enemy on the ground, proven in Karbala and Operation Anaconda. The'turkey shoot" during the Gulf war was a one sided affair on a retreating enemy during the first Gulf War, creating a myth on the invincibility of the Apache . Malaysia has MLRS regiments, where the dream target for an MLRS regiment is one such as Singapore, compact and dense. Malaysia has currently 70 combat aircraft compared to Singapore's 150 combat aircraft. That gap will be narrowed when the Malaysians take dlivery of 18 F-18 Super Hornets and 24 Sukhois. Malaysia will not have limited warfare conducted onSingapore but total destruction.Malaysian terrain is very tough for the unexposed or theuninitiated. Allow me to paint a war scenario. Malaysia and Singapore water talks (50% of Singapore's water needs is supplied by Malaysia) bog down and there is this ill feeling meanwhile there is this young gungho Commander of a Singapore warship the the RSS Battleaxe guarding the territorial waters off Pedro Branca, also on his mind is his impending divorce where he is going to lose his HDB flat to his wife all because he had a one night stand. This is nagging him constantly, meaning he is not in the correct frame of mind.Along comes KD Hang Lekir, a corvette on orders by the Defence Minister to permanently station it in the waters off Pedro Branca, due to the failure of the water talks. Guns and radar are on 'active stations'. The Singapore Commander gets a report that there is a signature on the radar of a fast moving large vessel, orders 'action stations'. The commander of Hang Lekir, gets a report that guns are locked onto his vessel, he orders counter measures and simultaneously ranges on the Singapore vessel.RSS Battleaxe's Commander misinterprets this as hostileaction and elevates status to 'battle stations'. Commander of RMN Hang Lekir is on the hotline to fleet operations, which in turn turns to MINDEF, Chief of Defence Forces, responds placing all forces on a high alert.What does this mean ? It means jets are scrambled to have an air defence capability, with jets on tarmacs waiting to take off. These events are monitored by Singapore's E2C-Hawkeye aircraft, they alert Singapore's MINDEF. Meanwhile the drama on the high seas is unfolding, commander of KD Hang Lekir is told not to engage unless fired upon, the RSS Battleaxe is a FAC(Fast Attack Craft) with 20mm Bofors opens fire on KD Hang Lekir, this corvette, one of the most modern is South East Asia can simultaneously engage targets under the sea, on the surface and air. The commander, to defend a strategic asset from being destroyed and who also who wants to become rear-admiral before the age of 38, orders launch ofa ship to ship missile. The RSS Battleaxe is no more. The wife of the Commander of RSS Battleaxe will definitely get the HDB flat. All these is observed by the E2C and reported.MINDEF gets radio stations to announce codes for mobilization. The Malaysian electronic counter counter measures unit gets to pick up this information and passes it along.\Goh, gets on the hotline and calls Dr.M, accusing him of sinking a Singapore warship, Dr. M retorts that it was the Singapore ship that fired first. They continue arguing. Meanwhile, the strategic division is ordered to move to Johore, which it has rehearsed countless times times and played the game against a Southern enemy. Malaysian airdefence radars (Marconi- Martello Systems) picks up fast moving aircraft intruding into Malaysian airspace. All jets at Butterworth, Kuantan and Subang are scrambled, whilst the jets in East Malaysia are placed on alert, with Malaysian AWACs monitoring airspace in Taiwan and areas south of the Borneo island, for Singapore's reserve jet fighters coming in to join the fight. Simultaneously looking for Singapore's airtankers to be destroyed, before they refuel the RSAF jets coming in from Australia, Taiwan and the US. Many aircraft go down, Singapore's and Malaysia's, there is air parity. Malaysian fighters manage to penetrate intoSingapore airspace and destroy 2 KC-130 tankers and 2 Stratotankers diminishing Singapore's air to air refuelling capability.Malaysian naval ships and submarines scatter to sink and destroy Singapore's navy and merchant navy, concentrating near the straits of Tebrau, as there is air parity. The airborne brigade is ordered to conduct a linkup operation along the Mersing, Layang-Layang, JB line. The Army units in JB are ordered to defend JB, the Tebrau straits is flooded with napalm, benzine, and crude at likelyfootholds for the Singaporeans. Singapore's Guards regiments which are heliborne will have to reckon with the Malaysian airborne at all strategic routes which it has to secure for it's armoured formations along three axis led by T-90 tanks. Kota Tinggi-Jemaluang-Mersing, Layang-Layang-Rengam-Keluang and JB-Air Hitam-Yong Peng. The defence of these axis has been done numerous times by Malaysian troops on exercises. Meanwhile special forces snipers armed with 12.7 mm rifles will go into hides to take out Singaporean armour at a range of 1.5 km with armour piercing rounds.Air defence batteries are deployed, with shoulder held anti-aircraft missiles (Starburst systems, Iglas and Jernas). The Malaysian armoured and mechanized formations will race to link up with the airborne. Singapore needs to cross the straits to get its troops across, heavy casualties are inflicted, Malaysians fall back to conduct a delaying and mobile defence, all these are covered by airand artillery. Malaysians have trained year in year out to march in full combat gear over 40 kms in under 10 hours and construct fire trenches with overhead protection within 8 hours. Laying of obstacles comes next, it is actually a breeze considering the terrain one is familiar with. Independent and co-ordinated tank hunting parties will be sent out. The Singapore advance bogs down at Muar. The US cannot come running, as it is bogged down in Afghanistan and Iraq. Guerilla war by Malaysian units are conducted at the rear echelons of the already very stretched Singapore supply lines, who also face a very hostile populace.
Its probably at this stage that the diplomats, and the UN will come into play....... This is the otherside of a war scenario, to be more detailed will make this long and probably boring. There is always another side to a coin. End result, there will be two LOSERS, for generations to come. Let us all live in peace, no doubt there will be friction, brothers and sisters have misunderstandings, that does not mean we have to come to blows.
Anyway Singapore is no Israel.
There is also an article by respected Malaysian politicalcolumnist Mgg Pillai who talks a bout a Malaysian commando raid on a Singaporean missile site, the Singaporeans did not know what hit

Monday, December 12, 2005

National Service

Is NS necessary for a small nation like Singapore?

Pls remember to identify yourselves when you post comments or entries.