Thursday, August 12, 2010

Free museum admission for NSmen: What good is that?

Free museum admission for NSmen: What good is that?

The government announced today that all NSmen will be granted free admission to NHB museums from August 1.

Minister Lui Tuck Yew said 'These visits will broaden your knowledge and enable you to share with friends and relatives why this country is special.'

Is this all the government can do to recognise our NSmen? Increasing an existing 50% discount to 100% free?

Yes, the announcement was concerning museum attendance and not NS benefits. But it shows what the government considers acceptable as benefits for NSmen/NSFs.

Back in August 2009, the RECORD committee set up to look into ways to recognise the effort of NSmen came up with lame suggestions like fitness corners, vouchers for the Singapore Discovery Centre (full of NE propaganda), clubhouses (with payable membership) and mementos (like the infamous NS watch).

Is that how we recognise the years of sacrifices, injuries and lost youth; with vouchers, free museum admission and fitness corners?

This is a government of the cheapest order.

Just look at how President Obama speaks to the wounded veterans of the various American-led wars (watch video below). Note that the US military is comprised entirely of those volunteering on their own free will. Yet, they are so well taken care of and highly recognised (personally and monetarily) and respected for their bravery and service to the nation.

The SAF is a forced-conscription military. Singaporean males cannot choose whether they want to give up two years of their prime youth and weeks of reservist duty. To add insult to injury, the government misuses the NSFs as free labour during NDP parades and shows.

With the influx of PRs and new citizens exempted from NS, the government will continue to face increasing anger and outrage from disaffected citizens used so callously in the name of national security.

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