Is incompetent leadership within MINDEF the cause of training deaths?

There is no question that national defence will always be needed and relevant to Singapore. But, as a parent and a former NSF myself, I am greatly sadden to read about the passing of yet another one of our soldiers due to a training accident.

When parents bid their sons goodbye and see them drafted in, the PAP government must understand that they have a sacred duty to see that the boys are trained competently, safely and very importantly, return them to their parents alive.

I believe that most people can understand and accept that training fatalities do happen from time to time. But when accidents happen again and again, I put the blame squarely on incompetent political leadership at the highest level.

A competent top leadership will set the tone, the culture and seriousness all throughout the organisations and filter effectively to every level, every day, everybody and every time. But with frequent accidents, hard questions must be loudly screamed and standard protocols even challenged.

Under the current incompetent leadership, safety standards are getting to an unacceptable level and it must cause alarm among our people, especially for families who have sons serving NS. Even among strong PAP supporters and hard questions must be loudly screamed and standard protocols even challenged.

The Minister of Defence owes all Singaporeans, in particular parents of NS men and all NS men themselves clear and convincing explanations regarding the latest training death. More of the predictable same handling of past training deaths can no longer be enough.

When PAP ministers know how to pay themselves millions of dollars in political, much harder questions must be demanded of them about their leadership, professionalism, their safety culture and attitudes throughout all of MINDEF and/or SCDF.

At the end of the day, the pap government has a sacred duty to ensure that NS men must be returned to their parents alive and not in coffins.

 

Simon Lim

 

 

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43 Responses to “Is incompetent leadership within MINDEF the cause of training deaths?”

  • my $8 heart bypass:

    It’s about time the Defence Minister and the SAF head be held accountable for all these fatalities.
    Ygey should be told to resign, instead of holding on to their million $$$ pay checks

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  • khaw boon wan no serve NS:

    pap clown talks ablut NSF NSR like sacrosanct.

    yet he hires folks not a single NSF NSR.

    what a hypocrite.

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  • PC Ong:

    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

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  • Show the Money:

    What is the use of minister few speeches and CSI after the death,… meaningless.

    If the compensation is $10 Millions compensation upon death while “training”, then I see a meaning in risking children into such dangerous training.

    Not that Singapore cannot afford it and while they continue to assert that their safety and control have been improved. With this liability, then only I see a more serious approach into training.

    Show the money before open mouth.

    In case some silly ministers will to suggest invitation of foul play then their Millions salaries will also encourage foul play.

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  • Samuel S:

    The first thing this government needs to do is to sack the Minister of Defence.

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  • opposition dude:

    It will be the usual this officer and that officer getting charged just like the SCDF ragging incident.

    Why would PAP care, they would just say fatalities are low and consider it case closed.

    The PAP do not give a damn about you or me as long as they are in power.

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  • rukidding:

    I wonder how true when Pinky says “Singaporeans First” ???

    He should be better known as Lee Hsien Tau instead !

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  • Conscience:

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

    I agree with you wholeheartedly if your son is one of the unnecessary victims.
    Has your son died during SAF training ?
    No ? How can we agree with you ?

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  • PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20:

    PC Ong:
    Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country.

    Clap.. Clap.. PC Ong. Very well said.

    Once we are committed to serve, we should not ask for a single cents and be prepared to lay our lives for the country.

    It is an honour to die for the country without asking anything in return.

    And we should not ask for same treatment that Patrick Tan, son of ex President Tony Tan.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20

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  • Like Any Army in the World:

    It is also honorable for minister to take responsibility and resign like the Dutch Defence Minister.

    “I am politically responsible and am taking that responsiblity” Hennis told the lower house of parliament in The Hague.

    “I resign as minister and will ask his majesty the king for my immediate release,” she said after more than four hours of parliamentary debate over the deaths of the two men who served as UN peacekeepers in the troubled west African state

    https://uk.news.yahoo.com/dutch-defence-minister-resigns-over-soldier-deaths-mali-193346589.html?guccounter=1

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

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  • Like Any Army in the World:

    It is also honorable for minister to take responsibility and resign like the Taiwanese Defence Minister.

    “Taiwan’s defence minister has resigned, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Monday, after the death of a corporal who was allegedly abused by the military in a case that has sparked outrage across the island.”

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/taiwan-defence-minister-resigns-corporals-death-075123419.html

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  • Like Any Army in the World:

    It is also honorable to take responsibility like the South Korean Army.

    “The case caused anger over the treatment of conscripts and led to the resignation of the army chief of staff.”

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-29828761

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

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  • HarderTruths:

    Now people are making some noise because their darling children are affected.

    No one gave a s**t when NSF died or were injured during my days. Injury is worse – it is lifelong and there is still no help because they will not recognise it as a training fault.

    It is always the fault of the soldier or Act of nature. The instructors are worse than useless. If you are really hurt or in trouble they will sit there and laugh at you. Especially the f**k PTI.

    Keep voting pappies 70% – your children are coming back in body bags as karma.

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  • Like Any Army in the World:

    It is also honorable to take responsibility like the US Navy.

    “US Navy fleet commander to be fired after series of warship crashes”

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-navy-fleet-commander-fired-vice-admiral-joseph-aucoin-warship-crashes-pacific-uss-john-mccain-a7907806.html

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

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  • Like Any Army in the World:

    It is also honorable to take responsibility like the Indian Navy

    ““Taking moral responsibility for the accidents and incidents which have taken place during the past few months, the Chief of Naval Staff Adm. DK Joshi today resigned from the post of CNS,” read a statement from the Indian Ministry of Defense.”

    https://news.usni.org/2014/02/26/indias-navy-chief-resigns-string-accidents

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

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  • Malaysia boleh Singapore bodoh:

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

    PC Ong must be really stupid. This death is definitely avoidable with proper training.

    Defense Minister should be held responsible and accountable for this after he said 100% safe training is not possible. Whilst this might be true by saying it isn’t he is “encouraging” Mindef people not to be more careful and more safety-conscious?

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  • Not accidents but deaths!:

    Before the grief of the last loss of a sg son had run its course, another fatal mishap occurs.
    These fatal ‘accidents’ are happening too frequently for us to digest them actual accidents..
    Its totally unacceptable. My heart goes out to their poor heartbroken families esp the loving parents. Imagine how theyre feeling!

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  • N.Jungne:

    Thanks Simon Lim, felt sadden by this unnecessary loss of life.

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  • LIONS:

    Incompetence,yes plus NONCHALANCE N ARROGANCE!

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  • Bapak:

    You two are rubbing salts into wounds. Dare you go tell it straight in front of them to the parents. One day, your karma will catch up on you. Maybe not on you youselves but on your family members. When that happens you reflect what you are saying now to repent. We’re not even going to wish you good luck on this. Neither we’re not wishing it to happen. But heaven has eyes.

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20: Clap.. Clap.. PC Ong. Very well said.

    Once we are committed to serve, we should not ask for a single cents and be prepared to lay our lives for the country.

    It is an honour to die for the country without asking anything in return.

    And we should not ask for same treatment that Patrick Tan, son of ex President Tony Tan.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20

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  • Like Any Army in the World:

    It is also honorable to take responsibility like the Polish military.

    “Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich has resigned after a government report found serious errors by the crew of the plane that crashed in Russia last year, killing President Lech Kaczynski and nearly 100 other prominent Poles.”

    https://www.rferl.org/a/polish_commission_to_release_report_on_plane_crash_that_killed_president/24280526.html

    PC Ong:
    Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country. Those who are truly patriotic will understand this. We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents. And at the very least, if we lose our lives during national service, it is an honorable way to leave the world because we did so while doing something worthwhile. SO don’t try to politicize this.

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  • apek:

    Bargain Hen…

    Soldier die under you , patients die under your wife with Hep C at Singhealth, and when threatened with losing election, he wants to coup de tat and call it a freak election.

    70% voted for this . Stupidity …the smart people have all migrated over 40 years under LKY rule.

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  • duntalkcock:

    The soldier died during training in a very peaceful time and it is OK? PC should have his head examined by a psychiatrist. If his own son or a minister’s son meet with this fate, the whole ball game will be very different.

    Not sure if he had his brain in the right place, f**k.

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  • 'demanding' to be paid million:

    //Accidents happen all the time with any army in the world. Once we are committed to serve, we should be prepared to lay our lives for the country.//

    aiyoh. committed to serve ? mandatory lar.

    prepared to lay our lives for the country ? depending on context lar (whether worthwhile or not lar). like ‘demanding’ to be paid millions ?

    //We can’t blame SAF and this got nothing to do with political leadership because any other political party in power also can’t prevent accidents.//

    aiyoh. no NS means no accidents from NS lar. political leadership create policies and policies may result in different outcomes / results (good and bad) for different people depending on where one’s position stands in the spectrum of interest lar.

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  • Grassmudmare:

    What good had the resignation done to the Taiwanese armed forces?

    Instead, incompetent personnel was hurriedly made to take over. At the end of the day, overwhelming regression was seen in the Taiwanese armed forces. It is no longer a force that comma d respect!

    Like Any Army in the World:
    It is also honorable for minister to take responsibility and resign like the Taiwanese Defence Minister.

    “Taiwan’s defence minister has resigned, Premier Jiang Yi-huah said Monday, after the death of a corporal who was allegedly abused by the military in a case that has sparked outrage across the island.”

    https://sg.news.yahoo.com/taiwan-defence-minister-resigns-corporals-death-075123419.html

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  • a PG:

    PC Ong, we have a number of rebuttals against you. What have you got to say ?. Please don’t keep quiet. I was one of earliest pioneer batches of full-time NS in support arms, I can emphasise with and send my deepest condolences to comrade Liu Kai’s parents and loved ones. Someone must take responsibility since NS is NOT a voluntary scheme.

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  • Arab st:

    One commentor , I think use to b

    A floor mat.

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  • Python 5:

    ppl like PC Ong, and PAP guarantee win, I hope your children kena limbs amputated by some armoured vehicle and end up become vegetable.

    Karma doesn’t hit you the next lifetime. It hits you THIS lifetime.

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  • PC Ong:

    @ a PG

    We have all served NS. And I served with pride and distinction as an Armour officer. Leadership is all about decision making, knowing the many trade-offs we face. Sacrificing oneself and having to sacrifice some of your men is part and parcel of of this decision making. Always remember the big picture and never regret any diffcult decisions we have to make

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  • wrong end of the trade-offs:

    //We have all served NS. And I served with pride and distinction as an Armour officer. Leadership is all about decision making, knowing the many trade-offs we face.//

    yar lor. as long as you are not at the wrong end of the trade-offs lor (wink wink if you know what that means). only the white idiots and gang know about the beautiful ””nice concept””’ of trade-offs meh ?

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  • William C:

    @PC Ong is more willing to become a comfort woman or man in times of wars.

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  • PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20:

    PC Ong:
    @ a PG
    Sacrificing oneself and having to sacrifice some of your men is part and parcel of of this decision making. Always remember the big picture and never regret any diffcult decisions we have to make

    PC Ong, brilliantly said… clap.. clap.. clap..

    Without the sacrifices of our foundering father LKY drawing near zero salaries, Singaporeans will not be having such comfortable lives.

    Go watch this Korea movies(71 into the fire)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUXxs9fxfKw

    If S. Korea leader had not made decision to sacrifice the 71 student soldiers, there will be no Samsung and LG today raking in millions of dollars for the leaders and claim the credit all to themselves.

    Singaporeans are fortunate to have PAP and great leader like Lee Hsien Long.

    Singaporeans beware.
    Without PAP, it will be RM 1 to SGD 4.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20

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  • HarderTruths:

    “We have all served NS. And I served with pride and distinction as an Armour officer. Leadership is all about decision making, knowing the many trade-offs we face. Sacrificing oneself and having to sacrifice some of your men is part and parcel of of this decision making”

    I laugh at this feeble attempt at patriotism. So what if you were an officer – of any kind? What does that mean in real life? Zero.

    Too many of my friends have suffered injuries during support training including myself and two died – one was a close friend in OCT.

    There was no reason for any of this. Just gangsters masquerading as regular army. $G army is full of sadists and enjoy torture just for the sake of it. In a real fight they will either run away or be shot in the back by their own soldiers, and I am not joking.

    But do any of them get punished for all the harm hey have caused? No. They escape completely. A few low-ranking officers and NCO’s get a slap on the wrist. But NSF goes on.

    I am sure the honour burial will more than make up for the loss of the boys – as you say loyalty should come first right? I hope your sons or grandsons have the same ‘opportunity’ as these unfortunate boys one day.

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  • Don't Talk Cock PC Ong:

    NS men do not volunteer to serve in the military but were forced by law to serve. It is not an honor to die in peacetime training but a disgrace to the officers or Minister in charge. It will be an honor to die while fighting a real war for a valid reason.

    I was a second batch of NS men trained by the Israeli Army Officers and they gave us very tough training as they always emphasize that more sweat during peacetime training will result in less bleeding during an actual war. In spite of the tough training they always ensure that we were safe as they do not believe in peacetime Hero getting injured or dying during training.

    During Dr Goh Keng Swee’s time, any officer who do not follow safety regulations and subsequently caused the deaths of any soldier will be jailed or sacked from his job if he is a regular. The platoon commander and the Safety Officer who caused the death of Pte Dominic Lee only got their promotion delayed. Our Defence Minister is seen as too lenient and biased towards the Officers. How to ensure high morale among the soldiers if justice and fairness are not in his vocabulary ? If the PAP lose the coming election, do you think the NS soldiers can be called upon to shoot the public who are their parents, brothers, cousins, friends and classmates ?

    I believe they will turn their rifles around and shoot whoever who give the command to shoot the citizens.

    We really missed Dr Goh Keng Swee

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  • IB Ong:

    True leaders lead by example.

    You are only an Armour officer, not Armour general. You want your men to sacrifice, you lead, you go first, you show by example.

    There is no difficult decision making.

    It is only “difficult” when you want to tell others to do what you yourself don’t want to do.

    It is only “difficult” when you want to convince others to trade them off but not yourself.

    Fake leaders ‘lead’ by explanation.

    PC Ong:
    @ a PG

    We have all served NS. And I served with pride and distinction as an Armour officer. Leadership is all about decision making, knowing the many trade-offs we face. Sacrificing oneself and having to sacrifice some of your men is part and parcel of of this decision making. Always remember the big picture and never regret any diffcult decisions we have to make

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  • Bapak:

    Don’t be so happy, your boss is under investigation by M’sia in cahoot with Najib. Your boss is going to be jobless soon.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20: PC Ong, brilliantly said… clap.. clap.. clap..

    Without the sacrifices of our foundering father LKY drawing near zero salaries, Singaporeans will not be having such comfortable lives.

    Go watch this Korea movies(71 into the fire)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUXxs9fxfKw

    If S. Korea leader had not made decision to sacrifice the 71 student soldiers, there will be no Samsung and LG today raking in millions of dollars for the leaders and claim the credit all to themselves.

    Singaporeans are fortunate to have PAP and great leader like Lee Hsien Long.

    Singaporeans beware.
    Without PAP, it will be RM 1 to SGD 4.

    PAP.GUARANTEE.WIN.GE2019/20

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  • Homeless Cat:

    PC Ong:
    @ a PG

    We have all served NS. And I served with pride and distinction as an Armour officer. Leadership is all about decision making, knowing the many trade-offs we face. Sacrificing oneself and having to sacrifice some of your men is part and parcel of of this decision making. Always remember the big picture and never regret any diffcult decisions we have to make

    Will you walk the talk? Because real leaders do it every day. Do your men have faith in you? Because I sincerely doubt it. Words are cheap, kid. Loyalty, to a country that sells you out is a mistake.

    Tell me. What did you get for years of loyal service? A handshake, a certificate and a watch? Because that is ALL we got. All our sacrifices have gained us little.

    Oh, for the record, your earlier postings – and of pap guaranteed win – are deplorable and disgusting. Say those words in front of the parents who have lost their children and consider yourself dead.

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  • duntalkcock:

    It should be “we all had been forced to serve NS”! I am very sure NOT all serve with pride.
    There is a real need for leadership in ensuring the safety of his men during training and not looking at the big picture to see who to sacrifice during training in peace time.
    PC should NOT only have his brain checked but nalso his BALLS. F**K!

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  • Pity the Liu Family!:

    Maybe should consider awarding the family Singapore Citizenship.

    Their only son was ‘sacrificed’ and the parents will have a hard time ahead!

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  • Defense BS:

    When New Defense Chief came into POWER, he said he has looked into Safety and has IMPROVED.
    Now ANOTHER DEATH.!! U believe MINDEF after spending 14.7 billions yearly is WORTH THE MONEY while locals are GETTING PEANUTS,!!

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  • Bapak:

    Do any one knows if Yacult’s sons do their NSs? Or have already migrated to US.

    Foreigners should think very hard how unbalanced we are before exposing their sons to such systems. Foreigners must also know how one SG son can be given 12 years deferment. Why others cannot but he can? You can be a fool, but please don’t rush in.

    Pity the Liu Family!:
    Maybe should consider awarding the family Singapore Citizenship.

    Their only son was ‘sacrificed’ and the parents will have a hard time ahead!

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  • PC Ong - Talking Cock!:

    If your son get enlisted one day and is run over by a tank, will you be saying what you are saying today?

    Your short stint as a NSF Officer do not qualify yourself to pass make such statements.

    Know where you stand and you should be grateful that you have a safe NSF journey!

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