Our soldiers deserve truly competent leaders and not book-smart and talk-cock ones

As a citizen and a former NSF soldier, I accept that SAF training accidents and fatalities do happen from time to time. But when our last training death occurred only in November last year – and we now have another serious training accident in New Zealand – that must surely be too much for any thinking citizens or parents to bear.

Despite MINDEF’s and the defence minister Ng Eng Hen’s many repeated assurances that training safety and safety mind-sets have been strengthened, I still question if we really have the best and most competent people in charge, both at the unit-level and the ministry-level.

If I were the Defence Minister, I will do an in-depth and thorough review on how our officer cadets and NCOs are groomed to become commanders with special emphasis on training safety inculcation and taking personal responsibility.

I will also make sure that a safety mindset and culture must be drilled deeply into each and every soldier from early on in their soldiering experiences and sustained throughout all training activities, especially with ground commanders. And of course, it must never be done at the expense of training realism.

Looking back over the past 40 years since I first served my NS, I consider the late Dr. Goh Keng Swee as our best Defence Minister. Ng Eng Hen – despite his big surgeon title and the big political salary that he is drawing – the worse.

The reasons are many and trust me, I have no difficulty naming them.

Although not much is known about the accident at this point in time, I will not be surprised if the current political appointees continue to stay steady in their jobs and status-quo in their appointments.

I strongly urge this useless PAP government to show some real accountability to our citizens, especially those citizens who have son(s) or relatives serving in the forces instead their very stale and predictable “We take training safety very seriously” response.

I hope that all of us can pray for this young man and to just remember that he is fighting for his life training to defend us all in a faraway land. All our soldiers deserve better and truly competent leaders and not book-smart and very good at talk-cock leaders.

I recognise that it is not easy but I am confident that it can be done, it must be done and it is definitely worth doing.

 

Simon Lim

 

 

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32 Responses to “Our soldiers deserve truly competent leaders and not book-smart and talk-cock ones”

  • Asd:

    Oready have hole underground to hide liao… only not book smart will have no hole to hide…

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  • Romanticising the past:

    “Looking back over the past 40 years since I first served my NS, I consider the late Dr. Goh Keng Swee as our best Defence Minister. ”

    Some writers like to put on rose colored glasses to look at the past.

    Perhaps they don’t know better. In the past, there were also many frequent accidents and deaths in NS. But they were not reported.

    The past is bad. The present is worse.

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  • NotMyProblem:

    Comparing Minister Ng with Dr. Goh is an insult of Dr. Goh.

    Minister Ng is in PAP because of wealth, nothing to do with competency, he’s just the loudest “YES” man.

    Just sorry for our NSmen.

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  • Bapak:

    The most important question is how they qualify Hen to become Defence Minister?? If upstairs no standard, downstair also no standard right, obvious.

    The next most important question is how they qualify all these paper-smarts to be general?? And that makes the whole system no standard.

    Your son lives are in the hand of the no-standards. If you are not scared, you must be walking dead. Those who survive the NS days are simply very lucky.

    There are too many “things” are not reported,…. like commit suicide by hanging, jump down that Omega Tower, possessed by ghosts or spirits, killed by strayed bullets, vehicle roll down the cliff,….etc.

    If you know the truth, you will understand why someone gotten 12 years leave. Of course, father knows best!

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  • PEng, CEng, PhD, MEng, MBA:

    I have said many times – the safety discipline is a skill by itself and people need to be trained to manage safety risks. There are methodology to analyse the risks (or safety hazards) and ways to mitigate the risks through control measures.

    A pity that the SAF is not under the MoM workplace safety act; but at the very least, the SAF should seriously consider sending their men (who act as safety officers), to attend risk management courses.

    The basic fundamental in managing risk is to understand and identify the risks (or hazards) through a HAZOP process and then think of practical control measures to manage the risk to Tolerable and ALARP.

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  • RDB:

    This IS Sg peeing and pooing ministers boleh land sanctioned by 70% dumbass who loves jackasses to dictate them lor.

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  • Bapak:

    For the benefit of the young ones, do you know how tough to work under Dr. GKS? This guy knew his stuff, you can’t bluff him. And he demanded his men to know his stuff too. This guy wanted only the best, not yesmen under him. If you can prove him wrong, you can say NO to him with reasons, he accepts.

    He will ask them questions anytime and if you gave the wrong answer, he had no hesitation to FFFF you in front of everybody. Next day, you will be removed even you are the best PLP yesman, period. That was the kind of standard we had before.

    Now, does it happen? NO? Why? Because the top man has nothing in his brain, how to ask? He doesn’t know what to ask. Now you know why standard has dropped. When the top has no standard, bottom very relax became no standard too.

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  • opposition dude:

    Obviously it can be seen that PAP has a tidak apa attitude. Your son(s) mati then so be it, not a minister’s son so who cares.

    Mindeath and the useless defence minister can continue having COIs left and right but it won’t solve the problem because too many people out there just do not value human life and are complacent.

    Too many mistakes in a short time speaks volumes about the organisation.

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  • HDB rentees defend bungalows?:

    in the 1980s when we were in NSF NSR we would defend Singapore without question. fast forward to 2019 in crowded Singapore, we say NOT.

    worse, over paid for HDB rental unit with little left in CPF which anyway the pap Ljs and pap CBs try to keep forever in CPF. so defend bungalows of these blood sucking pap Ljs and blood sucking pap Cbs? surely NOT.

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  • Scoff to Win:

    Same over here in TREland. When a seemingly ‘top ranter’ aka Bapak has no standard, nothing in his brain, except scoffing 24/7 with the same rhetoric to impress equally low-life ‘ah-pek’ supporters (to collect more ‘thumb ups’) little wonder TRE’s begging for donations here goes to naught.

    Bapak: Now, does it happen? NO? Why? Because the top man has nothing in his brain, how to ask? He doesn’t know what to ask. Now you know why standard has dropped. When the top has no standard, bottom very relax became no standard too.

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  • rukidding:

    YES !…A BIG YES !

    Late Dr Goh KengSwee was the “BEST” indeed !

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  • We not suipid:

    The problem does not just rest with Hen. It rests with his boss also. Both are accountable.

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  • a PG:

    They always say that the soldiers formed the backbone of an army. Without them, the commanders cannot fight a war. Therefore, the welfare and the health of our soldiers is very critical and must not be ignored. Are we (our army) having too many BGs, Colonels, and high ranking officers collecting big$$$ ?

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  • Get well soon:

    Thank God this SG Son was saved.
    Wish him a speedy recovery.
    Many others werent so fortunate..(may they r.i.p)

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  • Bapak:

    The moment you add you comment here in TREland (very familiar word used by CI), you are also insulting yourself as low-life ‘ah-pek’ supporters. Did you guys see the similar insulting trade mark pattern here?

    No one force you to come here to read, if you are not happy you can migrate.

    blockquote cite=”comment-1842038″>

    Scoff to Win:
    Same over here in TREland. When a seemingly ‘top ranter’ aka Bapak has no standard, nothing in his brain, except scoffing 24/7 with the same rhetoric to impress equally low-life ‘ah-pek’ supporters (to collect more ‘thumb ups’) little wonder TRE’s begging for donations here goes to naught.

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  • LIONS:

    Dr Goh Keng Swee TRULY SERVED SG N sgs with his HEART,MIND N SOUL.
    He could have made BILLIONS for himself m his family if he wanted to in his time.
    But no,he chose to SERVE n made his SERVICE like a VOCATION.

    What about 3G n 4G ministers?

    One phra$e: $-DRIVEN!

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  • How To Compare:

    Under Hen when an officer made fatal mistake, he only get a light tap on the wrist and move on. Remember Pte Dominic Lee death by having six smoke grenade thrown at him by a reckless platoon commander. He and the safety officer only got their promotion delayed as a punishment. Nevertheless they still can get promoted despite taking a soldier life through their reckless and negligent act.
    If Dr GKS is still around, these irresponsible officers will be sacked or sent to jail for causing a soldier death through their negligence and irresponsible decision.

    No wonder the moral of the SAF is low. How to win a war ?

    How to win respect of the men if our leader is not firm enough to enforce justice and discipline ?

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  • pap PA paid IB ci:

    Bapak:
    The moment you add you comment here in TREland (very familiar word used by CI), you are also insulting yourself as low-life ‘ah-pek’ supporters. Did you guys see the similar insulting trade mark pattern here?

    No one force you to come here to read, if you are not happy you can migrate.

    blockquote cite=”comment-1842038″>

    Scoff to Win:
    Same over here in TREland. When a seemingly ‘top ranter’ aka Bapak has no standard, nothing in his brain, except scoffing 24/7 with the same rhetoric to impress equally low-life ‘ah-pek’ supporters (to collect more ‘thumb ups’) little wonder TRE’s begging for donations here goes to naught.

    agree, bro.

    it reads like the pap PA paid IB ci.

    99.99% likely the pap PA paid IB Lj has changed moniker from ci to Same over here in TREland.

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  • Sleeping on $m job:

    Our new law will penalise security guards for sleeping on the job.

    How about ah Hen for kooning all these whiles and those pappies mps like big nose Teo for napping in parliowment.

    What do you think?

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  • Morally do what you will:

    And for every person his fateful actions are upon his neck, and Lord Creator will reproduce for him on the Day of Resurrection a record which he will encounter totally exposed.

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  • MPs Sleeping in Parliament....:

    You chosen them to represent you in Parliament!

    If you don’t want them to sleep in Parliament, simply don’t vote for them at the next GE!

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  • Boh Kia See:

    It is very sad to hear that one more soldier passed away while serving his country. This time it is in New Zealand. It seems that soldiers from Singapore train there every year.

    I recall a similar accident that happened there at the same camp in New Zealand also involving a howitzer many years ago. It seems that nothing was learned from that incident.

    So now there will be a Commission of Inquiry etc, how useful is it when management simply doesn’t learn lessons from the past. Every one of those senior officers is looking up the chain of command hoping to be promoted and ultimately be a Minister. The rank and staff seem to be of secondary concern with them.

    That is the reason why the PAP need to be voted out–so that our children could be in safe hands while serving their country.

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  • Goh Eng Choon:

    Romanticising the past:
    January 22, 2019 at 12:34 pm (Quote)
    “Looking back over the past 40 years since I first served my NS, I consider the late Dr. Goh Keng Swee as our best Defence Minister. ”

    He’s the BEST PRIME MINISTER
    this land never had and we never had the fortune^ to have!

    吳博士慶瑞先生「無緣」(實「被堵」)國揆一職,
    是新加坡的大不幸,也是我們沒福份。

    這個國家再也不可持久,不到年中必亡。

    ^Lending credenceto the truth that this is a piece of cursed land (according to leading geomancists) after all, whaut with almost every square inch of soil being the burial ground of someone who has died before (according to geologists who long ago mapped the island).

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  • Goh Eng Choon:

    - final (servable) version, sorry & thanks -

    Romanticising the past:
    January 22, 2019 at 12:34 pm (Quote)
    “Looking back over the past 40 years since I first served my NS, I consider the late Dr. Goh Keng Swee as our best Defence Minister. ”

    He’s the BEST PRIME MINISTER
    this land never had and we never had the fortune^ to have!

    吳博士慶瑞先生「無緣」(實「被堵」)國揆一職,
    是新加坡的大不幸,也是我們沒福份。

    這個國家再也不可持久,不到年中必亡。

    ^Lending credence to universally accepted expert assessment that this is a piece of cursed land (according to leading geomancists) after all, what with almost every square inch of soil being the burial ground of someone who has died before (according to geologists who long ago mapped the island).

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  • Fallen sons of Sg:

    Boh Kia See:
    It is very sad to hear that one more soldier passed away while serving his country. This time it is in New Zealand. It seems that soldiers from Singapore train there every year.

    I recall a similar accident that happened there at the same camp in New Zealand also involving a howitzer many years ago. It seems that nothing was learned from that incident.

    So now there will be a Commission of Inquiry etc, how useful is it when management simply doesn’t learn lessons from the past. Every one of those senior officers is looking up the chain of command hoping to be promoted and ultimately be a Minister. The rank and staff seem to be of secondary concern with them.

    That is the reason why the PAP need to be voted out–so that our children could be in safe hands while serving their country.

    It appears that life is cheap for sinkies kids.

    But elites’ ones like tancho’s Son and white knights stay cosy and comfort in aircon rooms for 2 and half years

    You die your business while these idiots collect $m.

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  • Wake up your idea!:

    How To Compare:
    Under Hen when an officer made fatal mistake, he only get a light tap on the wrist and move on. Remember Pte Dominic Lee death by having six smoke grenade thrown at him by a reckless platoon commander. He and the safety officer only got their promotion delayed as a punishment. Nevertheless they still can get promoted despite taking a soldier life through their reckless and negligent act.
    If Dr GKS is still around, these irresponsible officers will be sacked or sent to jail for causing a soldier death through their negligence and irresponsible decision.

    No wonder the moral of the SAF is low. How to win a war ?

    How to win respect of the men if our leader is not firm enough to enforce justice and discipline ?

    Ya lor when $m white shirts like bala, ah gun, unholy Cow, Hen etc made blunder, pinky just kept silent. Life goes on to continue to collect $m.

    So ah Hen likewise same same for paper genhorrors. Never mind Peng kias or foot soldiers….

    Disgusting and despicable pappies

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  • Harp:

    Ask a mechanic to service a car.

    Like that both the car and service man

    Can be safe.

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  • Tremendous:

    8 NS deaths in the last 1.5 years is not a laughing matter. This did not happen under TCH’s watch. Why another COI on the death ? The fact that the last 7 COIs have successfully passed already showed that something is wrong. Don’t reply each COI as if is an independent case. This clearly shows that NEH and the Army Chief having been improving safety measures, waiting for the next accident to happen. Another COI after COIs, it’s time to either conduct a COI on NEH and CDO or fire them.

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  • problem of a pliant parleement:

    Tremendous:
    8 NS deaths in the last 1.5 years is not a laughing matter. This did not happen under TCH’s watch. Why another COI on the death ? The fact that the last 7 COIs have successfully passed already showed that something is wrong. Don’t reply each COI as if is an independent case. This clearly shows that NEH and the Army Chief having been improving safety measures, waiting for the next accident to happen. Another COI after COIs, it’s time to either conduct a COI on NEH and CDO or fire them.

    why?

    simple.

    hen is unqualified to be in the job.

    never liked the Lj. very fake. he imitated the evil lky in speech mannerisms. nothing genuine. seat warmer S$1m mediocre goh used to say this Lj made S$4m per year. ffff. can make money but can be effective Minister for Defence? if can, soldiers won’t die. because ineffective, that is why so many soldiers die, and not at battle. just imagine the Lj and the rot such unqualified Lj has caused and is causing.

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  • rukidding:

    Because of those “toxic fat pay”….you begin to notice that many of PAPpy Ministers are “playing tai chi” or have “gone soft” and are giving “silly excuses” to help “cover up” each other’s backside !!!

    None seems to be HONEST n BRAVE enough to TAKE THE RESPONSIBILITY ????

    I say,…the ONLY WAY to CORRECT THINGs now is to VTO !!

    There is “No way” these “addicted to obscene pay” Papigs will want to “review or lower” their current pay !

    Even Woody himself has said OPENLY…that IT IS NOT ENOUGH still !!!

    When are wegoing to wake up ???

    When will enough be enough ???

    Greed has no endings !!!

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  • healthy lyCHEE, not lyingCHEE:

    Goes to show:
    SAF is made up of AMATEURS!!!

    Especially the so-called “regulars”, even in its Officer ranks, who as career soldiers have an unshruggable moral as well as professional obligation to protect the conscripted rank and file.

    But I guess nothing can be done, no remedy reasonably expected, as clowns make up the chain of command!
    All the way up to the Defense Minister (whose spouse is also another ‘malingerer’ whenever issues, of epic national proportions, crop up!) and, in turn, his master.

    Army chiefs in Malaysia and Indonesia, not to mention as far away as a viciously-fanged, perennially watching China, must be salivating right now at the thought of easily overrunning this miserable little slum-ha pore sinking ever deeper into nothingness under its own doing (nothing good for the people).

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  • healthy lyCHEE, not lyingCHEE:

    - final servable version, thanks, TRE, and sorry -

    Only goes to show, can only go to show:
    SAF is made up of AMATEURS!!!

    Especially the so-called “regulars”, even in its Officer ranks, who as career soldiers have an unshruggable moral as well as professional obligation, no, DUTY, to protect the conscripted rank and file.

    But I guess nothing can be done, no remedy reasonably expected, as CLOWNS & FOOLS make up the chain of command!

    All the way up to the Defense Minister (whose spouse is also another ‘malingerer’ whenever issues, of EPIC national proportions, crop up!) and, in turn, his master, another useless idiot who, together with his own spouse, are the world’s and history’s worst cookie-jar raiders, a job – the only job – they excel in.

    Army chiefs in Malaysia and Indonesia, not to mention farther afield in a viciously-fanged, perennially watching China, must be salivating right now at the thought of easily overrunning this miserable little SLUMGALORE sinking ever deeper into nothingness under its own doing (nothing good for the people).

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