Looking Back

I was catching an episode of Every Singaporean Son, which is a series of short clips depicting the life of an army recruit in Singapore at Pulau Tekong during our Basic Military Training ( BMT). The clips were very real, in fact they were real since they were produced when I was in BMT, and I knew they were embarking on this project to create these series. Yup, the army recruits in these videos were from my batch, and I can actually recognise some familiar faces in the videos.

These videos really gave every Singaporean a glimpse of what army is like in Tekong, especially for the younger generation of Singaporean boys who may be interested to know what their future life in army will be like. I did not have a chance of seeing this video before entering army, and I should say I could have been much better prepared mentally if I were to see these videos. Every feeling and emotion captured in the videos were so vivid and clear, I felt so connected to the recruits inside the videos, and I felt like I was suffering together with them.

One special mention would be episode 9, where they were having their fieldcamp. The tears and sweat were so natural, it made me tear as well as I recalled the tough trainings I had during my fieldcamps. I might be from Leopard, which is well-known as one of the slackest company in Tekong, because it is a warrant-officer company, but we still had our fair share of tough trainings and physical activities. Furthermore, my tough trainings in Specialist Cadet School (SCS) made me feel the pain of the soldiers digging the shellscrapes. There were some negative comments regarding the younger generation of Singaporean boys. From the crying, many had this impression that we are weak and dependent kids who will not be able to survive harsh conditions. I beg to differ, our physical fitness are shown to have improved dramatically over the past decades. This bears testament to the fact that we are in fact physically stronger than the older generation. Secondly, we have a stronger sense of belonging to our home and family. In the past, our fathers are not the only child in the family, and they may not experience family love as much as we do nowadays. Being humans, we will naturally tear when we think of our loved ones, but once we dry our tears, we are as strong as ever, being confident as to who we are fighting for, and who are worth fighting for. So to those ” Oh-I-really-hate-the-younger-generation-because-they-are-so-weak” people, think twice before commenting.

In a separate case, this NTU student who had a dialogue session with SM Goh in NTU in late October resulted in some debate over the internet. He said that he does not know ‘what he is fighting for’. Lets not care and comment about the answers given by our SM, but the fact that he asked this question shows that many other youngsters in the auditorium at that point of time actually agreed with his statement, if not he would not have dared to give such a statement. And while I do not agree with him fully, I understand what his point is and what message he is sending to our SM. That the younger generation of Singaporeans do not have a sense of belonging to our country, because either we are not satisfied with how things are running here, or we feel threatened by the influx of foreigners (which is inevitable for any small and open economy). He may mean that we have no freedom of speech and human rights, resulting in the lost of love for our country.

He may have a point here, but we do have reasons to fight for our country, and it is the very fact that our loved ones are living here, the fact that we are born here, for all the ordinary Singaporeans who need to have a peaceful night sleep and to repay for what our forefathers did to build up this tiny nation, we have the every responsibility to fight for the survival of Singapore. Thats what we are fighting for.