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28 Jan 2019
Ministry of Defense
Suggestion View - 1197
A needless death

There was no need to call up Aloysius Pang for reservist training. If he was not called up, he would have been alive today working hard towards a great future.

Why did I say this?

We have a full time army of 37,000 professional soldiers and 35,000 full time NS men, making a total of 72,000 men.

We call up reservists for training over 10 years to make up an operationally ready reservist force of 180,000 men. This number could be reduced to 50,000. This would give a total of 122,000 men, which should be more than adequate to defend a small island of 700 sm. 

We may need to defend Singapore from a wider parameter, but do we need so many men to be operationally ready?

If we find 50,000 operationally active reservists to be adequate, we only need to call the reservists back for training for three years after the full time service. 

Aloysius Pang was 28 when he was died in service. He must have completed his full time service at 21. The gap was 7 years.  As the gap increases, it becomes more risky to train a reservists to be operationally ready. The cost of this risk was too high.

During war time, it is possible to call up the non-operationally ready reserve force of another 300,000 people for training. That would only be necessary when there is hostility. It would probably take 3 weeks to get each batch ready.

The motivation of the reservists would have been stronger. There was a real danger and a real need. It would be easier for them to focus on their training during this time of emergency.

Maybe Aloysius Pang's sacrifice would not have been in vain. If his loss leads to a review of reservists training and the duration is cut down to five or three years, it would have better for the future of our male citizens. They can focus on their career after completing this shorter cycle and be more productive. They can still be called back for special training when the need arises. 

I hope that the government will consider this suggestion.

Tan Kin Lian



 


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