Saturday, September 04, 2010

Lau Peng Forgotten and Lau Peng Won't Forget

"You should leave no man behind"

The National Day Rally did cause a stir with its pledge to give out all serving NSF and NSmen up to $9,000 to their CPF or even more for commanders. One installment would be for those when they finish their NS, another midway through their NSmen liability and the third and final installment would be when they complete their ICT cycles.

MINDEF and the PAP probably thought they had a perfect plan to over-run the opposition and win the hearts and minds of the people. However, to their shock, many are unhappy. Naturally those who just enter NS can look forward to virtual money or money in their CPF. But the lau peng, those who know the word ROD (not ORD), reservist (not NSmen), steel helmets (not the kevlar ones), 3-tonners (not the 5-tonners), those who had the black PT shoes (not the New Balance ones), they were conveniently forgotten and therefore insulted.

These were the lau peng who were around when there was fear in the 1970s that Vietnam would march all the way down to Sentosa and our national dish would become phoa instead of mee pok or mee goreng. These were the lau peng who were around in the 1980s when there were occasional threats to cut Singapore's water supply from the north. These were the lau peng who were around in the 1990s after the infamous 1991 Ex Malindo Darsasa and the Little Red Dot antagonism from the south. These were the lau peng who used the old no4, M16s and non-Gortex boots, old 20-round mag SBO pouches even when they did their ICT in the 2000s.

Looks like the PAP government wasted the perfect opportunity for pork-barrel politics. There was a chance to acknowledge gracefully and hook politically the lau peng's contribution and their support. Instead of support the PAP hoped, there is scorn towards the PAP instead. This is however a grouse that is understandable and substantiated. The lau peng were the raw human deterrence since 1965, imperfect but effective nonetheless, and yet no substantial reward was given to them.

Instead the carrot is offered only to the younger Singaporeans of tomorrow. Certainly the younger generation would benefit from the $9,000 handout and good for them just like they benefit from dragging the black duffel bag with roller wheels instead of carrying the thick rough green Ali Baba bag during BMT. We are all Singaporeans who have done NS or will do NS and lau peng should not be bitter towards the our sons and nephews. We should just be bitter towards the PAP. They left many behind.

Mr Brown got it right in the middle of the Figure 11. Please watch it if you have not done so.