16 July 2007

Collateral Damage

It all started with an MINDEF Intranet email (Click Here if you can get to it before the invisible hand of Gahmen takes it down) written by the son of our current Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, 2LT Li Hongyi, lodging a complaint all the way to the Minister of Defence, Chief of Defence Force, Chief of Army, Chief Signals Officer, right down to the storeman in the camp. It wasn't long before this got leaked to the public.

I shan't go into the details of the entire drama as the letter itself is self-explanatory. Go read it as I don't see a point to regurgitate everything here.

Well, the people are saying that he didn't follow the chain of command when he lodge the complaint. I beg to differ. He did and realised it didn't work out. According to the email, the OC cover up the incident by sweeping it under the carpet.

I agree with Rockson that the LTA X and the OC are stupid people. Knowing full well that he is the PM's son, then still don't on the ball is really asking for it lor. If the rumours are correct, PM's son is not a White Horse. He is not only beyond that, he is two steps beyond that. He is in the Dragon List (above Eagle List), assuming such lists exists. Wah raoz! Dragon List personnel and you still dare to guai lan in front of him? Confirm die damn ugly one.

Read Rockson's entry here.

I agree with 2LT Li that the calibre of SAF officers are getting more and more fucked up by the day. During my NS time, it is already quite bad with my camp littered with condemned Sergeants and condemned Captains, all wasting tax-payers money away while waiting for retirement as they are on Pensionable Service (PS).

In my time, I have seen countless of junior officers (especially young punk 2LTs) tio chor by NCOs for stupid things that they did. The kick in the nuts for these useless officers was that they have no rebuttal for it coz they really did screw up big time. Things that sometimes go against common sense. Perhaps a tongue lashing by a subordinate is a better deal that to be officially charged?

Have you seen a regular LTA sobbing in the dark corner? I did. He was an OC and was chewed up by the Commander in front of the entire Tactical HQ for incompetency. Apparently for every question that the Commander asked him during a high level meeting where only OCs and above attend, he drew a blank. Next came a blasting of tirade so loud that people in the vicinity outside the tent could hear. Next we saw the OC's PC scurrying into the Tactical HQ tent while the OC was booted out of the tent and ordered to stay out.

How I knew the OC was sobbing in the dark corner? The dark corner was my unimog.

Anyway, coming back to the present episode.

I have come to accept the fact (and fate) that all of us are not equal. We are a melting pot of the haves and have-nots. While I do not resent those who have what I don't have, I only hope that they use it for the general good.

What 2LT Li has here is that when he says "This is my grandfather's army." He is not joking. With that power, he has the ability to shake the tree in order to dislodge some of these free-loading monkeys. Something the rest of us can't even dream of. I'd already quaked in my boots if I had to face my Brigade Commander, let alone draft a protest letter to the CDF.

Well, looks like 2LT Li is going to get charged for contravening orders to broadcast the email and would certainly be a blemish in his personnel record. I say screw that blemish and wear it as a Medal of Honour for I personally feel that 2LT Li's heart was in the right place, just that the plan of execution wasn't exactly most ideal. Take the record blemish as collateral damage in the war against the enemy. In exchange, LTA X is definitely screwed and the OC's career is definitely over. Condemned CPT, if he is lucky.

All that for the price of a small little black mark in the personnel docket. I'd say it's a good deal.

In all, I have a new admiration for this young man for he has guts. Naive? Yes but a stand-up kinda guy nonetheless.

I'd vote for him, if he runs for office in the future.

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- Voxeros

1. ihawk98 left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 2:09 pm
me thinks your link to the email is not working liao.....

2. DK left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 2:28 pm ::
I agree with the points that he mentioned in the email. But I disagree with his method of conveying the message. Yes, he did follow chain of command and report to the OC. We know that the OC didn't take action. But that doesn't mean he can just simply jump CO, Chief of Signal, Chief of Army, Chief of defense and go all the way up to Minister.

There is a proper chain of command. And it is important to follow it. Not happily happily email anyone you like.

And I'm utterly shocked that he only got a verbal warning. Such thing should at least throw a few extra duties or SOL.

3. callandor left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 4:05 pm
you do realise that voting for him is the last thing you should do...Just because he knows he can get away scot free (almost) due to his lao peh and gong gong. If you try something like this, you think you can get away with a reprimand?

Also, this may be more of a stunt by him to get some attention (so that people will vote with him). Paranoia yes, but you never know what Lau Lee is planning..this might all be a plan for his grandson to look good...

4. JayWalk left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 4:43 pm :: 
ihawk98: Nothing wrong as far as I can find out. Perhaps a spike in traffic as a result of this case causing server load to slow down everything.

DK: Welcome to the blog. I am with you as far as disagreeing with the approach that he has deployed. However, I doubt if it is any difference where he got sign extra or not. DO duty very siong meh? Not say he do duty is to be prowler wor.

Callandor: What I saw was the underlying desire to want to stand up straight. Again, I already said that his methods are not ideal but hey, he is still a kid at this point in time and I believe with proper guidance, he will matured into a better person. The type that we need (hopefully) to be in the Gahmen.

As for whether this is a stunt or not, it is still better that some MPs (whose names I shall not spell out) who coasted in via the back door effortlessly.

Again, my perennial question. (Read this)

Can you spell G-R-C ?

5. Meepoktah Maihiam left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 5:36 pm
Hongyi's points are valid. Excellent penmanship too. Time to flush out the freaking old boy's club @ SAF. Draw big pay to cho bo.
I may not agree with Hongyi's method of conveying his message. Then again, if it's my Ah Gong's army, Limpeh also do the same :-)

6. JayWalk left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 6:04 pm :: 
Meepok: Ah Gong's army is right! This guy has special privileges and I am glad he put it to good use.

7. Ruok left...
Friday, 13 July 2007 8:27 pm
can u imagine staff singh's reaction to this? rofl

8. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 9:02 am :: 
ruok: That's easy. Before anything, he would start off with "Your sister's CB!!!"


While on the topic of SGT Singh (that's Staff Singh to the rest of you new birds), he is one great fellow that I have full admiration and respect. Granted that it is a common sight to see him stumbled out of the NCOs' Mess on Sunday mornings at 8am when I report for duty; Granted that you often saw him with a can of Stout on his table during office hours, this is one fella that gets the job done and done well.

His mantra was "If you want a job done, don't ask me how I am going to do it. Just shut the fuck up and wait for me at the finishing line to collect your results."


p.s. If you are able to recall, this was the fella who went overseas exercise with us with a full on plaster-casted leg. Remember? Tough guy.

9. Ruok left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 11:41 am
yeah this guy got my r-e-s-p-e-c-t. He was also the one who also made my liver the way it is now ... I can still recall that one time he summoned me to the officer's mess and plied 3 Jugs of beer in front of me. I lost count after the 7th mug and some time later he told me that I was off duty liow and ordered me back to the bunk.
I can only remember lying on the bed to rest a while.... when I woke up, it was the next day liow and I was still in last night's clothes. >.<

10. Ah Seng left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 4:50 pm
He real lucky to go all the way. I got take COS 5 days in a row because I left the office to go to the Canteen when I was in the army by this cheeby Captain.I went to see the Manpower. He told me to come with my complaint the next day. The next day I went the Manpower on leave. So I had to do COS 5 days in a row. I still think it was illegal but do already so what use of complaining? You try to sleep in the office for 5 days then u know how I felt.

11. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 5:38 pm :: 
ruok: Yup, those were the good old days and it's been an honour for me to serve my NS alongside with this crazy dude.

Ah Seng: Welcome to the blog. I am no stranger as far as sleeping in the office for days on end and it wasn't even serving punishment!

The problem here for both you and I and that when we have no backing, we get bullied and pushed around.

In a way, I was glad to see HongYi, with his special status", push back and kicking these worthless soldiers in the ass.

Yes, he may have "used his special status" to hantam the LTA and the OC but you know what? I am glad he did.

12. JayWalk left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 5:52 pm :: 
Ah Seng: Your story reminded me of an episode of my own. I had to leave the Ops Room to fax daily report to HQ. Because the Ops Room has to be manned at all times, the DO has agreed to stay behind.

When I returned, the DO was nowhere to be found. Instead, there was my Dy S3, a straight by-the-book no-nonsense super anal* guy, fuming and accusing me of leaving my post.

I got 2 weeks confinement as a result.

My OC wanted to fight my case on my behalf but I objected and served my punishment quietly. The DO (an encik) was an asshole well-known for tekaning new birds.

He was surprised that a new bird took the proverbial bullet for him without question and has since found a new respect for me. I guess the story of this incident spread to the rest of the encik fraternity in the camp and I have to say that I have been treated very well by all the regular NCOs until my disruption.

My story's ending is different from yours and I am not writing this to try to counter your point. I just wanted to share this story.

* He may be anal but it is all by the book and all his decisions, orders and punishments are fair and justifiable even though I may not like it. He was later promoted to the rank of Major and I felt that he deserved that promotion.

13. babydoll left...
Saturday, 14 July 2007 11:02 pm
he might just be the next PM, and, he's kinda cute :p

14. JayWalk left...
Sunday, 15 July 2007 9:09 am :: 
Babydoll: Babydoll?? Cute?? Focus!! Focus!!

15. aloe left...
Sunday, 15 July 2007 10:25 pm
Yah! I was thinking he looks cute too! so did my friend. LOL! ~ drool ~
On the other hand, if it's my ah gong's army, I would have taken the same stance as him. See how he manage to find all the facts about the wrongdoings? Shows that the others know that he is atas atas! Cannot anyhow play play, so provide him with info instead. they will sure rise up high high yah! :P
He won't get into any kind of serious trouble one la. Maybe just a warning.

16. callandor left...
Monday, 16 July 2007 11:25 pm
Again, you're gonna hate me for being devil's advocate but I don't see why he only whistleblow just as he was about to disrupt/ord.. that just doesn't add him to his..."heroic" nature.
I have done stuff similar where I whistled blow through a proxy and caused no amount of lim kopi headache...but the thing is, no one listens in the army till you blow it up. At least I did it a long way to ORD and right during the incident...
This just smacks of LHY having a grouse, and afraid of getting "marked" during his service period, and only doing it after when he was about to go...

17. JayWalk left...
Thursday, 26 July 2007 7:33 am :: 
aloe: Auntie, never knew you to be the cradle snatching type!

Callandor: You have to understand that as powerful as he may be, he is only one man against a sea of regulars, condemned or otherwise. You under estimated the power of the regular fraternity. It is not merely condemned regulars protecting condemned regulars. I am sure the a significant portion of the rest of the regulars would have come forward in solidarity.

2 years in NS is not long but neither is it short especially when you are in the middle of it. Imagine whistle blowing right in the middle of NS (3 months BMT + 9 months OCS), you still have 1 year of service to go. When you get ostracized in camp (even if you have done nothing wrong), the remainder of your one year is going to be damn miserable.

Hence, waiting for disruption before firing the letter is a necessity for survival.

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