Ungrateful fellow

Reading this forum letter to the Straits Times make me angry.

Jan 18, 2006
Let those who intend to emigrate opt out of NS

I REFER to the Insight article, ‘Doers & dodgers: Time to heal the rift?’ (ST, Jan 14).

I share the same sentiment as Mr Paul Wong, feeling no allegiance to Singapore and not being able to assimilate into Singaporean culture even though I was born and raised here.

As a child, I grew up watching classic American movies and cartoons, and listening to American-genre music like country, southern gospel and classic American oldies.

My paternal aunts and uncles are Ivy League students and speak with a slight American accent and use American grammar in speech. I was influenced by them.

Because I am the child of a Thai father and a Singaporean mother, I am a citizen of both Thailand and Singapore. I hold a Singapore passport and will have to serve national service next year.

I do not intend to live in Singapore and, in fact, have made serious plans to emigrate to the United States in future.

Many friends of mine who have gone overseas to study intend to settle down in their host country after serving national service.

I do not support the evasion of national service but I appeal to the Government to make some changes to the policy.

For those who do not intend to live in Singapore, there is no purpose in serving national service. It is a waste of resources for the Government and a waste of time for those affected.

In my case, I will renounce my Singapore citizenship at age 21 and take on Thai citizenship. The US will be my home in future and if a war breaks out between Singapore and the US, God forbid, obviously I would help to defend the US and fight Singapore if need be.

Therefore, I do not see the purpose of training men who might ‘turn against’ their country in unforeseen circumstances.

Perhaps the Ministry of Defence could come up with a policy to permit those who intend to emigrate to opt out of national service but if they do not leave by a certain age, then they would be drafted.

Patriotism and loyalty cannot be forced. It is ultimately up to an individual whether he wants to serve the country.

Pavin Limanont

Pavin, I know you are not a chinese, but here are 4 chinese words for you.


It means when you drink the water, think about its source.

From the day you are born, Singapore has given you a lot. Do you think your parent’s hospital fee is enough to pay for the expense to deliver you and bring you to this world? No, Singapore subsidise the medical fee.

Do you think the school fees that your parents pay are enough to give you the good education you are receiving now? No, Singapore subsidise school fees for all Singapore citizen.

Singapore provided you with a good environment to grow up and a comfortable home for you to stay. Are you staying in a HDB flat? Your HDB flat is also subsidised by Singapore. Have you ever thought about it? Singapore provided you a safe place to live. Are you able to enjoy such safe haven in other country? Maybe you can. But remember, Singapore was there for you the day you were born.

Now, all Singapore ask of you is to pick up a SAR21 and defend the country. National Service has already been reduced from 2 1/2 year to 2 years. The welfare in the army has greatly improved over the years. Why are you scare of serving the army?

Yes, we understand that you want to emigrate to another country. But before you leave, think about the newater that you are drinking now. Singapore provided you so much, is 2 years of paying back too much to ask for?

KNN…. Lim peh go pack my full battle order now.


  1. Gratitude is an ideal and as with most ideals, there will always be some who do not or refuse to subscribe to them.

    Also, the premise that just because the country has showered several so-called benefits like education, health care and a supposedly safe environment, then a citizen who has enjoyed them is obliged to repay the state, in Singapore’s case by taking up arms against some yet-to-exist aggressor, begs further scrutiny.

    Excuse me, but aren’t those ‘benefits’ what a responsible government are supposed to provide anyway ? By providing them, the govt is actually doing it’s job, and that was what they were voted into office, and may I also add, handsomely paid to do. So, the question about gratitude IMHO is not relevant. I can’t go to my boss and demand he thank me for doing my job, now can I ? I already know what he’s going to answer. “Well, I freaking pay you to do your job !!”, that’s what.

    The point as the letter writer so aptly puts is that loyalty cannot be forced. That is what the imposition of NS on all and sundry Singaporean males is ultimately doing. If someone no longer feels anything for Singapore and wants out, by all means, let him. Has the govt ever pondered how many Pavins there are within the ranks of NSF and NSmen ? If you ask me, their existence only puts a security risk in the event of an armed conflict as these are the people who wouldn’t bat an eyelid to aid the enemy. The history books of armed conflict is littered with instances of such individuals. Is that what the govt wants if the situation comes to that ?

  2. But I’m not refering to the govt. I’m refering to Singapore. That means you and me. This has nothing to do with the govt. The govt are the ones whom we ‘vote’ to do the job for us. We pay our taxes. We contribute to the society. Without our taxes and contributions, how do you think the govt have money to build sch, road, hospital etc etc etc?

    I seriously don’t think he deserve all the subsidises we had given him. These money spend on him can be put in better use like giving to the needy. I rather give that money to Durai for his bloody golden tap than give this ungretful idiot. At least Durai still help some kidney patients.

    Have you read the “Romance of 3 kingdom”? Have you heard of the story about Guan Yu setting Cao Cao free just to repay his gratitude although they are both on different side of the army. Guan Yu free Cao Cao and risk his life back when he return back to camp. Zhuge Liang could have beheaded Guan Yu for disobeying Militry orders. But is Guan Yu loyal to Cao Cao? Nope. He is just repaying the kindness that Cao Cao has given to him.

    His heart may be in another country. But he forgot everything that Singapore has given him. Imagine if he is in a 3rd world country. Do you think he will even have a chance to listen to American genre music? I don’t even think he will be educated enough to write a letter to newspaper. Do you think USA will accept him if he is not educated? If he managed to get a citizenship at USA, he should be thankful to Singapore for providing him so much things over the years.

    This guy stay on our land, eat our rice, drink our water, breath our air and chase our gals, NOW he got the bloody cheek to say those words.

    Even Melvyn Tan also never say he will pick up weapon and fight along side UK against SG.

  3. That’s what I mean about gratitude being an ideal not everyone, perhaps even only a minority subscribe to. You can delude yourself with airy fairy tales from Romance of the 3 Kingdoms and their like but the fact remains there will always be ungrateful people around. My point is that forcing such people to do NS presents a risk and Singapore is better off letting them go. Doesn’t it send a terrifying chill down your spine to think that the guy next to you in the fox hole during a time of war could be a Pavin ? He wouldn’t bat an eyelid about putting a bullet through your head while you’re sleeping, and you’ll never know what hit you ? Is that what you want ?

  4. I don’t even think he will report to the mobolisation centre should there really be war.

    But if you ask me to choose between letting him emigrate or teaching this guy a lesson on gratitude, I’ll choose the latter.

  5. Why waste your time preaching to him ? He’s obviously made up his mind about Singapore. Whatever anyone says isn’t going to change that. The govt should just revoke his citizenship, give him 2 weeks to settle any outstanding matters and then ask him to leave, just like what they did with that pilot Ryan Goh.

  6. Yeap, I guess we can always ask him to leave. But the question is, Why should we? Hahaha.

    Why should we amend the law so that he and few others can have an easy way out? Why not force him to serve? Its either he suffer or he learn a lesson about responsibilities.

    Okie…. I know I sound evil.

  7. Not evil lar…….Just that I will be worried if we hand this guy a gun, he might just decide to help US conquer Singapore singlehandedly and kill his PCs, CSM and if he is lucky bag his CO, S1~4…….

    Anyway, like the way you say it

  8. DK, no laws need to be amended. The guy also has Thai citizenship. He can still leave the country anytime he wants. The 75K bond won’t apply because he doesn’t need to renew his Singapore passport. He can travel on his Thai passport. of course, he then wont be able to return to Singapore without risking a stint at Hotel Changi. However, now knowing how he feels about Singapore, I don’t think that’s any big loss to him.

  9. To DK, you are obviouly short sighted or just plain blinded by your desire to have the fella pay back for what he’s got from Singapore. Any fool and his dog will be able see the security risk in forcing someone like Pavin to serve in the armed forces of a country he bears no allegiance to. I guess you’d prefer to have a bullet in your head rather than just let him go.

  10. Wah lao. Don need to flame me mah.

    But how dangerous can it be for to force him into army? No allegiance doesn’t mean he will put a bullet in everyone’s head at time of war. No allegiance means he will not fight for Singapore. Most prob run away at times of war.

    So if everyone claims they have no allegiance to Singapore, does that means they also don’t need to serve NS? Then I should also declare I have no allegiance to Singapore to save my 2 1/2 yr of NS and 10 cycle of reservist.

    Cannot be mah.

    He can’t be of any harm in the army. Don’t worry. like I said, he won’t report to the camp at time of war. Even if he does, can he single handed kill everyone? Maybe he can kill a few person before someone stop him.

    Don need flame me lah. Talk nice nice lah.

  11. Truth Hurts: Ouch. The truth really hurts. How can we let him of just like that?

    I suggest the ISD lock him up without a trial for 2 years.

    Wahahahaha…. (for once I’ll support the ISD)

  12. DK, it’s not a matter of us letting him off. He can walk out anytime he wants, yes, even after he’s enlisted. That’s the privilege of people with dual citizenship. That’s probably the reaosn why the govt is so reluctant to allow adult Singaporeans to legalise dual citizenship even though they know many Singaporeans out there are doing so secretly. The govt wants to control its citizens. Legalising dual citizenship takes that control away, so the dual citizen Singaporean can effectively give the govt the middle finger salute. Too bad for them, that with globalization, their control has been diluted to the.

  13. My apologies if you felt yourself ‘flamed’. I just find it do hard to fathom this “I suffered so everyone else must also suffer” mentality. To clear the record, I myself went through 2.5 years more than 15 years ago, but I don’t feel the need to force someone like Pavin to serve just because I had suffered my 2.5 years. How shallow can some people get ?

    Also, claiming non-allegiance is one thing, but having the ability to act upon it is another. The way I look at it, only someone with dual citizenship like Pavin will be able to. If you do not have nationality or residency rights elsewhere, declaring non-allegiance is but a moot point because unless you’re planning to live as an illegal immigrant or claim refugee status, where can you go ?

  14. Anonymous,i agree with u but there is no point trying to convince dk.Some people just let their heart rule over their head.It affects their judgement

  15. Anon1: I’m not saying this just because I’ve been thru it and thus feel that every singaporean guy should also suffer the same as me. But I feel that we have received so much from Singapore over the years. Serving NS is a way to repay the nation.

    what angered me was this guy is totally ungrateful toward all the things that we have given him. He even declared that he would fight against singapore for a country that has never provided him anything. tell me, why should we change the law for such ungrateful fellow?

    Anon2: My heart is with Singapore. Therefore my heart rule over my head. But if you ask my head, my head will tell u, if we let 1 Pavin go, we will have to let another Pavin, and another and another……

    End of the day, who is going to protect the country?

    BTW can you guys give yourself a name instead? any name lah. no need real name or regular nicks. any name so that it would be easier for me to address u. (and also curse you when I type my replies.)

    **okie, just joking about the cursing**

  16. Truth Hurts: you really live up to your nick. Everything you said hurt.

    If that is the case, then what is he fighting for? He can just take out his Thai passport and leave the country when he is being called up for army. Right?

  17. dk, my feeling is he wants to have his cake and eat it. For all his talk about identifying with Americans, i think he knows deep down in his heart it isn’t that easy to uproot and just transplant himself into the American way of life esp since he’s lived his whole life in Singapore. Can we really say he will adjust seamlessly into life there ? I don’t think so. So, perhaps he wants a backdoor back into Singapore should things do not go his way in America.

  18. >>Anonymous,i agree with u but >>there is no point trying to >>convince dk.Some people just let >>their heart rule over their >>head.It affects their judgement

    Well, dk’s entitled to his opinion as am I. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree. Though I still feel strongly against conscription, I doubt there’s very much I or anyone like-minded can do. Expounding upon what The Truth Hurts mentioned about govt control, I dare say NS is in fact one of the instruments of control employed by the govt to ensure a compliant population. For parents who don’t want their male offsprings to be subjected to such blatant abuse, their best bet is to secure a foreign nationality or residency rights as early as possible in the kid’s life and then leave Singapore without ever looking back. I suspect the number of parents doing this is on the rise and hence the iron-fisted approach of the govt in not relenting on this issue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *