It’s been a fairly useless and unproductive but an enjoyable day. I managed to spend Monday night in the Conrad Hotel thanks to a good friend of mine who had booked it for some fun and then passed the room to me. Love sleeping in good hotels. Managed to get a wonderful shower, or rather two good showers and slept in a big fluffy bed. Also managed to get my fill of cable TV, something I've not really watched since Dad moved off to
After get-up time, the day was spent with Han Li, who had just come back from
Highlight of the day was speaking to Thui. Felt really good. I have not spoken to the little tyke for quite a while and had been surviving on watching silly videos I had shot of her on my phone. HL tells me that she asks about me and when I'm coming over to
Besides, I'm told that
My mother and Aunt do worry about my relationship with Han Li. To quote my mother, "Your Aunt has lived in
Meet two guys from
It's been ten-years since Ronnie and Yin Tit were killed when their FH2000 blew-up. It's amazing how time has passed. I think I've gotten used to the idea that someone I was close to and knew to be as good a person as you can get was robbed of his life. I mean, for the most part, most of us have moved on. We don't visit Ronnie's grave to commemorate his death (
But for me, at least, that incident said allot about the institution I was serving. For those of us who were close to the guys who were killed, we managed to pull together in our time of grief. For the powers that be, you got to see those who genuinely cared about the welfare of their soldiers and those who paid lip-service to idea of welfare for the troops but were in actual fact more interested in gaining political capital out of the tragedy.
A decade after the incident, I’m now catching glimpses of the society that I live in. For Singaporeans, Swift Lion has passed into the pages of the classified documents to be shelved away by some mindless bureaucrat. It’s an incident that mentally scared kids don’t want to talk about but we know what happened. These days, if you ask certain people about the incident, they’ll be quick to tell you that it wasn’t the fault of Singapore made technology – it was guess what – shoddy Mainland Chinese manufacturing that some careless American firm had, unbeknown to the Singapore arms industry, outsourced the manufacturing. (This is why I say, all credit to Mattel owning-up to their stupidity after blaming their subcontractors.).
I mean for crying out loud – two guys were killed in the line of duty and all that the institution seems to remember is – “It wasn’t our fault.” Seriously, human lives were lost and we don’t talk about it because – it does not reflect well on the institution and the nation and so on and so on and besides, it’s not our fault because someone else used a shoddy subcontractor!
New Zealanders are very different from us. You mention to a New Zealander that you were in the Singapore Artillery and they’ll remember an incident where two people died and they will express regret that two people died. That touches me. New Zealanders have no reason to care about two foreign troopers who died and yet those who know of the incident can somehow express the tragedy of the whole situation whilst Singaporeans are so self-absorbed they would rather blame everyone else for the incident.
It really doesn’t say very much about the nation when it encourages and supports a culture that denies accountability who give their lives to the nation.