Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Leaving no man behind- what Singapore can learn from Israel

Dear Friends,

By the time the reader reads this, a certain Israeli soldier by the name of Gilad Shalit   (click here) would be reunited with his family after spending more than five years as a prisoner in enemy territory.

Shalit was a 19 year-old Israel Defence Force (IDF) corporal of dual Israeli and French nationalities who was abducted by Palestinian militants on 25 June 2006. These militants infiltrated an Israeli army post via an underground tunnel and after a gunfight during which 2 militants and 2 IDF soldiers were also killed,  Shalit was abducted after his tank was hit by a rocket-propelled grenade.

From then on, he was no more than a bargaining chip in a high-stakes game.

After protracted negotiations through Egyptian intermediaries, Israel finally relented and agreed to release about 1000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Shalit, now 25. (read here)

We may not agree with all of Israel’s policies as she tries to survive in a “tough neighbourhood” as best as she could and some of us may not even agree with this prisoner exchange, but by her persistent efforts to secure Shalit’s release ( diplomatic as well as covert means) there is little doubt that Israel treasures each and every one of her citizens. No more words from any Israeli politician are needed- each IDF soldier knows that he or she will not be forgotten. Phua Chu Kang would have said, “It’s double confirmed!”

As we hear our MP’s talk about a “new normal” in the local political equation, we get a sense that our government wants to assure Singaporeans that they will always come first in all of its policy deliberations and that if they had reasons to feel neglected in the past, changes will be made to prevent such occurences.

 However, Singapore’s Ministry of Manpower (MOM) recently published a report which shows the bottom 20 per cent of working Singaporeans’ pay stagnate over the last 10 years! (read here)

Hence, I would understand why many lower income Singaporeans may not be as trusting towards the government as Shalit and his fellow citizens in an equally small nation, half a world away.  

 The government has its work cut out for itself, before we will wholeheartedly believe that Singapore will always look after all its own and that she will never “leave any man behind”.

Dr Huang Shoou Chyuan


Anonymous said...

Any other better comparison. I find Singapore have nothing to learn from Israel unless if you mean Singapore Chinese get kidnap by Indonesia or Malaysia than they will ask Singapore ransom… is that what you trying to said? Pls be detail a bit.

Anonymous said...

The good doctor is still hopeful and wishful despite whatever happened and are happening to the people in the state.

Anonymous said...

whether the pap govt puts singaporeans first is best shown in the pap govt's actions and deeds, and not just mere words.

Anonymous said...

Change can only be possible
if the people make the change.
Wishing for the Leadership to
change means 'tan ku ku'(a long
way) and meanwhile the people
will have to be liked 'Cuckoo'
birds kept in cages.


Anonymous said...

I like the comparison, thanks. Israel,been a small country and located in a tough neighborhood, in a sense, operates similarly as Singapore. Israel is willing to:

1. stick its head out to protect his people, in this case, a low ranking Israel soldier

2. even though the solution to protecting his solider isn't ideal and in fact short-sighted, but still, it points to say Israel have their commoner citizens in mind first.

Israel has chosen to put its citizen first in this case. Is Singapore able to really put the average Singaporean first?

Anonymous said...

I feel they do this because they must put their army(which are their citizen) in number 1 piority. even women go to army in their country. i think if their country do not have strong and loyal army(citizens) they cannot survive.

so in order to let the army(citizens) to be loyal and strong to their govt, their govt need to show the army(citizens), the govt top concern is the army(citizens) and when it come to war the army(citizens) will die for the govt they trust, even if it is not die for country. as they know the govt will do 101% for them even if they die in war.

what i feel the doctor wish to say is, if the govt is good to the citizens(which include army, police, doctors, self employed...)..the citizens will surely repay the govt they trust,even if it do not mean repay the country.

if not the opposite will be true as they really cannot trust the government.

it is like govt want to do things for the people they must do it really if not nobody will trust them again.

it is like reminding the govt

Anonymous said...

Firstly, it is bad that the most talented and elitist leaders need to be reminded time and again.

Worse and bad for the people to wish and hope infinitely for decades and are still hoping, waiting for miracle to happen.

Many Singaporeans had died hoping and unless THE PEOPLE STOP HOPING AND TAKE ACTION, the whole First Generation Local Singaporeans WILL DIE HOPING AS WELL. Meanwhile their successors have to pay extortionately for their medicare, food, housing and everything including funeral expenses.

Yet 60% of Singaporeans still fear and live on hopes and wishes.

Me thinks 40% of Singaporeans will have to wish and pray for nature to help them than to depend on fellow Singaporeans.


Anonymous said...

that guy and his govt really scary now ask their people to vote want to take up the money help from other countries.

wah i hope sg govt will not do this to us in bad times.

in good times should do voting instead. if really sincere should let people vote on very major issues like to build the casino or not, to build nuclear power plant or not etc..apply to other country govt also.

if i am a govt i will let people vote.

Anonymous said...

i will let people vote on these as these things will concern a lot of future generation very much, no matter good or bad eventually

NiaoRen said...

Well Said Shoou. I remembered during our NS days, the Surgeon General from I. had asked why he felt that somehow he had the feeling that our soldiers were not that proud to be in the army as they were. Do we know why ?

Anonymous said...

i read in news tobacco companies will sue australia govt because they forbid them to print their brand on the ciga box.

very very funny tobacco is very bad for health and everyone knows and these tobacco companies which are harming health of people are trying to sue good people.

hope you can write an article on this and hopefully sg govt can follow aust govt as well.

thank you.

Anonymous said...

and doctor one more thing. how can ministers still take pension after they already earn millions??

other civil servants nowadays all have cpf only, no pension, no matter how long they work.

govt should also abolish the pension scheme for ministers no matter they serve how long.

if not civil servants should enjoy pension as well.

Anonymous said...

wah yahoo has been doing a good job in reporting a lot of good news. hope they can win.

Runescape Gold said...

Any other better comparison.Runescape Gold

Anonymous said...

today i read newspaper they say a lawyer do sg proud by fighting a case for brunei govt. a first for sg lawyer.

but i do not think so as there is no case against the brunei govt as the lawyer also said, the king decision is final. i feel any lawyer go should most likely win as well.

actually what i am really interested to know is how much is the lawyer fees?? is it millions?? is it too too high?? hope they can let us koe if possible.

because i read in papers also recently a dr charge too too high price for a brunei royal and have to face the dc.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

dear doc,

hope you can write an article on minister wage changes.

i feel 1st, they must follow the new salary not just now but also backdated to 10 years ago. means those who get extra 10 years ago till now should return all extra and donate to charity.

2nd should stop all and any existing pension scheme immediately. not by just say there will no longer be pension scheme for new appointment.

if not i will still vote for opposition.

David Moore said...

Everybody can learn a thing from an experienced of another. I think the comparison quite good. This I consider as a nice post.

David Moore
Public Speaking Training