Wednesday, 6 April 2011

They Don't Make Them Like They Used To

From Facebook
At first I thought this news item on the BBC web site was a belated April 1st joke but unfortunately I was mistaken:

"A Singaporean soldier who was pictured with a maid carrying his backpack has identified himself to his commander and undergone counselling, officials say.

The soldier was "remorseful", defence official Col Desmond Tan said in a letter published in the Straits Times.

The recruit was undergoing physical training prior to basic training.

The image, which was first published on social media sites, has led to debate in Singapore on whether conscripts and their training are tough enough.

Apparently the SAF "has reminded all servicemen to be mindful of their conduct in public". This reporting  is a tad ambiguous.  Does this mean it is alright for the maid to carry your gear out of the public gaze?  I suspect not.

However, the forum commentary has largely vilified the National Serviceman involved and rightly so.

One serviceman who did his training the hard way had this to say:

"It’s hard to believe that a grown man who is supposed to be serving the nation is making his female domestic help carry his backpack.”

He’s a disgrace to the army and makes Singaporean men look bad

Others have blamed such an attitude on spoiled 'little emperors' who have had their baggage carried by their domestic servants since birth.

Whatever the reason, the sort of attitude displayed by this conscript is enough to make even the most humble SAF recruit wince.

I am not surprised he is "sorry for the incident". 

Right now the young man in question is probably completing his hundreth lap running around a sport ground, in full battle kit with his rifle held above his head -  such was the discipline in my time.

And... not a maid in sight!
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