Friday, January 12, 2007

ICT & Defence Budget

First of all, I must thank all of those who have come forward to shake my hands during the ICT period. I know some of you visited my blog quite often and I thank you for all your support.

Although it may just be a little handshake or just a short phrase of encouragement, but it means alot to us, people who are walking on the thin line on the political front. Your little gesture will leave a lasting impression and become a long lasting source of motivation for me to carry on my political work. Thank you.

Although this recent ICT I have is a short one (low key) which involves only range, but it has given me much food for thought. Shooting skill is the most basic skill of any soldier. Thus it is important for the army to provide adequate training to all its soldiers in shooting.

I must say I am impressed by the vast improvement in the accommodation that the Army has provided in the new training centre. The bunk is spacious and the bed is comfortable. In terms of infrastructure wise, the Army has come a long way in improving the basic necessities for NSmen who come back for training.

Unfortunately, while the Army spent money in improving such accommodation and buying high end world class weapons like the Leopard Tanks, it has neglected the most basic need for a soldier; the range that provide the ground to train soldiers with the basic skill of shooting.

Before the range, we are given the opportunity to go through a simulated range, IMT. This was widely publicised as a high tech approach to train shooting skill. However, to our dismay, the program that was provided by the IMT is outdated.

Our battalion was supposed to have range at one single location initially. But due to the breakdown of one part of the facility, half of the battalion has to be moved to somewhere else. This is definitely not good to keep the integrity of the whole battalion intact.

When the range started, there were problems with the facilities. Range has to be stopped intermittantly just to rectify the problems. I was told that similar problems occur in the other range as well! Time was wasted in waiting for such problems to be rectified.

After the range, during the post mortem for the ICT, we have raised the problems we faced during range and it seems that this is not a new problem at all. We were told that G6 Army has been informed of such problems before but apparently no improvement has been made. As for the program for the IMT, we were told that it will cost millions to change the program.

I was quite angry to receive such answers although I know it is not within the powers of the trainers to make amends to such situation. Huge amount of money is spent by Mindef to recall its NSmen back every year for training. Yet, Mindef does not feel that it is a waste of money if the facilities for training of critical skills like shooting is not maintained properly or up to date in order to achieve the necessary standards? I mean if you spend millions each year to get NSmen back for training but training objectives are compromised just because of ill maintained training facilities, isn't a waste of money and NSmen's precious time?

Defence Budget takes a huge pie off the annual government budget every year. It is the largest single item in the annual budget. While it is important for us to buy new high tech equipment, but I think training facilities for our NSmen is of equal importance as well.

Shooting is the most basic skills of a soldier and it should deserve a better maintained training facilities than what we have now. Imagine if we ever being called up for war, the very first thing that we do is to get our men equipped and zero their weapons. If our range is not well maintained, the readiness of our men will be greatly compromised. We could have all the most advanced equipment we could get in the world but if our soldiers cannot shoot straight, all will be lost!

Goh Meng Seng


Anonymous said...

Great defence planner GMS as if GKS dont know. Its not so much tht gMS did hi ICT and teying to protray himself as "loyaL" but simpl to find fault witht he defence sysyem and squeeze maximum political capital out of it.

Anonymous said...

we ish spends money to buying expensif weapons ish to show our naybors dat we ish gots expensif weapons and can bang bang boom boom them until their lizards dun grow. if they ish not scare and comes to attacking us then ours offcifers and generals will all run away to enjoy their $$$ then whether our solders gots goots at piang piang is no points rite.

George Bush said...

Opposing everything while proposing nothing is irresponsible

Anonymous said...

therefore george bush is irresponsible.

Goh Meng Seng said...

Dear "George Bush",

I guess it does not need a genius to figure out what is needed to do better when a problem like this is being pointed out. It definitely does not need a minister with an annual million dollar salary to know exactly what is wrong when problem from the ground is being raised.

I guess those elites sitting high up do not really know what is wrong with the ground and exactly what important things are needed to be done to amend it.

Sometimes we just do not need scholars to come up with "great ideas" to impress people but just need people to maintain good fundamentals of the system to ensure that they are working properly.

I guess those in the training centre know the problem and have been reflecting these problems to the upper loop. However, scholars up there may just feel that it is not too important as these will not provide them "glory" or any brownie points. They need to do something "excellent" to justify their scholar identity. This is the problem we are facing right now, not only in Army/ Mindef, but in other ministries like Education/ Schools.

If you actually expect us to spoon feed those highly paid ministers and civil servants about what needs to be done, then I think that's an insult to a self proclaim first world government! They could be excused for being out of touch from the ground; yes, we could point out the ground reality to them. But expect us to teach them how to do their job? ;)

Goh Meng Seng

Anonymous said...

Well said. Why should we come up with solutions for the millionaire ministers. If these minsiters (the highest paid in the world) who cannot identify problems in the first place. Why are they still sucking up tax payers money every day, every month, every year? Now not only these ministers want the people to voice their views(identify problems). The people are expected to provide solutions as well?!? If that's the case every Tom, Dick and Harry can be a minister as well. The people identify the problems and the people provide the solutions!!

George Bush said...

If you don't like my war plan show me yours!!!!

Anonymous said...

aahhh. ignorance is bliss

there are no problems, no problems, no problems.

therefore no need for solutions.

Anonymous said...

How can a PC repair man appears to know "everything" is beyond my imagination.

If GMS is really so smart and capable, why did an Econs hon grad have to resort to repairing PCs for a living? Why was he rejected by the YPAP? And why was he sacked from WP?

Anonymous said...

Here we go again. All talk and no proof.

darren said...

"How can a PC repair man appears to know "everything" is beyond my imagination."

Anonymous PAP poster spotted!! Hey thanks for stirring up the hate in me for your party.