All Singaporeans men get this privilege to serve and protect our country by going through 2 years of NS and plenty of reservist duties after that. Unfortunately, accidents do occur during NS and people die or become disabled. It has been suggested that SAF purchase insurance to cover all NSmen. I think it is wrong to do this. It is a moral hazard. If NSmen are given free insurance, they may develop a sense of entitlement and grow up expecting the govt to give them free health insurance, unemployment insurance and other benefits. NSmen have to be taught that it is for their own good that they start paying for things otherwise they might not form the correct habits for their future survival - nothing comes free in Singapore, take care of yourself because our extraordinary govt won't able to do so. We can also tell that the Malaysian govt is a mediocre one because they actually insure all the men and women serving their 3 month NS...what a joke instead of saving the money for better props during National Day, they actually spend the money on insurance for their NSmen - from the New Straits Times 14 June 2007:
See what happens when you get the kind of mediocre govt that buy insurance coverage for a 3 month NS stint which is actually just a long camping trip - they have to provide subsidised health care ...for example, dialysis for the kidney patients at less than one quarter the price in Singapore. The govt there has lost all its moral authority to raise prices by being so soft on its citizens.
Since we are on the topic of Malaysia, I would like to go on to discuss "Bumiputrification". One Singaporean blogger goes so far as to call giving Singaporeans any advantages in our system the equivalent of "Bumiputrification". This blogger goes on to highlight the evils of a Singaporeans first policy and the hazards of protecting Singaporeans. I would term the idea of putting Singaporeans first, Singaporeanisation. Having returned from Malaysia, I can see what "pro-bumi" policies as done to the Bumis in Malaysia. To see what will happen to Singaporeans in the near future, one just have to close your eyes and imagine what would have happened to the Bumis without "pro-bumi" policies. Yes, I can see on their faces how much the Bumis have suffered from all the "pro-bumi" policies and we can expect Singaporeans to suffer too if Singapore govt implement pro-Singaporean policies to appease Singaporeans.
To understand globalisation further and better appreciate our foreign talent policies, let me start with a number - the number is 5.3 million. .....that is the number of graduates China produce every year. We can actually improve our workforce instantly by opening the floodgates to them - we can even replace the entire workforce if we want to. Why should Singapore Inc tolerate a less educated, ageing Singaporean workforce when it can import younger and better educated to get to top first world status faster? Why should our elite leaders be held back by the mediocrity of Singaporeans? Singapore is Singapore Inc a business entity whose key goal is to maximise GDP. Why should the ambition of our esteemed leaders be held back by its less able ordinary citizens? If you view Singapore simply as a business rather than a nation that consist of loyal citizens, all this makes sense. Singapore citizenship is merely an employment by Singapore Inc....and success is defined by how much profits Singapore Inc makes rather than how Singapore Inc treat its employee/citizens.
I really can't think of another other nation that embrace globalisation as much as Singapore. 800,000 foreign workers and growing...offers of citizenship, scholarship etc places in our tertiary institutions. I'm sure this is the fastest way to top 1st world status. We should all learn to measure success as the performance of Singapore Inc and not what happens to people who are born as Singaporeans.
When globalisation began 2 decades ago, Singapore workers benefits' were removed - pension schemes, medical benefits, retrenchment benefits gone and laws were revised to make it easier to retrench workers. We globalised and removed protection for workers at the same time. Also happening at the same time was our esteemed PAP govt eliminating political competition, hiking its own pay and awarding itself more benefits like pensions for ministers and MPs. The conventional wisdom at that time was that the freer the market, the better our lives will be. I think Singaporeans now know what has happened and would be the best people to say if their lives have actually improved.
While democratic countries take steps to ensure the full benefits of globalization gets to its citizens, Singapore leaders don't have to waste any time on this. Our esteemed leaders will get us to top 1st world status as fast as possible, there is nothing to stop them as they apply the same formula - foreign workers ....and more foreign workers. They don't need to bother with rising poverty, increasing income gap and structural unemployment among the older workers. Globalization will definitely be good for Singapore Inc and its top executives...their painful sacrifices will not go unrewarded. As for ordinary Singaporeans, they should learn to appreciated the challenges coming their way and be prepared to work harder and longer to be prepared to contribute more(...and more) to Singapore Inc.