Whilst it’s nice that our Gold Olympian’s National Service obligation has been settled, it isn’t far enough. For a government that always prides itself with it’s self-proclaimed long-term planning prowess, deferring Schooling’s NSF a mere 4 years – and they call that ‘long-term’ and prowess?
Heard of a planning concept that is superior to ‘long-term planning’? It’s called, ‘Begin with the end in mind’.
So, in Schooling’s case, he should be asking himself, ‘Assuming nothing untoward happens to me, how many more Olympics am I good for?’ It’s not too ambitious to look at 3 more Olympics (= 12 years) as a guide. By then Joseph will be a ripe 33, only 2 years more than Phelps in his 5th Olympic outing.
Did not the Schoolings aim for Olympic gold instead of, say, just national, Asian or Commonweath glory? So, any visibility for Joseph short of 3 more Olympics as the ‘end in mind’ is less than ‘gold standard’ planning.
But we can count on the PAP cabinet, never ever one to admit shortcoming, to retort, let’s cross the bridge when we reach it. You know, there are so many ‘what ifs’ along the way that can scupper the best-laid plans.
But that’s merely an excuse. See, Schooling can always be granted deferment till after Olympics 2028 – but always and only conditional on his performance (say, must minimum qualify for finals or win a medal) at the each Olympics.
Fair? But we know that’s not going to happen. For all the blah-blah-blah spouted, not one single minister can or has come up with a dollar figure of how much they have invested in Schooling. Ironically, we can add up all the good money that has been thrown at mostly pedestrian foreign participants under the FST (Foreign Sports Talent) Scheme. Oh, yes, they didn’t even bother considering the small change needed to broadcast Rio live. That’s truly how much they think of we-the-citizens. But when they see gold glittering around Joseph’s neck, they move a motion in parliament, full of sound and fury – signifying their hypocrisy for the world to see.
So, Joseph, are you reading this post?
Here’s a crazy idea for you to consider. I go so far as to say that if you take up this idea, you will be doing MORE than just “NSF” (National Service Fulltime). You will be doing our Nation a true, Lifetime Service; an act to strengthen the unity of Singaporeans for generations to come. Sorry to pile pressure on you. But YOU are the only one capable to do so at this moment for us.
– First, you give up your Singapore citizenship.
– Then you apply for US or Aussie citizenship. Otherwise, try UK (where your great-grandpa hailed, if anything, they’d be happy to show some subtle ‘contempt’ of the PAP). If all fail, get a Timbuktu’s passport.
– Next, you continue with your planned training, studies and life.
– Finally, a year before Tokyo 2020, apply to become a Singapore citizen. Don’t worry, the PAP, if still in power, will capitalize on it and show how generous they are, very broad-minded. If out of power, the new government will approve your citizenship if only to show what idiots the PAP was to force your hand.
Via the above steps, you will be exempted from NSF FOREVER!!! Just like what your Olympian colleague, Chen Feng and others enjoy now.
Your loyalty to Singapore is never in doubt. What’s more, no mere words but your unprecedented, courageous act will demonstrate your true love for your fellow Singaporeans. In fact, bless your parents, they brought you up right by Singapore (unlike some PAP ministers with some children for quitters, NS ‘preferential deferrers’ and or others with family living overseas).
Your course of action will lay bare the bankrupt nature of PAP’s sorry and inequitable policies of ‘NS for male citizens and steal-a-march-option for male PRs/new citizens’. I and all my sons have served our due. There’s no personal gain in my suggestion to you,
Joseph, even as you bask in your deserved limelight, think of how the policy has not only denied the likes of Ang Peng Siong and many of your earlier fellow Olympians their medals. While outside of the sports fraternity, ‘NS for male citizens and steal-a-march-option for male PRs/new citizens’ has been sowing doubts in all our minds of what patriotism entails. PAP ministers are all none so deaf and blind to the collateral consequence of their policy only because they choose not to hear and see.
Dear Joseph, please reflect on it. Has God gifted you just be a mere Gold Olympian? Or perhaps, He’s uniquely equipped, placed and timed you for a greater purpose to nudge Singapore from its current, nation-disunifying trajectory back to our original ‘one united people’ pledge?
Law Kim Hwee
PS: I’d love to hear from fellow Singaporeans how the idea can be improved upon.