Unit 10.3 Defending SingaporePresentation Transcript
Unit 10.3 Defending Singapore
The Need to protect Singapore
Singapore has always been vulnerable and peace and stability in Singapore were threatened by disorder within Singapore as well as from external forces.
Reason for our vulnerability:
Strategic location along the main trade routes. Hence a treasure for the other countries.
Lacks natural resources and depends on trade with other countries to feed our population.
Need to Protect II
1960s Political instability in Southeast Asia. Communism was spreading. Vietnam was in war. Singapore’s security was very vulnerable.
1965 Singapore became responsible for own national security when we gained independence. We only had a small force with fewer than 2000 soldiers and 2 old gun boats and no fighter planes to guard our skies.
It is important to defend Singapore so that it is safe and foreign investors would want to invest in businesses in Singapore.
Steps taken to Defend Us
National Service Amendment Bill 1967 – states that all male Singaporeans will be enlisted for National Service at 18 years old. It lasts for 2 or 2.5 years.
After NS, they will be known as Operationally Ready NSmen (ORNs). They go for reservist to maintain and improve their military skills each year for some years. This ensures that they will be fit when they are needed to serve the country.
Our citizen’s army is made up of the full-time NSmen, the ORNs and the regular soldiers.
We need an army large enough to protect Singapore without incurring higher costs.
It helped in nation-building as young men will develop a sense of loyalty to Singapore when they are involved in the defence as a member of the armed forces.
Help from outside
Foreign military experts were invited to Singapore to help teach our military leaders skills and knowledge.
Weapons and other military equipment were bought from overseas.
The British agreed to leave the radar system behind so that Singaporeans were trained to operate it. This ensured that Singapore would have its own air defence before the British withdrew from Singapore.
Help from outside II
British announced that its defence forces would leave Singapore by March 1971.
LKY flew to London to persuade them to postpone withdrawal of British troops. They extended it for 9 months.
Defence plans were revised to speed up the defence build-up process.
We sought cooperation from Britain, Australia and New Zealand to station some troops in Singapore.
The Five-Power Defence Agreements were signed betw Britain, NZ, Australia, Spore and Malaysia. They will consult one another in event that any country was being attacked.
1966 Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute was opened to train military officers so that they can train NSmen.
MPs explained to Singaporeans the need to defend Singapore and why we had to introduce National Service.
Variety shows and get-togethers were organised at CCs to allow people to voice their feelings about NS and clear any doubts.
Introducing NS II
Media like radio, television and pamphlets were given out to inform people about NS.
Ministers, MPs, senior civil servants and community leaders set an example by volunteering for part-time military service.
First batch of NSmen completed their NS in 1969 after 2 years of full-time training.
Air and naval training
August 1969 First batch of NSmen completed their National Service after 2 years.
Navy and the air forces were set up as well.
Training was conducted overseas and help was sought from foreign military advisors.
SAF was able to train its own pilots and naval officers.
By Mid 1970s The Air Force and Navy were equipped with the necessary military equipment.
Defence in the 1980s
SAF is continuously improve the military skills of the soldiers and buying more weapons and modern military equipment.
Birth rate in Singapore declined in the 1980s.
SAF bought, specially designed and produced more advanced equipment and weapons that require fewer men to operate.
Initial Problems faced in setting up a Defence Force in Singapore
Small country with small population
No military background, experience and expertise to set up an armed force
Convincing people to accept NS
Only 3 years to build up effective military force when British announced withdrawal by 1971
Lack of training facilities and experience to set up sea and air forces.
Attempts at Nation-Building through the Defence Forces
NS could forge a common bond among the NSmen and make them feel committed to defend Singapore.
Young men of different races and religions shared their lives for 2 years. They learn to be sensitive to one another’s religion, cultural values and special behaviour.
The armed forces also do social services in less developed countries.
When racial riots in Malaysia affected Singapore in 1969, the army was activated to maintain law and order.
Military training helped to build a more rugged society and developed a responsible workforce by developing discipline and endurance in the young men.
By mid 1970s Singapore had built up air, sea and land defence forces. That is remarkable since we only had a small force in 1965.
NS has become an accepted way of life in Singapore.
Singaporeans know the importance of Total defence, not just relying on the military defence.
Singapore has been able to maintain peace and security.
Old miltary equipment and weapons are modified to save costs. This shows the creativity of the NSmen.