What is the SAF Thinking?

Well the flashbang has gone off in Mindef’s Public Affairs Department for sure. 2 SAF guys training in Bridge Over River Kwai territory were shot accidentally by a Thai farmer / hunter / neighbourhood watch (which one we don’t know) but the news was only recently revealed and the SECOND shooting was publicised only after someone complained that there was a SECOND incident. (ahem) SAF cover up! (ahem) Kudos to the family of the NSF for reporting the incident for the media to follow up. Kudos to the media for letting that round away rather than covering up as well.

As far as we know or don’t know, that Thai guy might have been pissed at our Spore 3G pixeled camo troopers after stepping on uncovered poop left behind by the troops on field exercise, or they had stole his durians, or angry that it was Temasek’s hunger for Shin Corp which pushed Thailand into its current mess since 2006, and wanted some payback by ambushing our guys with his blunderbuss. Anyway, WTF was the reaction of the SAF dudes when one of their own was taken down by Mr Tom Yum Gong? Pasang bayonet and rifle butted the Thai hillybilly? That’s the result when not enough info is released after some time despite some pressure from the public. Our imagination gets all fire up and carried away.

We don’t know details. heh Fair enough as the internal inquiry and musical chairs is still going on to see who is left standing when the music stops. Also, I’m not going to diss the poor unlucky dudes who were shot as they were at the wrong place at the wrong time or say that there were pwned by some Thai Elmer Fudd. Come on, a NSF and a regular were hurt so no giving them crap here and I hoped that the SAF regular is well taken care of and not discharged, and both are adequately compensated (hoped they bought SAF insurance though).

The accidents happened in March during the old CDF’s watch. But the new CDF now has to put out the fire, and his first public wallop at that! The 3-star guy right at the top has to take the shite for his homies although I like former defence correspondent David Boey’s explanation of the PR frakups SAF has gotten into,

So where does MINDEF’s embattled Public Affairs Directorate (PAFF) go from here? Does this rank as an honest mistake? Should all of us just move on?

We can. But brace yourself for more PAFF gaffes because I hold the opinion that a certain someone there lacks the temperament, writing skills and PR savvy for the job.”

Is that statement about Mindef’s PA dept fair? David probably has his ears on the ground on the footstomping in Gombak so yours truly will not dismiss his opinions with a roll of my eyes. But let’s face it, the SAF is not the most popular govt organisation and whatever it does or does not do, it is damned either way in the court of public (NSmen) opinion. Still IMHO the whole circus could have been done better.

Let me try my hand at this – “2 SAF soldiers were accidentally shot during a SAF exercise in Thailand. More information would be released when the inquiries are completed”. Now that wasn’t too hard right? Sure, they didn’t have to say anything until the facts are clear and coordination with the Thais on what is to be released and not released is spelled out. But at least give due respect and preliminary transparency to the public especially when a NSF was wounded. Mindef, don’t be an arse.


One Response to “What is the SAF Thinking?”

  1. Panzer Says:

    With the SAF getting into all sorts of missions in Afghanistan. (Touch wood) if a taliban rocket/mortar attack/IED takes out Singaporean NSFs or regulars, how would the SAF public affairs spin such sacrifices defending “Singapore’s interests” in a far flung land like Afghanistan to grieving families (whose parents need to fight tooth and nail against FT for a piece of the economic pie in SG)?!

    Majullah Singapura.

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