Sunday, March 23, 2014

Need for independent review of our military strategy and budget

Most people would agree that Singapore needs to have a strong military capability to ensure our independence.

While this goal is important, it does not mean that we have to spend excessively and wastefully. Our leaders still have the responsibility to make sure that the money is spent wisely.

Let us see if it is possible to achieve this goal in a more cost effective manner.

Let us take a look at the military expenditure of Malaysia. They spend $4.2 billion (usd) a year to maintain a professional army of 110,000 men and a reserve of 296,000.

Assuming that the cost in Singapore is twice of Malaysia, a budget of $4.2 billion will be sufficient to maintain a professional army and reserves of half the size of Malaysia.

Considering that Singapore has to defend a land space of 700 sq km, and Malaysia has to look after an area that is 450 times the size of Singapore, it should be more than adequate for Singapore to have a force that is half the size of Malaysia.

It is likely that Singapore needs to have a strong air force and advanced technology. Perhaps, this can be achieved with an additional $4.2 billion in our budget.

The strategy of relying on diplomacy and friendly relations with our neighbors will continue to be of top priority. A strong military capability is a secondary goal, but is necessary.

On this reasoning, it should be possible for Singapore to rely on a professional army and advanced weapons with a defense budget of $8.4 billion, i.e. 65% of our current budget, and to discontinue with conscription entirely.

Transparency International has question the lack of transparency in our defense spending. There are grounds for their doubts.

There is a need for an independent committee of inquiry to look into this matter. To preserve the secrecy of military matters, this committee can hold its discussions in private, but it should have an independent review of our military strategy and budget.

Tan Kin Lian


zhummmeng said...

Likely threats will come from Indonesia. The recent events are proof that they have no respect for Singapore, the little red dot.
They again recently raised their middle finger to Singapore, during the exhibition. We must be wary of them.
Singapore has to invest in the latest weaponry which allows us to strike first without the need for manned airborne vehicles. Singapore must develope the drones to carry weapons for mass destruction.
Who wants to spend so much on war if we have neighbours who don't behave like gangster.

yujuan said...

Not only most, dare to say all Singaporeans would agree we need a strong military to protect our country. But overspending to keep up with latest expensive military hardware is sinfully unnecessary and provocative, and perhaps wasteful.
There is perception our Govt wanna keep up with the Joneses of large superpowers in the arms race, triggering alarm amonng our immediate neignbours to join the race. What kind of message Singapore is sending, dun we have the Americans at the Kranji Naval Base to fall on if further needed. Take the MH 370 plane tradegy, and we could see the supremacy of the Americans in areas of Defence and technology. While others were searching the South China Seas for the plane, the American satelite had already picked up the ping signal in the Indian Ocean, and transmitting this info to third Party Australia, her close ally.
So why should tiny Singapore spend so much on "weaponry".
Could tell Indonesia, out of envy or otherwise, intentionally provoked us to react by naming the Macdonald bombers as National heros, and Singapore fell into the trap.
Humans are basically clean, but with the huge military budget in the billions, temptation is great to resort to corruption in certain forms if presented with a chance.
A civilian independent review panel is necessary to pre-empt such an incident happening, and and reduce duplication waste, already we had cases of civil servants caught redhanded in pilfering public funds and gambling in our 2 casinos, what more seeing moneys by the billions in the military budget, whatever precautionary procedures adopted by Govt, there is bound to be lapses and negligence in procurement systems.
We share Mr. Tan's concern and worries.

Blog Archive