"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Monday, February 16, 2009

"It's kind of fun to do the impossible." - Walt Disney

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Commenting that "the worldwide trend in conscription is towards reducing or ending it. Except in countries like Taiwan and South Korea and Israel which have REAL enemies" I was asked if I didn't think Singapore had real enemies.

My reply:

"Well, let’s see:

Taiwan - Has 1,500 missiles aimed at it. Is the target of constant sabre-rattling. Has a huge, relatively bellicose neighbor which has never renounced its right to invade and occupy it. Was last in active war in 1949.
South Korea - Has a capital which could be levelled in minutes with artillery from its neighbor. Has most heavily militarised border in the world. Has neighbor which regularly provokes it militarily and has kidnapped its citizens (incidentally, a Singapore citizen was kidnapped by them in the 70s or 80s). Was last in active war in 1953.
Israel - Surrounded by many countries which don’t recognise its right to exist. Was last in active war in 2006/2009 (depending on how you define that). Has been invaded 4 times. Is the active target of terrorist attacks.

Singapore - ???
[Ed: Spends more on defence than both its next-door neighbors COMBINED. Has larger total armed forces (including reservists) than either. Has never been at war.

All countries have real enemies, but you don’t see many bringing back the draft. Or even if they do, it’s short (<1 year) and there’s usually provision for alternative service.
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