Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Nothing Unusual

Currently a series of photographs on the Internet has generated debate about the toughness of soldiers in Singapore. The photos which were first taken off Facebook shows a young man, in his full army uniform, walking along with his maid trailing behind him carrying his backpack.

Needless to say most netizens in Singapore are not amused. In a way I understand their feelings. He's the one in the army, but the maid is the one carrying the backpack. That’s just wrong; I agree with that. However people who believe that Gen Y soldiers in Singapore are too "soft" and "spoilt" because of this photo are wrong.

The reason I think that is simple; this is not that unusual.

When I was in the army, a guy that was doing BMT with me always had a car waiting for him at the gate everytime he booked out. Usually it was his girlfriend that drove the car but sometimes it was a guy who I believed was the family driver. The guy doing BMT with me would just enter the car and they drove off. This was over 10 years ago. What’s the difference between my experience and this photo?

Outside the fact one of walking, the other was driving, it is completely the same. Families telling their domestic help to go “fetch” their sons coming home from the army camp are hardly new. It happens and it had been happening for a long, long time. Being in Gen Y got nothing to do with it.

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