National Security: Is it the Citizens’ Responsibility?

SAF VolunteerThe world is slowly becoming a more politically tense and volatile place, making national security even more important. From the west, the threat of terrorist groups and extremists are growing rampant, whereas somewhere close to home, an increasingly aggressive superpower is attempting to expand its borders well beyond its own.

Singapore is not exactly safe from all these, and though we are a superpower in our own right, the size of our rather small country has proven to be one disadvantage that many have tried exploiting. There’s no denying that safeguarding our homeland and increasing national security is important, but is it truly each citizen’s responsibility?

The Country’s Initiative

The SAF Volunteer Corps was primarily created to enhance the country’s security and uphold peace, and if push comes to shove, serve as a defining force that would overcome an aggressor. It primarily acts as a deterrent, making sure that aggressive countries and entities think twice before planning anything against the country’s security.

A common misconception that most people, particularly those from outside the country, is that the SAFVC serves as the country’s primary military force. As its name suggests, the volunteer corps serves to bolster the strength of the country’s national servicemen.

The SAFVC’s Purpose

Singapore fell once — a crushing defeat for the former British protectorate — and there’s no doubt that it was a defeat for us as a country and united people. The purpose of the SAFVC is to deter such aggressive actions and potential occupations from ever occurring and instil the importance of safeguarding the homeland.

It has been said that the best way to win a war is to prevent it from occurring. Even if, for some reason, the country’s military takes a big hit and is incapacitated, ordinary citizens have the means and skills to fight back. This kind of responsibility is what separates Singapore from its neighbouring countries, and would prove decisive if ever an aggressive country or entity decides to take up arms against us.