JC NSF bullied by non-JC NSFs to the point of contemplating suicide seeks advice online


An unnamed Junior College-educated National Serviceman shared his dire situation online of being bullied along with two other JC-educated students by non-JC NSFs who allegedly ostracise, taunt and physically hurt the JC boys due to their perceived affluence.

Appealing for advice on what to do, the desperate NSF wrote that he was once even assaulted for accidentally stepping on one of the bullies’ bag strap. When he brought it up to his commanders, he was allegedly told to ‘learn to adapt to their culture.’

The constant intimidation has pushed the NSF to contemplate suicide:

“I’m a first year soldier currently serving in one of the SIRs (not named for obvious reasons). I completed my enhanced BMT (the one that’s reduced to 3 months long) early this year and I was posted here afterwards. Life has been v difficult as I am very unfit, as I hadn’t had much physical training for a couple of years -trying my best to salvage my A’s, which turned out badly anyway- and as a Matador gunner, carrying ~30kg of load is extremely unbearable for me. But even aside from that, the bigger issue I’ve been facing for the last six months is: the constant bullying.
“You see, aside from me, there are only two other JC students (both my bunkmates) in this company. The entire battalion is a mono intake batch, and while we on our part have not distanced ourselves but instead tried to mingle with them, they don’t just outright sideline us, but pick on us often as well. When volunteers are needed, it’s almost always one of us who is ‘offered as tribute’. They also like to get physical with us, by shoving us around, poking or touching us in inappropriate areas. We continually tell them to stop, but they refuse to, and yet when we complain about it to the commanders, they just say it’s a joke, and that they’re just playing with us. And then they resume, in greater force this time.
“Personally, I was assaulted in the toilet because I accidentally stepped on another guy’s bag strap. I tried to hit back, but him being way bigger than me was no help. The issue was brought up to our commanders, but they simply brushed it off, and said things like ‘learn to adapt to their culture’, ‘watch yourself more’, ‘suck it up’ etc etc. They also often just take any extra snacks we have (we have since refrained from bringing too much food into camp), claiming that they’ll return it, or that we ought to share because ‘we should bond more’, but when we ask for something, they tell us to ‘go buy yourselves la, rich JC kids’.
“It’s gotten to a point where the three of us are constantly in fear of mingling with most of the people, and the thought of shooting myself in the head has crossed my mind on many occasions. I don’t know if this will get anywhere, but I really wish I could get some advice on what I or we can do about our dire situation.”

Support poured in from netizens, even though the NSF’s post and account were deleted shortly after the post was uploaded on Tuesday. However, it appears the NSF was monitoring the response via a different account as he posted an elaboration of events in a comment:

“Hi, very surprised the post blew up, didn’t expect to get anything. Just gonna be clarify a bit more on the details.
“Of the three of us, two of us have been here since after POP, the other guy just came in a couple weeks ago (recently up-PES because his condition recovered). Want to clarify that right from the beginning, we were already getting mocked and judged by the other people. Our attempts to make friends were simply us trying to be friendly with the other people who hadn’t started to kajiao us yet, but it was all in vain. We did befriend a couple of them, but those guys told us that they used to be the ones getting bullied until we came in – likely cause of their looks i.e. not very fit or bulky, bespectacled etc.
“The guy who’s been going through this shit with me since day 1 has kind of just gotten used to it, I guess because he doesn’t get as much shit as I have, so he’s not doing much about it. The new guy was already on the brink of asking his parents to write in right off the bat, and I advised him to come and speak to my PC with me. Wasn’t the first time I talked to my PC about it, and he already knew my situation, yet the advice he gave was the same – that I had to change myself, be stronger, and essentially suck it up. I told him that I’ve been trying to stand up for myself -telling them to fuck off when they cross the line- but seeing me get worked up just motivates them to push further, and he told me that I’m not being fierce or firm enough.
“I don’t know if he spoke to our CSM or OC about it, let alone our CO, but their attitude is similar to our PC, except most likely way less sympathetic (none of them came from JC batch). At this point, I’ve kind of given up on trying to reach out for help through my commanders, and am trying to see if I can get through to the MO.
“I personally have been trying to get a psychiatrist via being referred by polyclinic, but the response was that since I’m an NSF, I have to go through MO – and what most people have told me is that going to MO is likely to have me referred straight to IMH aka permanent record, and I really wish to avoid that. Right now, I got a memo from the polyclinic doctor to get help re: anxiety disorder from the MO, waiting for my medical review booking.
“Hopefully it works out, because otherwise I have to try the SAF hotline again – and the last time I did, it was of not much help. Not sure if I just had someone unhelpful who took my call that time, but he just told me to talk to my commanders and then suck thumb.
“Lastly, my unit has a strict policy against statuses, where they are not only stripped of any and all privileges, they are also subject to more weekend guard duties, less sleep (need go outfield be store party, come back need clean whole company’s rifles), and overall looked down upon by pretty much everybody. Have one friend who down PES because of permanent injury, his life was this hell for two months, before MMI high rank official managed to convince our CO to have him transferred to the battalion HQ side (administration people).”

Netizens urged the NSF to not make any rash decisions and bring the issues up to his Medical Officer again or call the NS Hotline once again. Some also recalled their own horror stories from their National Service stint and told the boys to just get through their mandatory conscription since “everyone goes through this shit.”


  1. You cannot be an individual in a sea of green… regardless of your educational level. My cohort ranges from zero education to PHD… all worked together… those who can’t gets nightly parties until can.

    • Btw I am the targetted group… bui spec unfit… kanna picked on by instructors on first day of BMT to be section IC… I cock up, my bunk mates gets punished x 10.
      I tried my best, they understood so I never kanna blanket parties.

      Simple rule… do not overthink things in NS, just do it, use body more than brains.

    • No leh. He didn’t show off. He just got bullied. As someone who has had similar experience before, I can vouch to say that society don’t need such bullies. They are the very ones who break the social fabric of harmony. It has nothing to do with education level but treating one another the way you wish to be treated.

    • He who does not walk a mile in others’ shoes should not talk. Seriously. You’re a fucking disgrace for trying to “bully-splain” the issue away. You’re no better than a would-be bully yourself, Sam.

    • Joel Long, if I am very judgemental like you…
      I would reply to you…
      “Boo Hoo… mama’s boy butthurt… and need to use F words to be a man.”

      But then if you read…
      I was not explaining nor pushing the issue nor blaming the writer.
      I was targeted during NS.

    • Sure doesn’t sound like it!

      There are some things a bullied person will never say. You know this wasn’t about someone not trying to fit in at all, the author mentioned a different issue.

      On the other hand, calling someone judgemental when they got you hook, line and sinker? That’s the trademark of a bully. Only bullies will try to frame bullying differently.


    • Joel Long
      Hmmm… got things a bullied person won’t say. I do not know have guidelines. New thing learnt.

      Victor Wong Yat Kit
      Sharing my thoughts/experience is projecting… hmmm…

      Any interpretation is possible bah.

    • You don’t have to keep weaselling around. You don’t have to resort to straw man reasoning –

      There’s only 2 possibilities here – either you’re so bad with your grammar that you said the opposite of what you meant, or… this statement is not meant as a criticism of the author, but to show that you espouse a certain set of values – one that toes the govt/SAF lines. In other words, either you made an inconceivably obvious mistake or you’re actually “tripoding”, if you know what I mean.

    • What is straw man reasoning?

      Perhaps my English not good. I meant it as an alternative to the writer’s thinking. It is to survive bullying or being marked.

      I read your post as a NSF driver… you have things stolen.

      Alternatively thinking I would have advised you not to bring items of value to camp. Protect yourself.

      The end objective is for the writer to consider other idea instead of killing himself.

      Tripoding if I understand correctly a bad way of saying I am seeking a safe POV…

      It is doing what is doable with what is within means.

      NS life does not need bullying cause it is already a difficult time for some… it is also not so bad that one does not have means to address their problem.

    • You see you yourself is assuming alot of things about me.
      Yes the bullies are to be punished… he tried. He can also escalate it to outside of SAF.

      I don’t know what you mean by dehumanising etc…
      This has be happening since my days and 2 decades has passed without a solution within the official lines.

      If he was a fighter and capable of thinking of ways out himself, well we would not be discussing it here.

      I do not know how to empathize him in your ways.

      Go AWOL… ruin his future.
      Declare to MO he suicidal… ruin his future.
      Confront the bullies directly… good luck to him.
      I do not see you offering any solid solution either.

    • Majority wins all the time. The team is as strong as the weakest man. When in camp, you can depend on no one except yourself to get out of shit…

      2 years if cannot learn to cope… go outside world worse.

    • Mohamed Firdaus yes, and war come, many of these people will be the first to mutiny, commiting treason and defection to the other side. It is common for a weak and small army. When big invading force come, people find it more beneficial to go over to the side of the invading force as they have more wealth, power and security.

    • Arturo Siew then let me ask you this curious question.

      You remember all those years ago when a certain someone said, if you don’t pay the MPs X amount of money they won’t come, coz private sector hires better?

      Why aren’t we hiring soldiers on better terms then, using the same logic?

      Also, based on your logic, in the Three Kingdoms era Cao Cao should long have won over everyone even before Liu Bei can muster a reasonable force to establish Shu (ditto Sun Jian for Wu). His invading forces were undeniably the “biggest” of all 3. Your logic fails to take into account such things as enemy aggression, second-classing of invaded peoples (and defectors), so on.

    • You have three options, one, go serve NS with your son so you can protect him for the rest of his life. Two, hire a maid to go with him. Three, migrate before he turn 12.

    • Samuel Tan S B worse is tong until either make someone go DB, make himself go DB, or serious until make himself excuse NS then that one is true perm record. The rest of the MO visits won’t have much impact on future one- they recognise everyone one point or another will have some stress they cannot handle at that time.

  2. JC Vs Poly soldiers. What a joke ! Now Singapore is going through a crisis. Police struggling with goons , mess inside the tunnel , lift goes unattended. What do we expect when experience is not cherished and people are elevated purely based on paper. From highest office to ground zero , our system is slowly failing. But everyone act like nothing has gone wrong. So many vehicles inside the tunnel , one cab on fire , only 2 Malay guys step forward to help fight. Police don’t know whats happening. TP know ehere to be seen. LTA thido. SCDF was not there yet. Where are the rest of the men ? All taking photos and videos and sending on whatsapp. I trust majority of the cars are driven by Chinese. Why no spirit to respond ? Selfish ? Kiasu ? Jaga own back side. Rather stand from a distance and watch other people suffering. With such mentality want to become Switzerland? And want to handle terror attack? Seriously we need deep soul searching for our children’s sake.

    • Uncle this has nothing to do with being Chinese or Malay or Indian. You can’t swipe the entire Chinese race. Besides these 2 Malays are trained. As part of Singapore’s upbringing we were taught to obey and don’t gei kiang. If you are inexperienced with such incidents, you have no idea what will put your life in danger. Don’t talk so much, go out now and be a hero

    • Ethan – Truth may hurt. But you dare not accept, then you remain where you are and rot. You have too much pride so lecturing here. Go and learn your life lessons. Everyone in South East Asia knows, Singapore Chinese are book worms , very narrow minded and selfish. Kiasu culture is not something that would take you to great heights. it is your kind of narrow mind set that makes MRT keep failing , Joy ride in Sentosa become nightmare and Lifts repeatedly keep failing.

    • Mohan Sinnapillay perhaps its true the Chinese have become more compliant to the system and afraid to step up when life situations call for it. On the other hand, there is still the “kampung” spirit in our Malay community. It doesn’t help with AEDs all across the island when everyone is too scared to use it. The infamous terrorist case in Kunming train station some years back, hundreds at the scene screamed and ran in terror and no one dared to contend with extremists armed only with knives, including a woman, some men in fact hide in shops and corners. We could no longer find the togetherness Singapore society during the merdeka days, Independence Day… the late HE Lee Kuan Yew knew what we needed back then, do we now know? Or do we sit on our laurels and begin to expect things to happen and be spoon fed? This is not even about taking political sides. It is about the very reason why we still exist as Singapore!

    • Mohan Sinnapillay lol… you are nuts. Narrow mindset? And then you go on to generalize all Chinese as bookworms. LOL. Contradicting much? I worked for Chinese bosses, I liked none of them. But I don’t say ALL Chinese bosses are bad. Besides, I don’t work in MRT. Hence, I won’t have a direct impact on whether what is happening with train breakdowns. Also, to refute your point, I am not lecturing. What you are saying is kind of ripping apart the racial harmony of singapore. It is people like you, sir, that needs to change. 🙂

    • Kirby Wong – good try about ” kampung Spirit “. That I have seen in malaysia cup days when Uncle Dollah and Kim Song were playing. that was a different Singapore. I am 55 and witnessed this country transforming. My father was a humble port worker which was the spine of the economy. The sacrifice made by them was easily forgotten. We are victims of our own success. For my Chinese friends , it is more so because things comes little more easily to them. I am not going to mince my words. Every community has its strength and weakness. But in any society , the tune is set my majority. LKY was great when his original cabinet was around. After that he was a different man and he planted the seed for today’s woes. If you choose to see history in PAP lens he is great almighty. if you see it objectively in neutral stand it may not as portrayed. Put aside history , what I wrote could be harsh and blunt , that is the truth. You see a fight in MRT between 2 Chinese , rest are pretending or taking video. Why no one step forward to make peace? Most of the time , another race steps in. There are enough of such incidents to support my statement. My intention is not to attack Chinese for any racial gains. If majority sets the pace , rest will follow. But there is a reason for Chinese majority to behave like this. That is what this govt wanted. Just mind your business and look after your own life. They were behind this culture of selfishness. Why care if HK people are sinking in flood , as long I am safe. So what we score in PISA , our people have no class.

    • Ethan Wang – Lets not make lip service on racial harmony. Our harmony is based on government control and intimidation. We are not a mature , developed country where we don’t see wrong in cross marriages. Here we are still that racial stereo types. When a Chinese lady marry an Indian guy , snide remarks are made. Indians still live in their own cluster. Malays are now more sensitive about Islam then ever. Why ? If we are truly and educated and modern society , such narrow mind set should be less and more broad minded attitude should prevail. Sorry I don’t think so and your reaction to my posting just confirms that. You could not digest that painful truth of what I said , is n’t it ? If Indians have done that, I won’t defend , I would screw them.

    • Kirby Wong
      I am in favor of racial unity but more sincerely. Not the wayang we see in RC n CC. Forming racial ghettos is bad n best to have breaked it. But after that little effort to make people gel. Mandarin campaign is done to brain wash Chinese n create a superior mentality. I saw big difference between my hokkien speaking chinese friends n today youth. Its very naive to think LKY wanted Chinese to.learn mandarin for economic benefit. What benefit has it brought? Except for laying red carpet for PRC folks, I dont see any deal. My Chinese friends of those days are still the same. In HK, cantonese still rules. Social unity n spirit of onesness takes years to build. We were almost there. LKY with his wild ideas did otherwise. To me he failed himself. When too much success gets into our head , we tend to become arrogant n snobbhish. So here we are , local vs FT divide , locals divided between haves n have not and between races. How to breach ? We need to re-boot the whole system. I doubt PAP will do. Because they think they are demigods.

    • Let’s not get racist here. There are good amongst the bad everywhere and in every race ! It’s the flawed policies of the dirty whites that had everyone living on edges ! We are better people then what you had portrayed ! Bringing up any issues regarded to differences in race will only serve to divide and enslave us! I n the past, We never had issues while growing up, or during schooling days, NS , working life with our compatriots namely the Chinese, the Malays , the Indians and the Eurasians did we ? We had always been an united Lor and I’m proud to have true friends from all races across ! What changed that ?

    • Mohan Sinnapillay I don’t see it through the lens of PAP but what you are doing is creating more divisions in our society. I would like to invite you for dinner cooking your food with you.

    • Ethan Wang
      You got me wrong. My closest buddy is Chinese guy whom I stick with since army days. Those were the days. Nice to hear that you are not seeing issue in PAP’s lens. Thanks for invite. We can disagree n remain as friends.

  3. Bullies? Nobody gets bullied for no rhyme or reason especially in the army. Ask the alleged victim what did he do to deserve such treatment from his mates in camp.

  4. PoWered By ফেগ জীবন

    The desperate NSF shared that he was once even assaulted for accidentally stepping on one of the bullies’ bag strap. When he brought it up to his commanders, he was allegedly told to ‘learn to adapt to their culture.’ The constant intimidation has apparently pushed the NSF to contemplate suicide.

    The Independent Singapore
    Date : 31 – August – 2017
    Like Back The Independent Singapore
    Comment Late Time 27Minute 31 Sec
    Auto Comment By ফেগ জীবন
    King Bot Team

  5. To bully and be bullied is part of the culture, don’t use civilian norms in the army. While I do not agree with bullying, whether in the school or in the army, learning to bounce back from such situations is making the best out of NS life for yourself. Learn to negotiate, be less calculative, and don’t run to your parents immediately when you loose a fight. By further antagonizing the situation, the bullies will make life even worse for you, may even brain wash all the camp mates including newcomers concerning you, that you are the odd one out, or simply trouble personified, even giving you names such as sissy, mama boy, etc. Find someone or two who is more sympathetic towards your situation and make friends and seek advise, buy coffee or breakfast once in awhile (asking why must I or saying they don’t deserve it doesn’t help you in your life)… During my NS, I occasionally bought all the cooks soft drinks, so much so the cook staff sergeant loved me and would invite me to taste whatever new recipe, and the corporal would give me more food each time I queued at the cook house. One good will deserves another, respect people, and at least some will reciprocate. Find out what your superiors need to do that you could do well and volunteer, instead of waiting to be volunteered. I used to do desktop publishing and layout design very well, one staff officer then used me to formulate all his training materials, excusing me from all the area cleaning, lol. I then mastered new softwares like Coreldraw, in the end, other units in the same camp sent trainees to be trained by me on how to use the software. Don’t sulk when life hands you a lemon, make a lemonade out of it. After one batch ROD, that batch that didn’t quite like me at all, of course not that I am without my own faults, with the help and guidance I provided for the newcomers and my honest cordiality, some in fact remained friends till this day. Threatening suicide as a knee-jerk reaction to bullying situations may bail you out for now but not in life. There are even tougher people and groups out there. Start learning while in NS, the consequences is much more manageable.

    • Without the NS preparing me, and many others who held my hands as I took life in my strides, I wouldn’t have survived when “going regional” was called for, being alone overseas treading through unknown waters and negotiating my way out of quagmires.

    • We shouldn’t need to make life harder for each other and ourselves. Sure, there are tougher people and groups, but that’s because you _want_ that, you think it helps you in some way. You want every single person to be that strong? Sure, people can help you along the way, but I bet you won’t be saying _any_ of these if those people did not see what you wanted (or, even if they did, didn’t think it was worth to help you).

      I didn’t ask for NS to be a daily pressure-filled bully-fest where I’d be lucky if I went outfield, and neither did this guy.

      Oh, you want to say not to apply civilian norms? Then who asked for the army? Nobody in their right mind would.

      As I said, he who does not walk a mile in others’ shoes should not presume to know more than the shoe-bearer. This is just so uppity-snobbish…

    • Joel Long you are entitled to your own views, and I hope your NS was just as fruitful. Good that you bullied no one and wishes no one would be bullied, that’s my aspiration too.

  6. Don’t be a bookworm. U may survive well in a civilised society.but in a war we do not need to be civilised to fight a war. Be brave and u will fit right in.

  7. I dun know what kind of recruits we are getting today. We were tortured yet we got up and just got on with it. It is up to your mental mindset to deal with the situation and not just go crying to your pc or oc or for that matter of fact your mummy.

    • Mr Wong I do not know what you are insinuating however as tough as we got it hard in the 80’s I would not dare to undermine what my uncles went through in the 70’s. From what I have seen of the new recruits, they have the best of everything. Equipments , medical care even psychologists to help them with their stint in national service.

  8. As a JC NSF in a driver unit I’m very aware of this. I have had my stuff stolen all the time (lost a Creative MP3 player and a Palm device, I knew who the thieves were but my officers all covered for them, guess where they come from) and been assaulted and picked on.

    Among JC NSFs I’m also ostracised because they think I’m in it with the drivers (joke’s on them).

    As long as you’re not Poly or ITE they bully coz for the rest of their lives, no more chance.

    I actually thank them because it was there that I stopped being naive.

  9. Some of us may constantly surrounded with bullies, be it in ns, workplace, neighbourhood or school! Bullies can be in any form, not jus in violence but in words too.
    The only way to counter them, either bush it off and move on or face them directly! Like the saying goes 另可杀不可辱。

  10. When JC OCS / OCT / officer do the bullying, it’s legal, hierarchy, natural aristocracy, natural order of things…

    when they get bullied, it is not acceptable, they are suicidal and all that shit…

  11. Sissies. …..The Real Fight is out there on the battlefield. ……against enemies. ……and not your own kind…….Wake up your fxxking ideas….

  12. Any of you guys resident under Defence Minister constituency, kindly report to him during Meet The People session. Commanders involved need to be educated to be more alert when attending this kind of complain and NSF bullies to be warned and subsequently punish if they continue bully others

    Need fast action to stop silly immature bullies

    Guys, keep sharing this posting

  13. So, the army culture has not changed after all these years since 2001.

    For this guy, unfortunately his camp officers wont believe him and will usually just laugh it off. He can approach MO for medical reasons, but 100% MO will ignore and push all – those who have seen MOs before will know they totally dont care. He can get family support from family and they can shoot to MINDEF, eventually arrow will shoot back his CO/OC than he will kanna arrow again – bad choice.

    He is going social now which is helpful but eventually MINDEF will take over and investigate. Outcome is… he will still be bullied and might be worse. Anyway, just try to endure and blend in as much as possible.

    I’ve bunk mates from JC mixed very well with Mono intakes because they dont speak English and only Hokkien/Chinese when with camp mates, share same interests, don’t act Smart & React too Fast to everything. (So i guess this might work for future JCs joining mono intakes – make that first impression RIGHT at the start).

  14. Call the NS hotline. Go up the higher chain of command as he already has told his immidiate superiors and nothing has been done about it.

    However be prepared for a backlash once they launch an investigation and odds are they will do a “ownself check ownself” and find no wrongdoing. The officers and fellow men will buddy up and support each other saying they never witnessed any bullying and might even suggest these soldiers are the ones with the problem. I’ve seen this happen during my time in NS.

    If you go make a medical claim of stress and suicidal thoughts they will send you to IMH for review and it will go on your record affecting you the rest of your life.

    Best advice is to toughen up, grit your teeth and get through it. It sucks but such is the bitter reality of life in SG.

  15. I was a jc chap. from yishun bmt. went to a sir for 3 weeks of ait. the hokkien pengs were alright. nice even. U MUST BE ON THE BALL AND EARN THEIR RESPECT AND TRUST. Will the independent sg publish the other side of the story from the hokkien pengs?

  16. Bullying of air-level exists since the start of A level. Yes “A-level” is what the non A level called JC NSF.. Be a man, suck it up. This is your only chance to meet ppl of a broader spectrum? Learn how to communicate with them. Time to leave ur sheltered life.
    This is going to be useful in ur life.

  17. There is no Poly Or JC bullies, grow up soldier and manage this yourself!who are you going to complain if you are “bullied” by the enemy during war time!?

  18. We need real soldiers not bullies in the army. Either commander is a bully himself or incompetent commander. Army is to serve and protect not to bully. Very sad this happened. Mindef should be accountable.

  19. Be tough man. Many have had gone through this before.
    Strengthen your soul.
    It’s only 2yrs in the army. Time will fly before you know it.
    Have patience. You’ll go through it safely like many did. Cheers:-)

  20. Are the Commanders encouraging ‘BULLIES’???
    Unacceptable !

    The Minister of Defence shld question the commanders & investigate on these issues.

    They are young men training to serve and protect our country.

    SHAME on the Commanders for their bias leadership !

  21. Our boys are forced to serve NS. Constantly harassed with ridiculous charges! NSFs’ welfare has never been placed of any importance to the officers. Those of higher ranks don’t look into this kind of matters unless they went public. Paid peanuts! Serving our nation should not be forced and please pay those Non-JCs and those with lower education fairly if not on par with peers. I’m not surprised these groups of young adults could easily out-smart those JC NSFs in many ways because they are exposed to handling difficult situations, domestically and in public. Bottom line is NS MUST NOT BE COMPULSORY!

  22. Is this true ? He should report to his officers. His parents should approach The MP. They should talk to Mindef. Having said that, I noticed that non mainstream media has a good share of divisive news : Singaporean vs foreigners, races, religion, China, etc. is this deliberate ? Or is it just reporting the news that nobody cover, such that they seem to be extremes covering ?

  23. JC are from the elite group & these are the snobbish/spoilt boys who thinks tha just bec their parents are rich, they are above the law & can bully the poorer boys. It will be a sad next 50 years for SGP with so many happenings lately.

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