On December 9, Singapore’s Ministry of Defence conducted a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Open Mobilisation Exercise, calling upon all national servicemen, both active and reserve, to report to the Republic of Singapore Air Force’s air bases. It was an impressive turnout – over 90 percent of servicemen reported to the bases within hours of activation – five of the air force’s fighter squadrons reported to Changi Air Base, Paya Lebar Air Base, and Tengah Air Base.
According to Minister of Defence Ng Eng Hen, the exercise was successful, showing just how ready the SAF is to mobilise. He praised the men and woman of The Republic of Singapore Air Force on a job well done.
Minister Ng posted this on his Facebook page:
“Successful open mobilisation exercise by the Fighter Group from The Republic of Singapore Air Force today. Within a few hours, over 90% of servicemen, both active and NS, have already reported to RSAF’s air bases. Such exercises are important to maintain the SAF’s operational readiness.
Well done, men and women of the RSAF, especially our NSmen!”
The SAF conducts up to 30 Open Mobilisation Exercises a year, with all military units, which are done to maintain operational readiness.
While the other exercises were done quietly without attracting much attention, this latest exercise has garnered a lot of publicity, thanks to the ongoing maritime border dispute between close neighbours Singapore and Malaysia. If Malaysia continues to push into Singapore’s territorial waters at Tuas, Singapore has said that actions will be taken.
The SAF came up with a video, just under 8 minutes, that captures the spirit and dedication of the SAF as well as the importance of needing these exercises.
From the video, it is clear that Singapore is proud of the SAF and confident that they can mobilise quickly and effectively.
At the end of the video, these words flashed up on the screen:
“Our army is to deter aggression, and should deterrence fail, to secure a swift and decisive victory…to defend Singapore’s security and sovereignty.
While the SAF video made Singaporeans proud, it also unknowingly incited a comments war on Facebook, with many Malaysians mocking the pride and readiness of the SAF.
Although many of the original comments on the video have since been deleted, there are still many to choose from.
Here is one of the exchanges on the comments section of the video:
Here is another conversation:
The derision and mockery from the Malaysian commenters was unmissable:
Singaporean netizens fought back in defence:
The current maritime border dispute seems to be on people’s minds:
And there were some voices of reason, calling for peace amidst all the mockery:
This netizens seems to have the right handle on the situation:
Singapore and Malaysia may have more on their hands than just a maritime border dispute. There seems to be discord between the citizens of the normally-close nations.
Are the people’s comments a reflection of what is really going on between the nations?