Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Update: Land Rover death

An update on this tragic incident.


Anonymous said...

I was a MT NCO in the early 90s.

The attitude of the drivers towards safety then was bad.....guess things have not changed much since.

Those day, the drivers behaved as if they were the "King of the Road" and tempered with the SWD so that they can go beyond the speed limit. Surprisingly, it is only after they ROD that they mellow down and drive more decntly when they return for ICT.

MT line has always been considered a support platoon / company that no one pays attention to.

FinalFive said...

Depends. Which formation was he in? If he was in Engineers or Armour, the attitude wouldn't be bad I think. These two formations have a generally healthy respect for the vehicle and strictly observe safety measures because of the even stricter command emphasis placed on them.

For those that come under the integrated MT line concept - where vehicles are shared (and therefore drivers too), I think there's no sense of connection to any unit, and so they begin to feel like they are a 'resource pool'. Got exercise, need admin support - go... overseas exercise, need support, go... The mentality is slack when can slack. Because no one else cares about us.

Anonymous said...

So, the SAF has found the culprit and parades him before the nation. No mention of the delays in getting medical help or the recovery vehicle. Must say that the 90cents newspaper is also pretty co-operative in leading the public away from the REAL issues. This strategy of flogging a dead horse to divert attention always seem to work with the tame Singaporean flock. BaaaaAAAAaaa!

FIVE-TWO said...

FinalFive, I think you do have a good point and SAF "management" should consider such aspect when realigning the orbat. As you mentioned in the Armour and Engineers formation, the B-vehicles are very much a part of operations and the CSM and platoon sargents know the drivers individually.

On the other hand, soldiers do mellow and become significantly more responsible when they come back for reservists, even for my hokkien pengs. Family and work responsibility does change a man.

David Boey said...

I am not optimistic that MINDEF Public Affairs under the current PAFF leadership will learn from this episode.

Basic service levels - we're not even talking about outstanding PR - would have seen public concerns about the speed of response and choice of first responders addressed quickly. For instance, why wasn't immediate assistance sought from the Seletar Airport fire fighters?

It is true that MINDEF's ability to respond is constrained by the fact that the matter was under investigation and is now before our country's legal system.

But that should not be a convenient, catch-all excuse for PAFF to act like dumb mutes.

In the US, the US Department of Defense responded decisively after the Fort Hood shooting in November 2009 with a pledge to get to the bottom of the matter.

We have lost a decade from the Lost Years (see earlier post). Now, time has stood still with MINDEF's PR apparatus. The next DPA will have lots of catching up to do and good luck to us all system if he picks up all the wrong learning points during the understudy.

superspitfire said...

Hopefully whoever's taking over the seat would learn from real-time experiences on media management and people-to-organisation relationships. Whether they realise it or not, the two are linked somewhat and are vital. The more FUBARs they make, the less likely anyone would be confident in their work, however efforts they made.

Anonymous said...

David, it seems from your postings that you have an axe to grind with the PAFF. It seems to me that you are taking all opportunities to slam. Bad boy.

Lawrence said...

I think David been more than kind to PAFF. It is PAFF that is short sighted and unkind. Some self criticism of our processes is good. We should seek to engage critics and improve our processes rather than tolerate the status quo.

Anonymous said...

Apologies for sidetracking the discussion.

Mr Boey, if you could write something about the upcoming leadership transition. And perhaps comment on SAF leadership being "paper" generals.



breadtalk said...

I think it's really not fair for people who haven't worked with the generals to comment on whether they're mere "paper" tigers or not. Singapore's a "paper" society, but I don't think the SAF puts its generals where they are just cos' they've got a string of degrees packed in their sleeves. The new Army Chief looks very young and is prob scholar type but from what I hear from my guy friends, he's damn sharp and very solid. If the SAF has "paper" generals, then most of our politicians are "paper" politicians as well isn't it? That's my 2 cents. If David comments on it, I doubt he'll just diss the generals like you would like him to. He prob knows the SAF better than that.

Anonymous said...

Hi breadtalk,

I wasn't dissing the generals. In fact, I agree with you that there is a persistent (mis)perception of the caliber of our senior military leadership, and their responsibilities and roles.

It is for that reason I hope Mr. Boey would take this opportunity of leadership transition to comment and shed light on this issue.

I hope this clarify my position.



FIVE-TWO said...

from feedback in the militarynuts.com forum (claimed to be personal or first-hand) about the new command appointees, they sound like a rock solid bunch of commanders with brains and brawn.

David Boey said...

Hi Eric and others,
The past week was a busy one.

Apart from the pre-opening preparations, we had MM Lee Kuan Yew's visit, which was a hush-hush visit that grew into a full media coverage event.

Eric's point about "paper generals" is worth exploring. I've also wanted to address another issue, which is the psychological aspect of presenting our soldiers with so much info using the Battlefield Management System. I'll write about these in due course.

Those of you with friends or contacts in PAFF will know the issues that shackle the directorate's growth. It is something I will continue to write about.

Thanks for writing and do come visit me at the Sentosa integrated resort some day. :)