Sunday, March 26, 2023

Pukul Habis ranked among top 10 fiction best sellers by The Sunday Times


In stock: Quite surreal seeing Pukul Habis on display at Books Kinokuniya's store in Ngee Ann City alongside titles by more experienced authors and big name publishers.

Pukul Habis was ranked among the top 10 fiction Best Sellers by The Sunday Times today (26 March 2023) 🙂 Not bad for a title that only recently appeared in Kinokuniya bookstores in Singapore.

Am grateful to the Books Kinokuniya Singapore team for their expert guidance, tireless support and boundless professionalism in helping Pukul Habis appear in their Ngee Ann City and Bugis Junction bookstores. Big thanks to readers in Singapore who have explored the unthinkable scenario outlined in Pukul Habis' storyline.

Books Kinokuniya Malaysia will have the title soon. Am really curious how Malaysian readers will take to this story of an unthinkable war.

Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Coming soon: Kinokuniya Malaysia to release Pukul Habis war fiction novel

Excited and a wee bit nervous with the release of Pukul Habis in Malaysia coming soon.

Books Kinokuniya in Singapore already has Pukul Habis. Please visit its main store in Ngee Ann City or Bugis Junction, or check the Kinokuniya online store here. The title should be available via Kinokuniya Malaysia soon. Please enquire with the KL store.
For readers elsewhere, please check the Amazon sites that serve your location. "Look Inside" function on some sites shows sample pages.



United Kingdom: Look Inside

USA: Look Inside. When ordering from Singapore, please click on the "Shipping to Singapore?" button. Ignore the "Temporarily out of stock" notice on the page.

Thursday, March 16, 2023

Singapore Army Visit 2023 - Interesting Hunter AFV variants on show

[17 March 2023: Updated with more pictures and comments on smoke grenade arrangement.]

The Singapore Army's annual "Army Visit", which provides a shop window into #armylife for young Singaporeans, is being held from 16 to 17 March 2023.

It was pleasure to be invited to Army Visit 2023. 

The enthusiasm and energy from the Army ambassadors at their various stations was palpable, and their professionalism was all the more remarkable considering that many of the full-time national servicemen were in school a year or so ago. How they have changed - for the better!

Instagrammer sozoplamo managed to get a rare shot of two Hunter armoured fighting vehicles side-by-side with different 30mm Remote Weapon Station configurations. Great catch! Note the different arrangements for the SDS 50mm smoke dischargers and the "cheeks" of the RWS. Callsign "33" has a new seven-per side arrangement for the smoke grenades. See his pix below.

Close up of "33". Note the cluster of seven smoke dischargers per side, which was not seen before. Compare this with the "4x1" launch version below and "2x2" variant which was first displayed in public at the Singapore Army Open House 2022. 

Launch version of the Hunter with a "4x1" arrangement on each side.

Smoke grenades are small beer. The bigger question to ponder is what other mods have Singapore's defence engineers and the Armour community made to the RWS to enhance the Hunter's firepower, accuracy, lethality, and survivability (apart from throwing more smoke, if you know what I mean). Ample room in that turret... [For those interested, my book, Pukul Habis, describes fictional scenarios of Hunters in action with all the bells and whistles fitted.]

Also noteworthy was the appearance of a "naked" Hunter AFV with its front and side appliqué armour apparently stripped off. This was the first time I had seen a Hunter AFV displayed like this. I think the lightened configuration reduces wear and tear on the automotive components during peacetime training. Happy to hear thoughts from anyone who has a different hypothesis.

Note the "2x2" arrangement for the smoke dischargers.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023

Pukul Habis book available at Books Kinokuniya in Singapore; ranked top 10 on Kino SG's weekly fiction best seller list

Many thanks to the Books Kinokuniya team for the nice placement for Pukul Habis - right after the main entrance of its store at Ngee Ann City in Singapore.

Last Friday (10 Mar 2023), the Kino team unpacked, price tagged and displayed copies of the war fiction novel. By noon, Singapore's biggest bookstore had the novel ready for readers here. This marked the first time the novel (ISBN 9789811861499) was sold in Singapore since its launch online on last November.

Despite being available for less than a full week, Pukul Habis was ranked top 10 on Kino's weekly list of fiction best sellers.

The book is available via Books Kinokuniya Malaysia. Please call the store for availability at 03-2164-8133.

The books printed in Singapore are a limited run. Thanks everyone for the support. 

Friday, March 10, 2023

Special Update: Pukul Habis book now available from Kinokuniya in Singapore and Malaysia

Books Kinokuniya in Singapore has stocked Pukul Habis. Please visit its main store in Ngee Ann City or Bugis Junction, or check the Kinokuniya online store here. The title should be available via Kinokuniya Malaysia soon. Please enquire with the KL store.

The book (ISBN 978-9811861499) continues to be available on Do check the Amazon sites that serve your location. "Look Inside" function on some sites shows sample pages.



United Kingdom: Look Inside

USA: Look Inside. When ordering from Singapore, please click on the "Shipping to Singapore?" button. Ignore the "Temporarily out of stock" notice on the page.

Saturday, March 4, 2023

Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-5S fighter still has secrets to keep


Front office: This is what the cockpit of a Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) Northrop F-5E Tiger II looked like in the mid-1980s. An extensive upgrade that brought it to F-5S standard replaced many of the steam gauges and gave F-5 pilots an improved radar and NVG-compatible cockpit optimised for night flying.

Visitors who have seen the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) F-5S Tiger II fighter at the Air Force Museum may be curious why the cockpit canopy was frosted.

The fighter type is no longer in RSAF service and was decommissioned in 2015 after 36 years of service. So what’s so hush-hush?

The special HUD in the locally-modified F-5 might have led to the frosted canopy, which conceals everything within such as displays in the NVG-compatible cockpit.

The HUD is thought to be proprietary and possibly unique to the RSAF. Considering that Singapore only had around 40 F-5s, the amount of effort invested to give this relatively small fleet a secret edge is commendable. Hint: the F-5S HUD had homegrown capabilities that were superior to the HUD found on vanilla F-16C/Ds that were of a more modern design.

Hopefully, the full story of the RSAF’s outstanding F-5 upgrade project can be told one day…

Here’s what the front office of an RSAF F-5E looked like in the mid-1980s before Singapore’s defence scientists and engineers had a go at giving the fighter a new lease of life.

P.S. I’ve not visited the Air Force Museum at Paya Lebar Air Base for many years. Will aim to visit one day. 

Facebook: @SenangDiriHQ

Instagram: @davidboeypix 

Twitter: @SenangDiri

Thursday, February 23, 2023

Change in Singapore Armed Forces Chief of Defence Force and Republic of Singapore Navy Chief of Navy

The 10 Singaporeans who led the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as Chief of Defence Force (CDF) gathered for a group photo a few years ago. Sadly, Lieutenant-General Ng Jui Ping (5th from left) has since passed on.

I know of at least three former SAF CDFs who have read Pukul Habis - because the retired generals (including General Winston Choo) kindly shared their feedback with me. Three other former Service chiefs - one from army, one from navy and one air force - have also read the book.

Am humbled and pleased that these generals made time to read the fictional war story. This is the first time three former SAF CDFs have commented directly on something I wrote.

As a writer, am also happy that they read the novel in the spirit in which it was written. As a Singaporean, I took great comfort in reading their feedback, which reinforced my enduring belief in the SAF's ability and readiness to do what's necessary in time of need.

Change in CDF and Chief of Navy
Yesterday's announcement that Rear-Admiral Aaron Beng, Chief of Navy (CNV) of the Republic of Singapore Navy, would take over from Lieutenant-General Melvyn Ong as CDF on 24 March this year saw some media highlight the CDF-designate's status as the first RSN officer for the SAF's apex position. And as part of the continuing process of leadership renewal in the SAF, RADM Sean Wat, RSN Fleet Commander, will assume the appointment of CNV on 10 March.

The SAF pays particular attention to keeping its people aware of how various arms come together to defend Singapore. For example, officer cadets train together during the Joint Term in the Officer Cadet School, which introduces officer cadets to the spectrum of operations that the SAF is capable of executing while forging professional bonds with future officers whom they will work with during their SAF career.

As officers rise through the ranks, they will participate in SAF war games of increasing size, scale and complexity. Such exposure adds to their appreciation of the SAF's spectrum of capabilities. So SAF senior leadership should be well-appraised of what the SAF can do in peacetime and during operations, with insights that go above and beyond what they learned in their own Service (i.e. army, navy, air force or defence intelligence service).

The appointment of Rear-Admiral Aaron Beng to the apex position in the SAF's leadership reflects MINDEF/SAF's confidence in the organisation's success in inculcating a Joint mindset amongst its officers. It is also a positive signal that capable officers, regardless of the colour of the uniform he or she wears, can shoot for the highest positions in the SAF.

Singapore has always been a maritime nation. RADM Beng's tenure as Chief of Defence Force will come at a time when MINDEF/SAF reflect on options for replacing key naval assets such as the Victory-class missile corvette and Endurance-class tank landing ships (LSTs), and introduces new and more capable Invincible-class submarines. As the LST replacement is expected to operate army and air force assets from her deck, RADM Beng's firsthand insights into the peculiarities of naval warfare will add value to a significant naval project that will serve as a springboard for sharpening RSN capabilities in delivering naval power, on and from the sea.