share if you believe in rational thought

there’s a quirk in Singapore – a physical meme that plays itself out every single day, laughing at Singaporeans.

at 18, men go into the army and women carry on their lives as they see fit. let me adjust that statement – S’POREAN men go in to do their national service, whether they like it or not.

I’ve always been for National Service. I believe in serving, I just don’t really enjoy it. That’s fair , isn’t it? It’s like eating your vegetables – sometimes you know you just got to do it. We’re a small nation, blah blah usual arguments. This post isn’t about that.

What this post is about is the loss of rational thought. I think Singaporeans are an amazing bunch of people – we’re used to adversity, we’re used to competitiveness and we’ve been built to think. Yet, in all arenas of social thought, I find that we are still severely lacking. Has our society accepted that they have soldiers in their community?

Singaporean Men play a difficult game – they balance their lives as soldiers and civilians , like a lion on a tightrope. In camp, they are expected to be ruthless, lacking of cowardice, and able to call shots within the instant. Yet the moment they leave the guard-post they are subjected to society’s condescension on them.

A vulgar word slipped out is blamed to a lack of character. A lapse into rattling into “Army Lingo” is attributed to ignorance and not being considerate. An inclination to make decisions quickly is pointed as being chauvinistic and un-democratic.

Granted, we’re playing a game of degrees. There are people who are in the extremes, and certain evaluations can be made with justification. But what I don’t get is how people who haven’t served immediately make a stereotype of the rest of Singaporean men without understanding the context.

University students don’t like dating ORD-ed men because they’re still reeling from Army Relapse. Aunties make judgement calls on what we ought to do and what we ain’t ought to do. People comment that we don’t train hard.

This is an age-old argument, we’ve justified how we behave time and time again. We do try to fit back into society, in fact, we want to. Thanks civilian friends , for enduring us at times when it’s get difficult.

Yet, we must remember when we look at Singaporeans and their relationship with National Service – we shouldn’t blame. We can look for a justification. The response must be “I get why he’s like that. ” Understanding isn’t just acknowledgement – it’s about really figuring out the emotions that went alongside the battles he fought, the complications he faced when making decisions and the sacrifices he made to get where he was.

As Singaporeans, shouldn’t that be an active part of our identity? Sometimes, it’s difficult knowing the people on the outside aren’t even interested in our lives on the inside, as if we’re a granted.The response shouldn’t be “Eeyer, why are you like that? NS? ”

Commandos and clerks have two different lives – to each their own. The challenges and benefits differ but struggles still exist. Some get it better off, but it doesn’t mean the rest live a good life. Let’s be rational when we say what we say. Let’s think it through before we make a judgement call on our soldiers, our responders and our police.

Emotions, sentiment and inclinations are all part and parcel of life. I think it’s fair if a girl says she’s more “attracted” to a foreigner than a Singaporean. But to say that  you would rather date someone from overseas because you think Singaporean men are sub-standard is total diss at what her citizenship stands for. The same goes for friends who revel in their life outside and comment “Too Bad”.  And I think that’s just sad.

We can’t be absorbed by it – our duty is to our country. To me, I’d fight to protect my family. I can’t see myself migrating, I’ve built a life here. To look for appreciation is to look for grass in the desert. It’ll be there, but just hard to find.

All I’m saying is this – next time we decide to say something like “Eh don’t be so rude, God, I hate how you guys swear” after it’s just a singular utterance, or remark “you guys are not up to date – where have you guys been” , let’s follow it up with “It’s alright, I understand . NS right? Let’s move on”

Rational thought – let’s understand what we’re doing.



rovik. writes about The Hidden Good – Singapore Unveiled.

first things first- by the end of this article I hope you share this post or our FB page. why? read on.

so most of you should know that I’m working on another crazy idea. and i’m really excited about this one.

it started off as a conversation between Leon, a great buddy of mine, Qin En and me in the MRT. We were all standing near the “Reserved Seat” in the MRT with a train packed to the rims, yet nobody was sitting on it. There was this sense of fear that if someone who did not belong to the required category of elderly, handicapped and pregnant sat there, they would be immediately shunned and cast to the dark hallways of STOMP.

there was a sense of fear in our society to live in peace and pleasantness with one another.

and we realised that as much as the shaming of bad acts in Singapore is done in STOMP and forms a part of our social consciousness, there’s a lack of the celebrating of the good in our society to counter that. where’s the other side of the story? does it not exist?

we all know it does. we’ve encountered amazing people who would go a step out from their comfort zone to help someone else in their society – who would do simple acts of goodwill simply because they can and will. yet it’s hidden in our community – hiding in the shadows of the critics who only like to point fingers and yell targets at people.

we aim to uncover that hidden good. we aim to show Singapore what it is, and has the potential to be.

through our videos, we expose the real side of Singapore by instigating responses, breaking down barriers and creating avenues for interaction. we’re ruthless – this is not a school project nor is it an attempt at getting short term KPIs. we’re here to prove a point, and we’re ready to put Singaporeans in the position to show what they’ve got.

there may be disappointments in how they react, but based on our filming experience and our encounters – the vast majority of Singaporeans will do and have done good in our videos. we’ll show both sides – but the point is the same – would you now take up the mindset that you too can be that guy?

once the hidden good is unveiled , our society can grow. we can look past our disappointments and struggles, and seek to build a common future. because we know we can trust the guy next to us to have our back.

we’ll be posting up updates and launching in April but keep up with our teasers and sneak peeks.

our FB is

our twitter is @thehiddengood.

SHARE! yes , please share because we want to reach as many people as we can with this message and get them involved.

if you can act, take professional videos, handle online tools or just want to be a part of our team just contact us .

the rest, share our message. we’re a mishmash of people from all over Singapore with very little in common other than the fact that we’re from the same country. we’re not necessarily nationalists – we just believe in the human ability .

and that’s the whole point.

p.s. remember to SHARE!