New PAP faces stunned by online vitriol

Dear Dr Puthucheary,

I refer to the 31 Mar 2011 Straits Times report of your answer to the criticism that you didn’t serve national service. You said you spent ten years saving kids’ lives. In that case, would you champion for all those who qualify for medical school to be exempt from national service since they would be saving lives for the rest of their lives? How about those who would go on to become paramedics? They too would be saving lives. How about future firemen who would save lives from fire and other dangers? How about would be counsellors who would save the lives of those who have given up hope? How about future teachers who would shape, nurture and mould lives?

The list is endless. If you think that saving lives entitles one to skip national service, you would be opening up a Pandora’s box to countless others who would be similarly excused from national service. You don’t have to strive so hard to convince Singaporeans that you will stay and fight. Until that day comes, no one really knows who will stay and fight. Even MM Lee didn’t fight when the Japanese came. But he did stay to work for the Japanese.

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