Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228477
Title: THE MUSLIM DILEMMA IN THE SINGAPORE ARMED FORCES SINCE 1985
Authors: AHMAD ZAKI BIN YAZID
Keywords: Singapore Armed Forces
SAF
National Service
NS
Muslims
Malays
tokenism
discrimination
multiracialism
national security
Issue Date: 30-Mar-2022
Citation: AHMAD ZAKI BIN YAZID (2022-03-30). THE MUSLIM DILEMMA IN THE SINGAPORE ARMED FORCES SINCE 1985. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Since independence, the Singapore government has faced a perennial dilemma of Muslim inclusion in the armed forces. While it seeks to fully integrate its citizens and uphold its espoused principle of multiracialism, it also cannot accept any threat to national security, perceived or otherwise, breaching its military. This thesis tracks the process of inclusion of Muslims in the Singapore Armed Forces since Brigadier-General Lee’s announcement of ‘universal’ conscription from 1985. While inclusion has undoubtedly progressed, it has done so at a limited pace. This thesis seeks to address several inaccuracies in present scholarship, namely the conflation between Malays and Muslims and the assumption of universal conscription post-1985. This thesis also examines the causes for the increased inclusion in relation to events involving the Muslim community in Singapore. It argues that the government has capitalised on incidents that seemingly demonstrate Muslims’ divided loyalty to justify military policies and influence public sentiments. Changing geopolitical circumstances have also shifted the government’s perception of Muslims though the perceived risk remains constant. The consistent questioning of Muslim loyalty has also meant that the inclusion has translated to perceptions of tokenism and discrimination on the ground. Such sentiments have also been aggravated due to inconsistencies in government policies across scoeity and discrepancies in government justifications of exclusion.
URI: https://scholarbank.nus.edu.sg/handle/10635/228477
Appears in Collections:Bachelor's Theses

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