According to budget documents, the number of defence personnel is only 282, including 3 political appointments, since a decade ago. (Budget 2018, Head J, Ministry of Defence pg 64)
To confirm, the same figure is also stated in “Headcount by Ministry for FY2012 to FY2018” (below, edited).
(see “Analysis Of Revenue And Expenditure” pg 23)
The army is estimated to have a strength of about 70,000, consisting of 35,000 NSFs and 35,000 regulars. Even if NSFs were excluded, there should be a headcount of at least 35,000 personnel.
Note that headcount under “Education” did not exclude tens of thousands of teaching staff and the large number of police officers was also not excluded under “Home Affairs”.
Why has the Defence headcount been understated by tens of thousands? Is Singapore defended by only 282 military personnel, including 3 political appointees?
Over to you, PAP.