Total defence manpower understated by tens of thousands, only 282 personnel

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)
1defenceTo confirm, the same figure is also stated in “Headcount by Ministry for FY2012 to FY2018” (below, edited).
1defence2(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.



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3 Responses to Total defence manpower understated by tens of thousands, only 282 personnel

  1. Sinkie says:

    I suspect the stated headcount is only for political appointees & civil servants. Those in stat boards and in uniform (i.e. SAF, SPF, SCDF) are technically not civil servants — they are colloquially known as public servants. The numbers for Manpower and Home Affairs should actually be higher if include uniform personnel & stat board staff.

    I think the reason why they don’t just include all staff is becoz the employment terms are different for uniform groups and stat board staff — they are not “permanent staff”. Their contractual terms offer less protection compared to the real civil servants.

    Even so, govt should have listed down all staff under additional headings e.g. uniform personnel, stat board, etc.

    • Phillip Ang says:

      The PAP government has control over more people’s rice than the 141,000 it disclosed. They are confident of winning election because their support base is actually much bigger than thought. Assuming it’s 200,000 public servants X family members, supporters number more than half a million, even at 90%. Including GLCs, RC members and their family, etc, it’s likely to exceed 50% of electorate. No wonder ministers can act so cocky.

  2. Confused says:

    This was partly why the gst hike was initially planned to be forced down our throats in 2018 Budget?

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