MINDEF neither confirms nor denies that SAF Riggers job is done by PRCs
On 12 Jan, the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) responded to claims made on a Facebook post that the SAF Riggers job — a.k.a those who pack the parachutes — is being outsourced to Chinese nationals or People’s Republic of China (PRCs).
Leslie Ang, who penned the controversial claim, suggested that military secrets are being exposed to foreigners, and questioned the logic of “placing our lives in foreign contractors hands”.
I'd painfully struggled for 2 days, weighing the pros and cons before I made a decision to pen this post. Learnt from…
The Artful Dodger
In a Facebook post, SAF said that the job of the Riggers has been outsourced to “Singapore Technologies (ST) — a reputable local company”.
SAF clarified that many of the staff who pack the parachutes “are former Riggers from the Commando Formation”, and that they undergo training which is “benchmarked against the United States Federal Aviation Administration (US FAA) standards”.
Wow. Great answer, SAF — but you’ve missed the point.
Notice how the issue of whether PRCs are employed by ST to pack the parachutes is cleverly skirted around.
Some of you may have seen online speculation about the packing of the SAF parachute. Here’s what Chief Commando Officer,…
The million-dollar question unanswered: Are there any PRCs packing parachutes in ST?
To be honest, telling us that many of the staff who pack parachutes are former Riggers from SAF does not deny or confirm that there are PRCs doing the packing.
A simple yes or no would have sufficed.
Anyway, kudos to SAF for being able to smoke their way through without incurring suspicion.
Whew, looks like someone has safely dodged a bullet.
Does the nationality of who is packing the parachutes really matter?
Hold your horses.
Admittedly, outsourcing the job of packing parachutes to Chinese nationals means that classified information is leaked.
However, coming from the point of safety, whoever who packs the parachute just has to do a good job of ensuring safety.
On their Facebook post about the Riggers, SAF stated that “ST has been packing parachutes for us since 2010, and there have been zero parachute reliability issues”.
This means no problems have arose from the packing of parachutes, regardless of who was doing the job.
As if to emphasise the point that Riggers are extremely meticulous and careful in their job, SAF also posted a photo album on their Facebook page saying that “SAF Riggers adopt [a] stringent parachute packing process”.
Just check out this Rigger’s determined comment on the importance of keeping professional on the job.
TL;DR: as long as the safety and lives are not compromised, it doesn’t matter who is packing the parachutes.
Therefore, we don’t have to grab our pitchforks and start screaming at MINDEF.
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