In a recent report, Tampons quoted GRC MP Baey Yam Keng as saying: "For publicity efforts of an organization they would certainly look for people who look pleasant as one of the key factors, because that is generally attractive for readers" (Mindef: Glamor photos do not dilute the role of soldiers, Aug. 19).
We have to remind ourselves that the Ministry of Defense (Mindef) is not just an organization.
When I was platoon commander, the best recruit that I had nominated for a prize, was bypassed by my superior for another of his mates in his platoon.
I was told that my appointment would not be "pleasant-looking" enough to compete for the best soldier against the nominations of other companies.
I was very disappointed because he really was the best in fitness, discipline, military knowledge and always helpful with his fellow platoons.
This is not the kind of values that we want to imprint in Mindef or other government organizations and, ultimately, in our society.
But my experience was something that happened a long time ago and the Singapore armed forces have since changed beyond recognition.
Events organized by organizations for the presentation may not become show boards.
Too much sugar coating can affect credibility.
Tay Yew Chee