WHILE Singaporeans cheer our medal tally at the SEA Games, the irony is that the fitness level of our operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) is a major cause for concern.
It was recently reported that half of NSmen did not even pass their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).
And instead of pushing them harder to improve their fitness standards, the Defence Ministry has chosen to "recalibrate" the test stations and scoring methods ("IPPT simplified to just three test stations"; July 24, 2014).
This will inevitably push up the passing rate. However, it is data manipulation to meet certain targets, while masking the actual weakness of our men.
When it comes to crunch time, it is more important to have another 500,000 fit and fighting NSmen than another 200 medal-winning athletes.
Lim Wah Fong