Ng Eng Hen Justifies $25,900 English Language Course for PLA Officer

SINGAPORE: Officers from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) participate in exchanges with other militaries for staff college courses.

The staff college courses attended are useful to establish good relationships with the militaries of other countries, and understand their perspectives, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Wednesday (Nov 5). When incidents occur, they can also be very useful resource persons on the ground.

“So for these reasons, militaries all over have for many years exchanged officers to each other’s courses to establish better ties,” he said.

Dr Ng said this in response to a question from Non-Constituency Member of Parliament Lina Chiam. Mrs Chiam had asked about a tender that had been called to provide an English Language course for an officer from China’s People’s Liberation Army.

Dr Ng noted that the language of instruction can pose a problem for officers who attend courses run by other militaries, and language proficiency is important if the officers are to benefit from the course.

“For some foreign officers who attend SAF’s military courses, we have to help them gain language proficiency so that they can benefit from their time here,” he said, adding that Singapore’s military officers spend time gaining language proficiency when they go to other countries for the same purpose.

Dr Ng said that one officer from the People’s Liberation Army required a personalised 360-hour English Language course. The Defence Ministry had put out a tender on the Government’s e-procurement portal, and awarded the contract to the lowest offer that met the requirements. This came to S$25,900, which amounted to about S$70 per hour.

Dr Ng emphasised that this was in strict compliance with the Government’s regulations.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *