Brigadier-General Singh (left) will take over from Major-General Chan (right) as Singapore's Chief of Army.
By Krishna Singh
Singapore: The appointment of Brigadier-General Ravinder Singh, a Sikh, as the next chief of the Singapore Army is the culmination of a long tradition of the community serving in uniform, both as policemen and in the armed forces, in the city-state.
Their role in Singapore belies their small number: There are only an estimated 12,000 to 15,000 Sikhs in Singapore, a nation of five million people.
Their number is small even when compared to 100,000 Sikhs living in Malaysia. Sikhs came to this part of Southeast Asia as soldiers and policemen during the British era.
Brig. Gen. Singh will replace Major-General Chan Chun Sing as army chief March 25.
Singh, 46, currently deputy secretary (technology) in the defence ministry, was previously commanding officer, 3rd Signal Battalion; commander, 2nd Singapore Infantry Brigade and assistant chief of general staff (plans); head joint communications and information systems department.
He has also held the posts of head joint plans and transformation department; commander 6th Division and chief of staff - joint staff.
Singh holds a Master of Arts (Engineering Science) from the University of Oxford, Britain. He also holds a Master of Science (Management of Technology) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, US.
He joined the Singapore Armed Forces in December 1982. Brig Gen Singh is also the first non-Chinese Chief of Army in nearly 30 years.
Colonel Mancharan Singh Gill was the first ever when he took up the post in 1982, the report said.
At the end of such an article, inevitably the question that comes to mind to any Malaysian reader is, 'Will it happen in Malaysia?' and I think the likely response from the likes of Perkasa would be 'Bantah' Singh instead!