Foreign citizens can now volunteer to fight alongside the Ukrainian Army

Feb 27, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
Ukrainian Ministry of Defence has just released an appeal for help from foreign citizens keen on joining the war alongside the Ukrainian army.

The circular which was released an hour ago (Feb 27) calls on "citizens of the world" to come and "fight side by side with the Ukranians against the Russian war criminals."

According to Ukraine's military regulations, foreigners have the right to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine for military service under Contract of a voluntary basis to be included in the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forced of Ukraine.


Singaporeans not allowed to join armed conflict for a foreign state

Take note, however, for Singaporeans intending to join the Ukraine-Russia war.

According to the Internal Security Department, "The Government takes a stern view against anyone who supports, promotes, undertakes or makes preparations to undertake armed violence, regardless of how they rationalise such violence ideologically, or where the violence takes place."

Here's the circular in full:

Early in the morning of February 24, 2022, Russia launched a new military operation against Ukraine, an unjustified criminal and cynical intrusion.

The Russian army is using very vile tactics with all elements of war crimes under Geneva 1949 Convention, killing civilians and destroying their homes with missiles and artillery.

Ukrainians have manifested the courage to defend their homeland and save Europe and its values from a Russian onslaught. This is not just Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. This is the beginning of a war against Europe, against European structures, against democracy, against basic human rights, against a global order of law, rules and peaceful coexistence.

The President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelenskyy is addressing all citizens of the world, friends of Ukraine, peace and democracy. Anyone who wants to join the defense of Ukraine, Europe and the world can come and fight side by side with the Ukrainians against the Russian war criminals.

According to Regulation on Military Service in the Armed Forces of Ukraine by citizens of their countries and stateless persons approved by Decree of the President of Ukraine # 248 of June 10, 2016, foreigners have the right to join the Armed Forces of Ukraine for military service under Contract of a voluntary basis to be included in the Territorial Defense Forces of the Armed Forced of Ukraine.

A separate subdivision is being formed of foreigners entitled the International Legion for the Territorial Defense of Ukraine. There is no greater contribution which you can make for the sake of peace.

For enrolment and details please contact the Defense Attaché of the Embassy of Ukraine in your country (contact information – on the website of the Embassy).

Give Peace a chance by protecting Ukraine and stopping the criminal invaders!

Source – Ministry of Defence Ukraine.


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This commentator thinks MCI ad should not have featured poor Malays

May 12, 2022 | 🚀 Fathership
A Hari Raya advertisement by the Ministry of Communications and Information (MCI) was 'cancelled' by certain netizens online for depicting lower income Malays according to reality.

"Message for Syawal", a two-and-a-half-minute video published last month (Apr 30) captures moments in the life of a low-income Malay family living in a rental flat.

Storyline


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"

The video, which is peppered with Malay proverbs, shows the family moving out of their rental flat to a new home several years later where they celebrate Hari Raya.

The father of the family works as a mover while the mother is a housewife.

Their young son, Syawal, skips school to earn extra income for his family before a teacher flags his absence from school to his parents.

The mother in the video later decides to return to work to alleviate her family’s financial difficulties while the father gets a new job.


Pictured: Screenshot from MCI video "Message for Syawal"



Why some netizens are outraged

The video sparked backlash online, with some viewers saying that it contained stereotypes about the Malay community.

The stereotypes:
  • The father works as a mover - commonly perceived to be a low-income job
  • The mother is jobless
  • The son plays truant
  • The family lives in a rental flat for low-income earners

Commentator implied that poor Malays shouldn't be portrayed in public to prevent stereotypes


Pictured: Screenshot from Homeground Asia video

A video commentary by The Homeground Asia went further by criticizing how the video propagates the narrative that Malays are poor and lazy, and that the ministry should have created a video that is more relatable to both the less fortunate and the more affluent Malays.

Adi Rahman, one of the interviewees in the video went further by making sweeping assumptions that the ministry lacked cultural intelligence and did not consult the community on the narrative.

Ironically, in talking about inclusivity, Adi implied that the realities of poor Malays should not be shown in public.

For example, his rationale suggested that the video contained characters (the mover, jobless mother and the son who skips school) that contribute to the problem of other races seeing the Malays in a stereotypical and reductive light.

In other words, show the good stuff but not the reality.

Adi even accused the ministry for not consulting the Malays in the vetting of the video narrative.

His accusations were without merit, however, when the Ministry said in a statement (Apr 30) that Malay-Muslim viewers - presumably a focus group - had seen the video prior to its release, and perceived the story to be heart-warming, although some expressed reservations.


Pictured: Adi Rahman - one of the commentators in Homeground Asia video



Stereotyping or masking reality?

The ministry said last month (Apr 30) the video was meant to show "a family’s journey of resilience in facing challenging circumstances and how mutual support and encouragement could nurture the process”.

Other netizens felt it was an overreaction and that low-income families shouldn't be dehumanized in a way that they are removed from the conversation. They felt that the video was a call-to-action for those from the underprivileged to strive for a better life through hard work and seeking help that's already available.

The only missed opportunity in the MCI video was perhaps the suggestion that Malays in low income families living in a rental flat could not celebrate Hari Raya unless they get a flat on their own.

But of course, like Homeground Asia, that is also a sweeping assumption.