Review of The Invisible Force: Singapore Gurkhas
Christmas Staff Picks: The Invisible Force: Singapore Gurkhas by Chong Zi Liang and Zakaria Zainal
recommended by Adeleena
The Gurkhas have been serving in Singapore for more than 65 years, yet so little is known about them other than their reputation of bravery and unwavering loyalty. My personal encounters with Gurkhas have mostly been limited to seeing them on their daily runs around the Mount Vernon camp, so my encounter with The Invisible Force has been enlightening, and at times disconcerting.
One of the issues facing the Singapore Gurkha community (which I was unaware about until reading this book) is the fact that even after spending more than half their lives protecting Singapore’s most important people and institutions, the Gurkhas and their families have to leave once they retire from the force. The Gurkhas are not allowed to seek alternative employment and their children cannot continue their education in Singapore. Born and raised here, many face a major culture shock upon returning to Nepal. Other challenges faced by the Gurkhas surface in this book: an essential read to learn more about a community that has contributed significantly to Singapore, and yet remains so “invisible” to most Singaporeans.
Adeleena stumbled into the local publishing scene by pure accident six years ago, and hasn’t looked back since. She enjoys spazzing out to re-runs of Game of Thrones and hopes that she’ll get a chance to adopt a dog, cat, and hamster one day soon!