Sunday, August 23, 2009

Burden of National Service

Someone expressed surprise that Tan Kin Lian considers National Service to be a burden. Lest I be accused of being disloyal to Singapore, I wish to state my position.

A burden is defined as a heavy weight that is difficult to carry. It is a burden when a task is made compulsory; it is not a burden when it is performed voluntarily. Similarly, it is a burden to pay taxes. Like taxes, compulsory military service may be necessary, but it is still a burden anyway.

Any burden has to be shouldered fairly and equally by all parties who benefit from the outcome. It should not be shouldered only by only a segment of the population (i.e. male citizens) while other segments (i.e. females and non-citizens) are exempted. The burden becomes heavier when the burdened people (who are set back by two years or more) have to compete against the exempted people for the same jobs.

The burden can be lightened by reducing the period of compulsory military service or by giving the NS men an adequate pay, allowance or grant (call it what you will) for the duration that they have spent on National Service. Alternatively, the exempted parties can be required to carry out non-combat or community service for the same duration.

The disadvantage suffered by our male citizens have been aggravated in recent years through the large influx of foreign workers and professionals, who are allowed to work in Singapore to compete against them.

National defence is important for the security and prosperity of Singapore. This responsibility has to be shared fairly by all residents. By imposing this responsibility on only on some people and putting them at a disadvantage compared with other people, we face the risk that the people whom we rely to defend our nation will not carry out their duty (due to their feeling of injustice) at the time of need.

A recent
survey carried out by me among people who had completed National Service indicated that 72% would not volunteer for this duty, 91% were unhappy with the current arrangement and that 57% would not fight to defend Singapore at the time of war. This are worrying findings, even though the survey may not reflect a representative sample.

I have been writing on this matter for more than twenty years. I have asked for the burden of National Service to be shared more equally or fairly. My suggestions had been rebutted and ignored. I will continue to voice them. I hope that they will be heard and heeded one day.

Tan Kin Lian


Anonymous said...

I am a parent and I feel that I am "burdened" too. I am now over 50 years old and find it difficult to find a job. My youngest son is in Sec 4 and I shudder to think how I am going to cope with the costs of his education. My older son was deprived of a place in the local U when he was not around to attend the interview for SMU (twice). He was serving NS first in Taiwan and later in Brunei. Eventually he had to go to Australia to complete his studies.

If not for NS, my burden (in respect of my younger son) will be two years less. He would finish his studies earlier and and would start earning (hopefully) earlier.

Further with all the foreignes who are given scholarship grants, my son would find getting a place in the local U tough. On top of that he has to protect a country with a high percentage of foreigners who are here only to enjoy the benefits. Many of them return to their own countries when they are required to do NS.

Anonymous said...

I completed my fulltime NS and reserve obligations, along the way many foreigners/PR riduculed at me. Now these foreigners/PR are competing jobs with me and I can only managed part-time work to support my family. I say - get lost to NS and PR/foreigners!

Anonymous said...

In Singapore, if you fulfill your duty diligently and discharge your LIABILITY to the best of your abilities. You are "rewarded" with more time away from work, family and friends and "ORDERED" to fulfill more reservist time.

The above is from my personal experiences. I recently went for an ICT and was "REWARDED" with a 3 - 4 weeks course (reservist) for discharging my liability to the best of my abilities. So much for MERITOCRACY. In Army, it's best to act blur and stupid and wait for things to happen. NEVER EVER volunteer to solve things so that objectives can be met. If so, you'll be like me, "REWARDED" with more reservist time while others who "chao geng" are downgraded and avoid duties.

I work hard full time and have to study part time for my professional certification and yet, I don't have much savings, don't have a flat, even though I wish to purchase one. I am not a spendthrift and lead a pretty frugal life and yet I find it hard to make ends meet. I really see no future in me staying in Singapore. I really feel exploited in Singapore to the extent that I have to fight for everything in work, social status and even for basic neccessities. I'm a citizen and yet I feel like I'm made to feel a second class citizen in a country which I think is starting to lose it's identity. I used to be so Proud to be a Singaporean but not anymore. The sense of belonging here is waning and waning. It makes you wonder why should you suffer all these nonsense when Foreigners and PRs are enjoying all the benefits without the liabilities. Close to 80% of my firm headcount strenght are either PRs / foreigners, with the latter accounting for the bulk it.

I'm eagerly waiting for the next election so that when the MP visits me, I'll HIGHLIGHT all these stuffs to him. If I don't see much improvement in my life even though I'm working full time, I'll seek greener pastures. I don't intend to be a cash cow for Singapore.

Disllusioned Citizen.

Anonymous said...

I have 3 children and they are all males. It means that I have to support them with additional 6 years. In NS, they would not even earn enough to pay for their local university education! Not even the tuition fee. If they are at least being paid a market rate, they can at least support themselves in the university.

Anonymous said...

I agree with 10:48pm. The more you do your part in the army, the more upgrading courses they send you and the more time/commitment you have to sacrifice. After a while, I finally wise up and acted blurr like the rest and managed to retire from army without another additional appointment. All this while the PR are just enjoying their family and advancing the career

Anonymous said...

Disillusioned Citizen,
Do you really think that your MP or minister is not aware of this? Why do you think the PAP always says that it is difficult to recruit MPs and ministers in spite of the fact that they pay astronomical salaries and allowances to them and they enjoy almost monopolistic powers? Those who feel like you do do not make past the interviews to become an MP, let alone minister. It is clear that when they choose to turn the other way, the ascent is smooth and fast. So in the end, we will only have MPs and Ministers who grace the welcome sessions of foreigners turned Singapore citizens. These new citizens are the new hope and joy of the incumbent party. As for the rest of us, our duties are to protect the country and make it safe for these birds of opportunities. Our duties also include working till we drop dead to keep the economic indicators on a bullish trend to credit the govt. Even if you were to migrate to another country, the govt already worked out the solution to that as I am sure figures now for the ratio of new immigrants vs quitters are highly tilted in their favour.
The recent speech by an NMP and the swift but disconnected rebuttal by MM is a clear indication of this. The NMP course of action is already very clearly outlined to him. The question is will he continue with his beliefs which resonate with the local population or submit to the elite point of view and continue his ascent.

Anonymous said...

Yes, the burden on each family is different. I have 3 sons, one of my brothers has one son and one daughter and another has 3 daughters. So my burden is heavy, my brother, one of tem is neutral and the other one has no burden. This is within my family and it is not compared with other Singaporeans and foreigners.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree that NS is a burden. A young man has to sacrifice two prime years of his life and also putting his life in harms way. No body likes military service as a NS man. Not like the professional soldiers who are paid 20% above the civil service rates.

When NS first started in 1967 the country was relatively not so well off. So paying $90 a month seemed justifiable. A coffee shop assistant at that time earned $80 to $120 a month. Today an NS man who has completed O-levels is given an allowance of $400. A coffee shop assistant today earns $800 to $1200 a month. Today we are a first world country with a capita income of US$30,000 a year. We have hundreds of billion in our reserve. Why do we need to make our young men and their parents make financial sacrifice any more? We should pay our NS men market rate or there about for their sacrifice.

When NS first started it was 2 years for ranks and files and 2 1/2 years for officers. Few A-Levels and Polytechnic holders wanted to take up officers course. The government thinking they were very clever decided to punish all those who have A-Levels and above by making them do 2 1/2 years by giving them a rank of corporal for all those who did not qualify to be officers irrespective of whether we need the extra manpower or not. The government should have made the service as an as officers more attractive such as giving them free university education, bonus cut off points for entry to university, etc.

With tremendous increase in intake at the A-Levels and Polytechnics (25% A-Levels and 60% Polytechnics) the government probably find that there are too many corporals around with very few privates. The length of NS was reduced to 2 years including officers. I think 2 years for officers is too short. They spent 3 months for BMT and another 6 - 9 months as cadets officers. That leave very little time to perfect their military art and skill before they are discharged. I still think officers should serve 2 1/2 years. They must be given ample incentives to take up the officers course and serve 1/2 a year more.

Anonymous said...


My husband had just completed his (more than 3 weeks) reservist. He is current working as a freelance as such it is difficult to get 'documental' proof on how much he earns each month.

On average, he gets about $2000 per month but SAF is only willing to pay only about $1,000 for the 'rank pay'. He has to go through a whole lot of justification just to get 'reimburse'.

I understand that we need male citizen to serve but the family members should not be financal 'burden'.

On top of that, reservist covers weekends and even public holiday. This greatly reduce the time he has with us, his family.

Being a responsible and patronate person, my husband never complains and fell it is his duty to 'sacrifice' for his country (even on the expense of the family) BUT as his family, we are greatly burden by the 'reservist time'.

Anonymous said...

I think most people are not complaining about NS though if professional can be recruited would be great, Most understand the need to serve. But we should not burden the individual and the family unreasonably. They should be paid market rate. Those who can go on to higher education can use the "salary" to pay for the university and those who can not can use the "salary" to start a business or as saving or help to buy a HDB flat.

Anonymous said...

I certainly feel for the families of those serving as NS men and do not get the credit or appreciation for the sacrifice they are making - time with family, education, career and other pursuits.

The greatest lesson we need to take away from this issue at this time and until things change, is to realize that we have to play the cards we are dealt, move forward from the emotions and take advantage of the situation. If we can have this mindset, and give our young men this mindset, then they will be all the better for it.

The world is getting more volatile and if these young men at this age can gain an edge through military training, to get toughened up to face the realities of this world, then I believe it will serve them well in helping them compete against ALL oncomers...PR or Foreign or Local.

You have to look after yourself. The government and leaders are not going to do it for you. They at the end of the day are looking out for themselves not matter how well meaning they speak or act. Of course I would rather have them act in the way that the Singapore Government acts than in other countries of the world, but they are human after all - self-interested.

Life is not fair. Those who learn this lesson early will recognize that talk is cheap, trust is gold when you can find it, be fair to maintain your own integrity, but don't take prisoners if the prisoners are cancerous.

The aim is to win the war of life where some battles may be lost and where some may be won.

Anonymous said...

this problem u mentioned is a well known problem, but no one take this up, even we all know NS is vital to spore , the regular joes are disadvantaged, lucky for me , i didint manage that badly myself, i just empathise those who fall along the side wihtout assistance but with extra burden of NS...
e.g take the spore born SIA pilot vs a malaysian born SIA pilot.....sporean cant join SIA till 26 yr old or later...etc by then the younger malaysian is already a captian...ahhahhah

Anonymous said...

NS is always a sensitive issue and has effectively set all eligible male citizens by two to two and a half year, I think we shld put these Foreign Talents in the same footing in our equitable society. These FTs may not be suitable to be in uniformed group but certainly they can help out in the many community services that help the poor general public. They shld be put into some form of mandatory community service to give a fairer competition. Imagine if male citizen need to report back for incamp training yearly, then why not for these pool of FTs to contribute by doing some hours of Community Service each year bearing in mind that they are talented in some ways as the garmen has preached.

Anonymous said...

If you think NS is not a liability, then you must be a female or foreign talent. Although I learnt a lot in the army and became matured during my NS days, I lost out to my female peers who were two years ahead of me whether in studies or career. Now I pity those serving NS will not only lose out to their female counterpart but also to the foreign talents. If no one addresses this issue, I am afraid there will be a lot of grievances building up among the youngsters.

Anonymous said...

I can see that with my son serving NS, some good came out of it as he becomes more mature at an accelerated pace. But for goodness sake, do pay them market rate as they do have to pay for their education as most things in Singapore are not well subsidised.

Anonymous said...

NS definitely is a burden and a good source of providing dirt cheap labours to SAF.

If it's not burden then what? Noble calling?

My previous S'porean PR boss whom is a M'sian equate reservist ICT as "on leave".

Need to apply few days leave to attend my cousin wedding in KL, before my boss approved my leave, he question me, "Thought you just came back from your leave?" I corrected him, "No, I just came back from my reservist ICT, I didn't go on leave during my ICT!"

Anonymous said...

yes we know NS has its good point but , u cant use this to disadvantage to the male citizens, dont tell me making things more equal is an aspiration , like our pledge? take a century to happen? by then we are all dead, it doesnt matter anymore!!!!

Anonymous said...

Today something happen to me at work. I am working closely with a fellow colleague who is a Singapore PR from Malaysia.

Recently I was served the SAF100 and have to inform my supervisors and to apply for reservist leave. And immediately i was told by my immediate boss this. "Compared you with "David" (PR), I would rather promote him than you. Becos you know what, every year at this critical period of our business, you are always being called up to go back for RESERVIST. While DAVID don't even need to have all these. He doesn't need to go for IPPT, or neither have to go back for RT training. This is indeed disruptive to us.

And David (PR) always passed unkind remarks about me having to go for RESERVIST. What can i do? I can do nothing because i still need the job and i can only suffer in silent. I am not on any equal footing as compared to someone who does not need to serve the country. And for David, he is just enjoying the fruits of our suffering. Damn it!!!!!

Fellow countrymen, does this sounds familiar to you!!! I have serve my country with 2.5 years of national service and after that reservist. I can't believe that i am nowhere to be compared to our PRs. (Please note that our work performance are equally good and there is no issue on work performance here).

Anonymous said...

Agree! Those NSF should be paid a market rate salary.

For Eg, A Cpl should be earning between 1500-1800, 500-600 should be paid in cash, the rest to be paid into their CPF, for them to use it on further studies/buy home etc

Anonymous said...

As I am reading this, I have a feeling that its pointless to stay in Singapore anymore, cause it wouldn't be fruitful at all. I am already struggling to pay my poly fees. Can't imagine what will happen to me when I'm older and have a family...

Anonymous said...

My husband is working from home and at the same time taking care of my 2 children. Whenever he is call back for reservist, I had to look for alternative childcare arrangement for them which is not easy and costly! We had to fork out an extra $1000 for 2 weeks of childcare for my 2 children!!! Who is going to reimburse us?

Government wants us to have more children BUT never spare a thought for us. We are not rich people - every cent of our salary counts. Why should we be financially burden just when my husband is doing his part for the country???

Anonymous said...

I just saw a study that while females may earn more than males in their 20s, come 30s, 40s, and later, males earn much more than females. So it doesn't seem that NS is holding back Singaporean males vs Singaporean females in the long term.

Anonymous said...

Errr.... how come no female reply to this thread to say that they are willing to serve NS har?

Anonymous said...

Well said Mr Tan. NSMen also need to contend with passing IPPTs that are pegged to their vocations and subjected to the same passing grades as their peers who are in active service - this does not make any sense at all.

Desmond said...

NS has put all male CITIZENS on an unequal footing with all FOREIGNERS. You can really see from this unlevel playing field, where the interest of our gahmen lies.

We CITIZENS are just numbers.

Foreigners are "important" for the "survival of Singapore". Can anyone but me see the irony in this statement? It seems our gahmen cannot as this is repeated time and time again. Remember fellow CITIZENS, we are nothing in the eyes of the gahmen. Foreigners are the important ones.

Anonymous said...

Hi all
This is a female reply to those who want to hear from the feminine side.
All males have to do NS and work, but most females have to work, procreate and look after the family and children. Also males earn more later in their careers.
The inequality exists between Singaporean males and the PRs and Foreigners who have a headstart in their career field. Males have my sympathy as I have sons too. Please concentrate your guns at foreigners.

veefer said...

Hi all, I am an ex-regular. I started with so much belief in the SAF and Singapore. After over 20 yrs, I have seen the light and left the SAF. I now have my aussie perm visa and now planning my way overseas like a number of my ex-SAF friends.

I was at first daunted by all the red tape but now realized that it is not that difficult to get the visa. I am now encouraging all those who have considered such a path to press on and do the nec research and prep for the journey. Let's follow the path of our forefathers and search for a better tomorrow. We need to create options for ourselves and not just depend on the PAP to make our lives "better".

btw, I am also holding off having another child till I move overseas, just in case its a boy and he is burdened in future.

Anonymous said...

National service should only be for one year. Two of year of national service is excessive.

Anonymous said...

women should no be liable for national service neither should men.

Stanley Yang said...

I had served 4 years & 8 months in the SAF from 2001-2005.

My recognition is a piece of A-4 size paper with a good conduct.

In 2008, I was retrenched in the public sector. The management had replaced me with a foriegner who's salary was half of mine.

Today, SAF orders me to report for reservist training each year.

Last week, I reported for my IPPT. I had to pay 2 dollars. There was no drinking water available throughout the test. When I approached the medic on duty for medical treatment, he said he only had ice. When I asked politely, "
Could I have some oilment?"

The medics' reply was, "Welcome back to SAF."

Anonymous said...

""I just saw a study that while females may earn more than males in their 20s, come 30s, 40s, and later, males earn much more than females. So it doesn't seem that NS is holding back Singaporean males vs Singaporean females in the long term.""

Non sense. Do u know once u are 40 & above, u are vulnerable. Once u are out of the job market, u are "finish". With so many FTs, how to survive?
For the sake of yr children, u hv to think carefully.

Anonymous said...

KPI for the govt is GDP. Low cost foreign workers doing the same work as local citizen leads to cost saving. Then use the reason that such job Singaporean don't want to work. I mean, if the salary is so low, how can you support a house and a family?

GDP up = unemployment down = higher wage increment --> made sense?

Anonymous said...

Good post Mr Kin Lian. Honestly,how many Singaporeans would fight for Singapore in the event of war, and how many would run?

Anonymous said...

Every time i go for ICT, i have to cut my hair short short. I have to dye my hair color black. Whereas my PR colleagues made fun of me and say many bad things about me going back ICT to idle.
Do i have a choice not to go back? If i can, i would hope i never have to go back ICT and stay in office to work and compete evenly with my PR colleagues.

Anonymous said...

It is the youngsters who keep complaining, and yet keeping voting in the same pattern to show that you are happy with the existing policy.

Anonymous said...

Luckily my children are daughters and so I can retire earlier since they should be able to finish their studies earlier. At least I can have a peace of mind! NS doesn't just concern the youngsters, it also affects the parents as well.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Mr Tan!

Any sane person should believe that it is ridiculous to demand 2 years of an able bodied young male citizen and pay him something like what a cleaner would get.

I belonged to the last batch of NSFs who had to serve 2.5 years instead of 2 yrs. In addition to that my batch of NSFs had to endure the agony of seeing the allowances for NSFs rise 50% right after our ORD.

Seriously, what kind of credible reason could there be for any organization to increase compensation overnite by 50%? and yet even after the increase, the allowances are still measly!

Singapore Democrats said...

Thank you for the insightful blogpost. The Singapore Democrats have featured it in our Blogs of the Week section -

Anonymous said...

I think it's time to stop calling NS an liability but call it a welfare/handout from the NSmen to the citizens to better reflect the sacrifice that the NSmen have made.

It's just a twist of words but personally I feel it's a much better reminder for those that have been on this welfare scheme for so long.

Anonymous said...

Yes national security is vital but Singapore just like any other countries should just hire full-time soldier instead. PAP is exploiting us Singaporeans by forcing us to do 2yrs time and paying us "peanuts" for it. We are a rich country, no? Our government is the highest pay in this planet, no?

Anonymous said...

NS is definitely a big burden to me. My son school results were good since pr1. However after 2.5yrs NS he has lost interest in study. his highest qualification is JC. If not for NS he will be a graduate now. till today he is not doing a full time job.

Anonymous said...

The damn PRs/foreigners have an edge over us because we serve NS.I was denied a job before when the interviewer told me he rather employ a foreigner as he doesn't need to lose him to reservist training.
The muppet government should come up with legislation to only give jobs to PRs/foreigners if they can't legitimately find a Singaporean.

Anonymous said...

NS is definitely a burden to both employers and employees. Despite being flat-footed and with other medical condition, I was classified as PES A status. I served wholeheartedly for 2.5 years as an NSF with another 13-year cycle of annual ICT and am under Mindef Reserve now.

In those days as an NSman, my ex-boss who was a Singapore Permanent Resident from Malaysia had a penchant to employ PRs, foreigners and local females as her staff members. To her chagrin, most of my ICT call-ups were during the peak periods.

Needless to say, I became the whipping boy if the schedules and deadlines were not met. I knew then, that I will be at a disadvantage if I did not upgrade my skills via further professional qualifications. With dogged determination, I persevered and attended part-time professional courses in the evenings and weekends. My hectic working life did not give me the luxury of time to study and revise for the examinations compared to a full-time student's course workloads.

As fate would have it, I received the SAF100 to report for a 3-week annual ICT (2nd last), ending before my examinations week. I applied to my Battalion HQ for deferment immediately, citing the appropriate reasons. A few weeks later, I received a reply for the Battalion Chief Clerk informing me that my application was rejected by the Commanding Officer. Feeling despondent over being rejected, I called the Commanding Officer to explain my personal circumstances. However, with an indifferent attitude, he told me that I needed not defer my ICT to take my examinations as it was not within the ICT period and I should have prepared for it before the ICT. I was flabbergasted with his apparent lack of compassion even after telling him that I cannot possibly remember everything I had studied and will be tired after all the Day and Night Exercises.

Finally, I decided that enough is enough. I went to hospital to seek help from medical specialists and was downgraded to PES C status (Exempted from running, etc.) during a SAF Medical Board Review. Subsequently, I was not informed of my Battlelion's Stand-Down Parade, no SAF Hamilton watch, no Certificate of Appreciation or a National Service medal for National Service contributions.

Fast forward, just as I thought that I could slow down the pace of my working life, we are now facing an indiscriminate import of "Foreign Talents" (Mostly trying to reap the economic benefits from our predecessors' hard work without having to serve National Service and migrate again to another greener pasture if the opportunities arise) which threatened the livelihoods of many local people.

When we were little, we were thought that Lao Tzu said "A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step", meaning we will get to where we want to go if we make the first move. It seems to be aptly applied to those "Foreign Talents" who have already travelled a thousand miles to our shore and are greatly appreciated by our government as we are constantly reminded to embrace them. I am now pondering should I travel a thousand miles to another shore since I am not treasured in my own birthplace.

Anonymous said...

I do not understand why there is always a saying "singapore need NS" to protect the country. Country like france have their foreign legion, why can't singapore form a few units like these?

Anonymous said...

I served the army for 2.5 years, honestly i don't have the faith in the army to protect singapore in time of war. I do remember when i turned "operational" meaning i am ready for war, after 1 year of training, we did a survey to ascertain the soldier's confidence on the army in various department in time of war. The result of the survey failed miserably, and we are rounded up for a "lecture" ..... tells so much about an "wayang" organisation....

Anonymous said...

Erratum - September 15, 2009 6:07 AM :

Dear Mr. Tan,

Please amend the following typos for me :
- I received a reply "for" should be read as "from"
- we were "thought" should be read as "taught"


Anonymous said...

Seriously, all these comments means zero sad to say. The minister for defence will give a damn on these? I don't think for now, SAF still means Serve And Fark-off

hearyehearye said...

There is an ironical situation which was published in the Forum Page recently - young men who have lived overseas for most of their lives, came back ready to do their duties as Singaporeans but due to "capacity constraint" were slated for enlistment next year. That would further delay their education by another year due to different term start from local universities. Having disregarded their plights and appeals, does Mindef really think that these young men would want to return to Singapore once they leave after their national service?

Anonymous said...

In today's cosmopolitan Singapore, NS is actually quite irrelevant in the military defence context. One can argue for a mercenary defence force.

Anybody can come in and go out of Singapore; it is like a Singapore Incorporated rather than a country. But NS is relevant from the social defence context to the extent that it is a bonding exercise, attempting to build nationalistic feeling and keep residents (Singaporeans and future Singaporeans) interested in making Singapore their home. Serving the nation was a great calling until the authorities let in so many foreigners.

Nonetheless, NS in Singapore will continue for a long time to come. Since almost all cannot avoid it, why not take it positively and use the experience to enrich oneself. I've been MR for nearly 10 years already. NS experience is mostly irrelevant and uncorrelated to life in the private sector. Think of it, how many males in the world are able to gain military experience. Don't equate adventure with money; life is more than just money.

Anonymous said...

National Service needs to be revamped. And the only way is to vote the current govt out. We need change. How long can PAP do this to us? They have been governing this country since forever and the citizens are suffering.

Anonymous said...

S.Korea have real enemies. Israel have real enemies. Taiwan is considering removing conscription since no enemies. So Singapore ought also to list out their 'enemies' to justify compulsory NS.

Defending against imaginary enemies are not what all male S'poreans should be doing. it is a wastew of time and a big waste of Sg's budget.

NS is a defense mechanism of Sg. I don't mind defending my country against enemies. But Defense Minister must define real enemies with real names first.

I am out of that NS a long time ago. I was born with a natural spinal disorder. It was discovered during BMT. Medical Board say it 'usually' don't give problem. But reality struck. Despite x-ray proof, they made me go thru NS as Pes B and expect me to pass ippt every year. Every year I go remedial training in reservist. I was lucky to find a caring orthopedic surgeon to certify my condition later part of my reservist. After that report, NS downgraded me and don't want me anymore. NS left me with a damaged spine and pain for the rest of my life. They don't even want to take care of me or even to say sorry.

Moral of story: That is how S'pore govn't appreciates your sacrifice.

Dedrick Koh said...

You sir, have just won my vote.

Yan said...

It is not easy to be a Singaporean male.

sometimes i look back, i wish i signed on. At least i don't lose to my peers, i talking about my best friends who are my males and i known them for 17 years..

Don't get me wrong, i still adored them alot. But they scorned at the thought of NS, love their Malaysian passport and will not give up no matter what. They grew up in SG and told me honestly that they will not let their children go through NS.

FYI, i m 29 and went through the 2.5 years in NS. I work in a MNC who hates that i go for reservist because they rather pay me (i bring in more sales a month compared to the time spend in ICT).
They do not discriminate males with NS obligations but they don't pay me more too, i have equal chances as the FTs when promotions, assignments (overseas) are concerned.

Tough to be Singaporean Male, but what to do, born as a peasant's son. Not a white horse.. so got to chiong. Never chao keng too. PES B.

lol. Life in Singapore. better than most countries but we have our own troubles too. But if we compared to finland denmark.. we lose out. it's not fair, as there is definitely some country better or worse than us. Better to compare to the past and future..


Mr N said...

Hi Mr Tan,

So what are your plans of sharing the burden of NS? Please share with us your plans. After 20 years of writing on this matter, and as a very intelligent person, I am sure you have thought of something.

Asking the PR and FT to do NS?
Asking Females to do NS?
No NS?
Or pay our NSP and NSmen more using our country's reserves?

Please do share.

Thank you.

Tan Kin Lian said...

Reply to Mr. N. Just read my posting in full. It is contained inside the posting.

Mr N said...

Hi Mr Tan,

I re-read the posting and I saw your answers. You say you willing try to

1) Lessen NS time frame
2) Give NSmen / NSF higher pay
3) Get Females, PR and New Citizens to do NS

With 1) how much time lesser? And how you determine to lessen NS or Reservist?
With aging population and declining birth rate how do we maintain a well trained force that is capable to defend our country?

With Regards to 2) How to determine the higher pay? and how to fund this pay?
I am against People who are had never thought of earning money for the country and only thought of spending our reserves.

Please do not think I am against you. In fact I will be voting for you. However, I like to know how you answers these questions so that 1)I can understand you better
2) making sure that I am voting for the correct person. One who not talk only, but will do what he say.

Thank you.

achia21 said...

Maybe one way to address the inadequate NS allowance is to link it to Ministerial pay -- how about paying Minister 100 times the NS basic allowance. So $400 pm for NS allowance = $40,000 pm for basic Minister pay. So want to increase Minister pay, then MUST increase NS allowance.

Anonymous said...

HUH? Female can be required to carry out non-combat or community service for the same duration? What about the time lost for female that gave birth. Female have to compete against the 'exempted people'(male) for the same jobs. How to share the responsibility of giving birth between Male and Female Singaporeans?

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