Photo of NS enlistee from SAF Facebook

During a legal proceeding for a Singaporean-New Zealand dual citizen’s pension appeal, a New Zealand tribunal stated that the evasion of National Service (NS) is not an extraditable offense. The Singaporean-New Zealand dual citizen refused to disclose his address to the Singapore government because his sons, now aged 25 and 23, did not sign up for National Service.

Under Singapore’s Enlistment Act, failing to register for NS warrant a maximum of S$10,000 fine with 3 years’ imprisonment. However offenders under this law cannot be extradited. The revelation opened up an opportunity and escape route for Singaporean males who are mandated by law to serve compulsory NS. NS in Singapore cost Singaporean men 2 years’ of youth by putting them through political indoctrination swearing allegiance to Singapore’s ruling party. NS enlistees who refuse to subvert will be punished with “general disobedience” charge and jailed on jurisdiction under the military court.

NS men who completed 2 years’ of full-time training will still have to continue reservist training every year for up to a month. Most NS men find reservist training unproductive and damaging to employment opportunities because of the lengthy absence. Foreign employees are preferred in some companies because of National Service reservist training.

Dual citizenship is also technically illegal in Singapore, but so long a Singaporean who obtained a foreign citizenship that allows dual citizenship, one can choose not to declare his new citizenry status to Singapore. There is no statistic on the number of Singaporean dual citizens but most overseas Singaporeans tend not to declare their status especially when they are earning a rental income from a Singapore HDB flat they own.

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