Photo of NS recruit from Facebook

In a court sentence over a National Service (NS) defaulter, an unnamed district judge confirmed that NS is an unfair disadvantage for Singaporean males.

“Even if one is residing overseas, he should return to fulfill his NS obligations to negate any unfair advantage over his peers from deferring NS for education or life pursuits.”

28-year-old Jonathan Tan Huai En, a Canada and Singapore dual citizen, left to settle in Canada in 2000 when he was 11 years old. He became a Canada citizen in 2005, but the Singapore government refuse to let him renounce his citizenship.

Upon his return to Singapore in May 2015, he was arrested when he entered Singapore. In Singapore, the government forced him to serve 2 years of NS before allowing him to renounce the Singapore citizenship. According to the prosecution, a Singaporean male has to serve NS when he “reaped the benefits of citizenship through a government primary school education”. However, the government then went on to charge him for defaulting on NS. Jonathan Tan was subsequently enlisted in Jan 2015, but the court today (Feb 2) sentenced him to 16 weeks’ jail for defaulting NS.

According to the court hearing, without serving NS, Jonathan Tan obtained two university degrees and even landed a professional career in a multi-national company in Canada. NS is a penalty for only Singaporean males born in Singapore. New citizens and Permanent Residents are exempted from NS, and among them, Singapore Minister Khaw Boon Wan and Minister Janil Puthucheary are new citizens who did not serve NS.

During National Service, a Singaporean male learn how to be subservient to the ruling party PAP government. Videos of Lee Kuan Yew and propaganda material are disseminated as part of “social education” during basic military training. NS plays an important part in consolidating political support for the ruling party, which often repeats the lie that Singapore was a third world fishing village instead of a thriving world entrepot before the ruling party rose to power in 1960s.

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