by Daniel Yap
The noose is tightening for NS defaulters, and I fully approve. As one of the major sources of unhappiness in Singapore as far as fair treatment of citizens goes, NS defaulters should be made to pay the piper. It is the law, after all, and a commitment is a commitment – the benefits and responsibilities of permanent residency and citizenship go hand in hand. It is a matter of HONOUR.
According to this CNA report:
Dr Ng said that according to records, no such persons have been granted re-instatement of PR or citizenship. He added that the policy has been progressively tightened such that no NS-liable PR who renounced his PR status in the last decade has been granted approval for work or study.
For former PRs who fail to serve NS, any immediate or future applications for renewal of their parents’ and immediate family members’ Re-Entry Permits may be adversely affected, including curtailment of the Re-Entry Permit.
I heartily approve. A full one third of liable PRs shirk their duty – a disturbing trend. Add to that the fact that most non-Singaporeans don’t think that NS is part of the Singaporean identity… and we have a problem.
Even though I’ve long said that PRs, by definition, should not be doing NS, as long as the law exists, it must be applied. I’m not exactly sure about making family members pay for the foolish choices of one man – sometimes the parents are to blame, but sometimes not. It is hard to tell.
I’d love for the ministry to take this two steps further – prosecute and attempt to extradite NS defaulters who have fled to other countries. It seems rather pathetic that we should wait until the perpetrator returns to our shores to start proceedings against him, and most of these people simply choose never to show their faces here again. If we want to send a strong signal that NS is to be taken VERY seriously, especially at the time when the family members receive permanent residency, then we should ultimately go as far as extradition.
In this way we can honour the honourable PRs and citizens who have done their duty to our country.