National Service for new citizen?

This topic has been brought up again and again. I think there is no better time than now to re-look into this issue. Should new citizen serve National Service? I totally agree with the author. We should make English and National Service a must for new citizen.
English is the most common language in Singapore (apart from Singlish). If a new citizen can’t communicate properly in English, how can he fit into his new home?
And I strongly feel that male new citizen under the age of 40 should perform national service too. Perhaps 2 to 3 weeks every year for a period of 10 years, just like reservist. And by National Service, I’m not referring to military form of national service. It would be difficult for them to serve national service in the armed forces. There are several pillars in our total defence. One major role that new citizen can play is the civil defence sector where they can learn first aid and fire fighting skill. These skills are important in everyday life and will definitely come in very handy during times of crisis. New citizen can also contribute by serving NS in the police force.
Apart from learning these skill, National Service is also a good time for national education. Like learning about the history of Singapore. And even how to sing the national anthem and recite the pledge.
So what do you think? Should new citizen perform National Service?

14 comments

  1. I’ve encountered 2 cases of fatalities during full-time NS and reservist.
    Full-time was a regular SGT killed when his SM-1 tank overturned with him in the commander’s cupola. He was 25.
    Reservist was a fellow PDF infantryman who collapsed during 2.4km run for IPPT. He was 32/33.
    Why shouldn’t new citizens take up RESPONSIBILITIES commensurate with their RIGHTS? So too should female Singaporeans.
    National service can be in many forms. Community service comes to mind. If we can make school students chalk up community involvement programs why not newly minted citizens?
    A Singaporean male NSF and NSmen is conscripted compulsorily WITHOUT choice (except for choice of detention barracks for 3 years i.e. Jehovah Witnesses) and bears the RESPONSIBILITY but gets kicked in the face when it comes to ECONOMIC RIGHTS as he is thrown into the GLOBALLY competitive job market.

  2. Panzer: Like I said, it is impossible to ask new citizen to serve military national service. But surely they can contribute elsewhere like civil defence and police.

  3. Do you think Singaporean citizenship would still be desirable enough that Singapore would still be able to attract new citizens? I worry that only foreigners who are female would want it given the added duties of national service.

  4. Daniel
    I don’t know. I’m not paid $1,000,000 a year as Minister for Manpower or Minister for Home Affairs or Minister for Babies to worry about such issues of whether Singapore Citizenship would be desirable.
    If you paid me a mere $250,000 a year, I would be happy to put on my thinking cap and think of at least 10 win-win solutions how we can entice foreigners to take up citizenship and contribute to Singapore both economically and in terms of defence.
    Heck, for the fun of it, I’ll do the first 5 for “free”:
    1) Tax newly minted adult citizens a defence tax of say, 5% of annual income to fund defence budget. Call it a NCT (new citizens tax)
    2) Newly minted citizens to do 2 to 21 days of community service a year for next 10 years. Any community service exceeding 3 hours would be reimbursed $10. This is based on CDAC volunteer reimbursement rates that I experienced while as a volunteer for 3+ years.
    3) New adult citizens to volunteer as traffic sign (lollipop) holders for 2-21 days each year. Helps alleviate Singaporean volunteers who try to get their children
    4) New adult citizens can volunteer at national events e.g NDP, they get to watch the previews free-of-charge and help guide traffic, be road marshals, pack NDP goodie bags and much much more! Free KFC/Pizza hut lunches included!
    5) New adult citizens can provide free carpool to work for their Singaporean colleagues. Each free ride for Singaporean gets them 0.5 day off their 2-21 days obligations to do community service.
    Majullah Singapura.

  5. Well, I believe we’ll have to look into the whole built up of the “new citizen”. The fact is that, the key attraction for foreigners to queue up to come to SG, isn’t because she’s some big-ass cool-nice-free-(with all positive adjective) country.
    The fact that govt is relaxing on the requirements to be part of us, shows how much they(we) badly want them to come. So adding on compulsories like serving some NS of any kinds, serves as a disincentive to attract them to be sg-reans.
    Hence by setting up this regulation is simply shooting their(our) own foot.
    Of cos, I’m not making any value judgment on whether I support your idea or not. The fact is, I do agree with what you mentioned, as it is simply fair, just that it doesn’t compliment with the ongoing efforts to attract more citizens.

  6. Panzer: Some of the ideas are flawed. But I’m sure with some refinement, it would be perfect. Do let me know if you are running for the next election. I’ll rally votes for you. Wahahhahahaha.
    Shan: I really think we are giving out citizenship too easily.

  7. roxy.z: Yeap, I’ve seen that letter. And I’m praying that not all new citizen thinks the same way. Else we are in deep shit.

  8. NCT (new citizens tax)?
    Remember when new companies had a 5yr tax discount because we wanted them to set up shop here? When top management is used to buying whatever they want, don’t be surprised when new citizens are offered the same to help them settle in and take root. (New citizen integration tax rebate only available if you are NOT in an opposition ward)

  9. Before they start generating new ideas into this country, they have to proof themselves worthy to be citizens by sacrificing themselves in her defence.
    By the way, if Singapore wasn’t what she is today would you new citizens come to settle down here?

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