05 November 2018

Should permanent residents and dual citizens serve national service in Singapore?

Minister of Defence Ng Eg Hen previously made nice comforting noises (otherwise known as motherhood statements) in parliament about how safety is a top priority of army training, in light of a recent escalation in fatal training incidents. But isn't 1 reported accident every 3.5 months statistically significant for an armed forces that has only 35,000 conscripts at any time? Doesn't this statistic indicate the presence of serious and pervasive systematic failings in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF)?

Liu Kai, the victim in the latest SAF fatal training accident and possibly SAF's fatally compromised culture was a permanent resident. Kok Yuen Chin, the victim in the previous SCDF fatal training accident was also a permanent resident. Many Singapore PRs and dual citizens who are legally obligated to serve national service at the age of 16 have every right to ask to ask the question: Should they just say no to their NS obligations and give up their permanent residence or Singapore citizenship?

Soldiers are meant to die heroically in battle.
Which is why every accidental training death must be investigated.