Ministerial statement: Ng Eng Hen on NS for new citizens, Leong Mun Wai’s claims “inaccurate”

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Ng Wei Kai

Aug 02, 2022 03:54 pm

About one in five full-time national servicemen (NSFs) enlisted yearly are new citizens or permanent residents, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Tuesday (Aug 2).

This is up from about one in 20 in the early 2000s, with PRs and new citizens forming an increasing proportion of new enlistees over the years, said Dr Ng.
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Slightly more than half of these are new citizens, while the rest are PRs, Dr Ng told Parliament in response to statements about National Service (NS) exemptions for new citizens made by Non-Constituency MP Leong Mun Wai that he said were misleading.

Dr Ng said: “I have decided that it is important to correct the misleading statements put out by Mr Leong, because they strike at the foundations of equity and universality that underpin NS in Singapore.”
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Dr Ng added there should be no doubt that for every young male citizen, whether by birth, registration or descent, NS liabilities are the same.

He said they will be enlisted for NS at 18 years or older to perform full-time NS and thereafter must fulfil their Operationally Ready NS (ORNS) duties.

Dr Ng added that if a foreigner comes to Singapore and becomes a citizen as a mature adult, typically in his 30s or 40s, he is exempt from NS as he did not enjoy any socio-economic benefits like young Singaporeans and also because he would be too old to enlist for full time NS.

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