Extracted from MP for Aljunied GRC, Pritam Singh’s speech, delivered at the Committee of Supply debate on 11 March 2013:
“Today, Singaporean males have accepted that they can be called up for NS for up to 40 days a year for 10 years, and that is after they have completed their 2-year full-time NS stint. The point about NS is that Singaporean males do not just serve 2 years of NS, they serve a 10-year NS training cycle when they enter the workforce as well. While it may be operationally and bureaucratically inefficient to get new citizens to serve full-time NS for two years, it is not in the realm of imagination to conceive of new citizens up to the age of 30, serving a 10-year NS cycle till they are 40 years old, which is the current statutory age limit of service for many Singaporean NSmen.”
It is not just two years okay. It is freaking two + ten over years of disruptive reservist, IPPT, RT, IPT, silent/ open mobilisation and the need to apply for an exit permit every time I travel. For over a decade after I ORD, I am still unable to keep long hair; have to buy and keep an extra handphone with no camera features; and experience many other inconveniences of being a part-time soldier. These may seem insignificant individually, but is a major annoyance when you put everything together.
Every year during my birthday, the first one to greet me is always MINDEF, sending me a warning SMS to take/pass my IPPT or get charge.
I am not a full time soldier and I dislike being one.
Ten years is an awfully long time to do something one dislikes. How many ten years are there in one’s life?
Time I can spend with my son, time I can spend developing my hobby or career, I waste them in camp doing stupid guard duties.
It is time to level the playing field don’t you think?
No amount of monetary reward is going to buy back ten years of my life. Get it?
MP Pritam Singh FTW (though as usual, I doubt MINDEF would give two hoot).
Alvin is a marketer by day and blogger by night. He is a 100% geek who spends too much time surfing the web.