Ladies and Gentlemen,
Several young men have written about to wanting to leave Singapore to avoid national service; wanting to know what would happen if they left Singapore without serving.
Many dislike having to lose out 2 or 3 years of their life in running around the bush away from education, feeling they are disadvantaged compared to those who went to university without interruption. Personally my view is that national service for what it is, is good; it keeps you fit, inculcates independence and self reliance; but the decision is yours on what you do.
In other words, it stops you from being a Mambino, Italian for Mamma's Boy.
Firstly, your refusal to do national service will not be grounds to receive asylum or refugee status abroad. That is quite clear from the legal precedents so far on asylum and refugee law.
The good news is, Singapore will not succeed in any application to extradite you to Singapore and furthermore any foreign government faced with an extradition request for an national service deserter will most probably not send you back.
Furthermore I suspect there are certain offenses, usually the serious ones, where extradition is applied for. Even for a country that really lacks the rule of law and any fair and just legal system like Singapore, they probably still will not commence extradition proceedings for national service absconders.
Also, even in the unlikely event that Singapore applied for extradition, the person is not sent back automatically. He is first given a hearing before the foreign court at which time you will raise the reasons why you don't want to be returned; such as lack of democracy in Singapore, lack of human rights, dictatorial rule, no rule of law etc. The courts in the free countries of the world, unlike Singapore, are independent and with Singapore now having a very bad name as an authoritarian intolerant country, you would almost certainly win your case.
But the downside is, Singapore, under the Enlistment Act will arrest and charge you if you ever return to Singapore, regardless of which country's citizenship you hold. Therefore, if you avoided national service and left Singapore, you would never be able to return to Singapore at all; it is so to speak, a life sentence.
For many, this is an unbearable punishment; as they have parents, relatives and family members in Singapore. To some extent now, I am in this position myself, although not for national service reasons.
Since leaving Singapore last November, I had deliberately written some blogs criticizing another High Court judge in Singapore as well as deliberately committed contempt of court of Judge Leslie Chew's order to remove some blog posts, by re posting them. So, it would appear that I could be arrested and sent to jail if ever I returned to Singapore. But in my case, it does not matter much. I wanted to make a point that no one could stop me from exercising my rights as a man, and second, I no longer have any relatives in Singapore.
Singapore's interests has much to gain by me criticising Singapore's dictatorial government since it exposes the truth of Singapore to the world. My inability to return to Singapore is surely a very small price to pay.
If you can, my advice is to serve national service. At least it will make you a little fitter, than the sissys that I find among the Singaporeans. After that, get out of the country and write a letter to Lee Kuan Yew's son and give him a piece of your mind.
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