Monday, March 7, 2011

Singapore's National Service injustice, young men should take to the streets

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Among the far too many blatant glaring injustices staring you in the face in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore, one beats them all, National Service.

Incredible at it may seem, Singaporean young men are required to serve in the Army full time for 2 years and after that they are forced to remain in the country for 13 long years thereafter for mandatory reservist trainings, while foreigners are allowed to enter the country anytime and live and work there and leave anytime, without any such obligation!

The penalty against Singaporeans for refusing to either serve full time or remain in the country for the 13 year stint is jail which can extend to several years. The foreigners who breeze into the country anytime they want have no such obligation at all!

If you reflected a little on this bizarre arrangement, does it not strike you as discrimination. And what is even more incredible is that this state sanctioned discrimination is directed against Singaporeans in their own country while foreigners are given preferential treatment!

And consequent to this red carpet welcome for foreigners, the injustice against Singaporean young men does not stop there.

Foreigners do not have to go through any government recruitment process to show the unavailability of local workers for jobs. Any Singapore employer can choose a foreigner anytime over a Singaporean without having to give any reasons whatsoever.

And since foreigners are mostly from low cost impoverished countries mainly Communist China, they are always successful in finding jobs because Singapore employers prefer them over Singaporeans.

For one, they don't have to do national service reservist training for 13 years enabling them to work full time uninterrupted for their employer. Second, they work for less since their low cost expectations as well as their low living expenses, e.g. renting rooms while Singaporeans have their HDB housing and children's expenses; allow them to live far more cheaply than Singaporeans.

Even on the higher echelons of work, for executives and professionals, foreign especially White Europeans are preferred over local Singaporeans as the colonial mentality of Asian coolies looking up to their European masters still widely exists. Every office or workplace would want to have a few white faces if possible, as if that was a mark of superiority and respectability.

The adverse consequences of this hare brained policy extend far and wide. For instance, even a young Singaporean who has done his 2 year national service and goes abroad for an education is required to ask for deferments each year for his reservist obligation for 13 years.

And if after he completes his eduction and is unable or unwilling to return to Singapore, from that point he becomes a fugitive from the law. Anytime he ever returns to Singapore, it will be a one way ticket to Changi where Singapore's prison is located.

There are even more unjust situations. Regardless of how young a child was when his parents took him abroad to live, his national service obligations remains.

That is, at 18, he has to return to Singapore and spend 2 years in the Army, regardless of the fact that he cannot even remember Singapore having lived all his young life abroad, and when he has no desire to want to live in Singapore anyway.

Such young men become fugitives from Singapore for life. In their entire lifetime, if they ever step foot in Singapore, it is only prison for them.

And mind you these young men overseas are highly qualified and successful human beings, as their parents themselves are usually professionals which enabled them to go abroad.

Can you imagine the great loss of talent with this ridiculous national service policy. It not only deprives local Singaporeans of jobs, causing bitterness and discontent among Singaporeans in their own country, it also deprives Singapore of a vast talent pool of the highest quality, which is lost for good.

And this loss is intolerable especially since the country only has about 3 million native born population, a country so small that every single person should be cherished and encouraged to stay; instead they chase them away for good.

This is one area that is so unjust and unacceptable that I hope Singaporeans would rise up and publicly and peacefully protest against it. If you do, the protest will most certainly expand throughout the island, compelling this uncaring Lee Kuan Yew administration to look at you for once.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
39737 Paseo Padre Parkway, Suite A1
Fremont, CA 94538, USA
Tel: 510 657 6107
Fax: 510 657 6914

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Anonymous said...

This is blatant discriminatrion on two accounts ,against Singaporeans and against young men. I am willing to bet that the most upwardly mobile Singaporeans are young professional women who are unhindered by this discrimination. Singapore is being run as a business abusing it's "workers" as indentured security workers. Foreigners, women and the governing party are the only winners. It is surprising that there are any young men left in the country. One would expect more defections with this level of discrimination.

Anonymous said...

90% of those who had served national service had served 2 1/2 years(30 months). Especially for those who are in their 40s or 50s and had lost one or both of their parents, when they think back if had used the 2 1/2 years wasted on national service to earn the 30 months of extra income to provide a better life for their parents or just to spend it with their parents. National service imposed a huge burden not only young man but also on their parents and siblings. But NS is a grave moral and ethical injustice. The new citizens and permanent residents from malaysia, china, india, philipines, mynmar,etc are exempted from it. The PM said that we cannot impose NS on them as it would "scar" them. The PM also claimed that 100s of PR have served NS but he never specify how many. It must be less than 1,000 in all these years as he would have 1000s. PRs were only required to serve NS in mid 1990s and only if they had been PR aged 15 and below.
PRs and new non-native citizens are allowed to exercise their"god-given" right to earn income and spend their time with their loved ones be it parents, girlfriends, wives,etc for that 2 1/2 years while native singaporeans are denied those rights by their "earthly god" Lee Kuan Yew to do so.
And the law as it stands now, means that should there had be a war, native singaporeans will be obligated to fight and die to protect these new citizens and PRs.
This is globalization run amok . The PAP ministers are not worried in the event of a war as all of them are worth more than 20 millions sgd by virtue of their huge salary and with that kind of money, they can have a fall back position in other countries.
Sadly it have to take a war or a short war for singaporeans to wake up to his hard truth.

Anonymous said...

Sigh.. 30 months I did. 40 I am soon. I am one of those " native born" kampong ah boy. My dad just passed away I wish I had spent those time with him instead. I serving to protect a regime that screw their own. That why I am no longer in Singapore. Btw as a yellow face exec in an european mnc in Europe. Makes me wonder what's all the fuzz about foreign talent. I would gladly move Home if i am treated with respect a true citizen deserve. But then i would be supervising the people we send from europe, this will be weird In singapore. Imagine angmo with ah beng director! Lol

Anonymous said...

I cannot think of a worse place to be male than in Singapore. As an American, most people have no idea of the discrimination. National Service is just one example, caning and unequal justice under the law is another example. My sense is that it is not females running the country, but elite males imposing this discrimination on other males. Am I correct,or are females just an elite species in Singapore? I suspect it is Yew's fear of males so he holds them down by mandatory NS and unequal justice. But I am no expert----what do the men of Singapore actually think about all this? After all we are in the Internet age and some there must be reading your well-written columns.

Anonymous said...

The best advice I received from my S1 officer was to migrate. That was what he said to a few of us who were suffering in NS. For me, it was also the sight of fellow citizens detained for their religious belief that made me realised that I had to get out of Singapore.
So, here I am, working for the Aussie govt, doing research and preparing briefing notes for the minister regarding new legistration to be proclaimed in parliament.
And after 8 years here, and gotten used to the loud and 'dirty' politics here, I am disappointed at how the 'orderly' and 'soft-spoken' dysfunctional Singapore Westminster? parliament is.

Anonymous said...

@ "Anonymous" United States Citizen who posted on Friday Mar 11, 07:03:00 AM PST:

In addition to that, it is worth considering what happens if a family has a disproportionately HIGH number of MALE children amid the plummeting birth rates in stinkapore with SOLELY stinkaporean nationality. This situation may be exacerbated when simultaneously, the stinkaporean government would use that excuse of low birth eplacement levels to plug the gap with more outsiders.

These aliens in stinkapore will most likely be able to use their FREEDOM OF CHOICE to milk stinkapore while keeping the bolthole open at the same time so they may be able to dump the island if stinkapore no longer satiates their vested self-centred interests.

By the way, you may like to do a search on these terms ' munafiq WA 6153 wnr nirvan "cheung sin wai" dedication '

Best, "Anonymous"

Anonymous said...


You may like to do a search on these terms vis-à-vis this issue on the curtailed (nine[9] month extensions) passport, years of conscription and lifelong reservist liability for ALL Singaporean MALES no matter how many MALE children the parents conceive:

" cheung sin wai daughters prata dedication ".

Anonymous said...

@ GOPALAN NAIR: Many thanks for permitting my comment (dated Tue Mar 13, 02:27:00 AM PDT) to be posted.

There is a spelling mistake in it; I intended to write in the last sentence of the first paragraph: "This situation may be exacerbated when simultaneously, the stinkaporean government would use that excuse of low birth REPLACEMENT levels to plug the gap with more outsiders."

By the way, you may like to do a search on these terms "brian dalby boo david sandison pwc james b jim rogers eric j brooks e-feed viswanathan".

Once again, thank you very much.

Yours sincerely

Anonymous said...

@ GOPALAN NAIR: Many thanks for all your help; you may like to search for these terms "hongkies three passports" -- it will lead you back to this topic.


Anonymous said...

Ridiculous.Singaporeans need to serve in the army because they are one important part of the country.Why should a foreigner be engaged in national service?Want to reveal the military secrets to them?? I don't understand why you think that foreigners are prior than singaporeans in job findings,foreigners are doing low-income jobs while locals can have the well-paid ones.Is it still unfair??