Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Singapore. How to avoid national service (Disclaimer 02/06/2014)

02/06/2014/ Disclaimer: I want the reader to know that by encouraging young Singaporeans to avoid national service, I am not against the country of my birth, Singapore.

What I am against is Lee family and their PAP, and any means to disrupt, obstruct and harass their government is a patriotic duty because firstly Singapore is not the PAP and neither is it the other way round.

Secondly the PAP is clearly prejudicial to the interests of Singapore, being a dictatorship and a government in violation of the island Constitution.

The sooner the PAP falls the better it is for Singapore. And one way to obstruct the PAP is to encourage as many young Singaporeans to refuse service in their army.

This is already happening and my writing is merely precipitating that end. 

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I have been receiving numerous enquiries daily on how young Singaporean men can avoid national service. It is very easy.

The only way is to leave Singapore. Young men before they are enlisted into the army do not need exit permits if they are going on holiday for not more than 90 days. All you need is a passport and a return ticket.

Before you plan to leave enroll in a foreign school university or college, e.g. in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, USA etc. Once you have been accepted, simply leave the island to the country where you have obtained acceptance. Once there, simply ignore all enlistment notices that may be sent to you at your last known address.

If your parents are still in Singapore, simply tell them to ignore any notices from Singapore CMPB. They cannot do anything to your parents for your failure to return since they have not signed any bond, because any trip for less than 90 days does not require any permission to leave.

Once you are abroad and have failed to return, you have committed an offense under the Enlistment Act. But this means nothing as long as you remain abroad and never return to Singapore. They cannot extradite you and there is no way they can do anything to you as long as you remain out of Singapore.

While you are abroad, at some point of time, your Singapore passport may expire. This may cause some problems as any extension application for your student status may require proof of a valid travel document. I don't think you have to worry too much about this. If you cannot prove that you have a valid travel document, simply file an asylum claim. This filing will give you valid status for filing student status extensions.

But be warned that refusal to do national service is not a ground for an asylum claim. But it is a ground if you claim to be a 7th Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witness etc which proscribes the use of firearms on religious grounds, since you can raise a valid argument that forcing you to carry arms is an express violation of your religion. What strengthens your case is that unlike many Western countries which allow you to do community service instead of serving in the army, Singapore does not allow this option.

Several Singaporeans have obtained asylum because they were persecuted for being gay. This is an accepted ground for asylum claims from Singapore since it is well documented that the island persecutes gay people. This may be a ground for you but may be unacceptable for those who detest homosexuality or any association with it.

Otherwise marry an American, Canadian or Australian or women from wherever you are; and that will solve the problem.

Otherwise file a claim that you have been persecuted on political grounds because you were supporting the opposition etc.

But remember, simply raising criminal grounds such as fear of loan sharks and criminals is not a valid asylum claim.

One caveat on marriage cases. At least you have to try to make it real. In other words, if you are 20, don't claim to have fallen in love with a 85 year old woman; it is unlikely to be believed. Remember, once you get your residence, you can part ways.

From anecdotal evidence, the Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore is having a hard time getting anyone to serve in national service. First you have the huge growing problem of young men who go abroad and never return.

Second you have the unrelenting decline in birth rate, leaving the island bereft of young men. Third you have an aging population and there are hardly anyone of military age. Fourth you have increasing numbers of permanent residents who give up their residencies and leave with their entire families once the son becomes of national service age.

And lastly you have to contend with the likes of  Gopalan Nair and Singapore Dissident who is determined to deplete the ranks of the Singapore army.

I have been told that the army barracks in Singapore is hardly receiving any occupants. Very soon they may be almost empty.

Good Luck to you in your life in the foreign country. Remember the world is wide. You only die once. Don't be afraid. By not doing it, you will only live to regret it for the rest of your life. If you do it, at least you have the chance of succeeding.

In my case, when I left with just $500.00 in my pocket and a one way ticket to Frankfurt, I told myself the worst thing that could ever happen to me was that I will die. After all we all die once. I not only didn't die, I did pretty well. I cannot deny that it was a wonderful adventure.

What man needs according to Nickos Kazantzakis in Zorba the Greek, is "a little bit of madness, because it will cut the rope and make you free". Zorba tells the Englishman not to put every question on a weighing machine, and looking at the pros and cons and being overly cautious. Life after all is a chance. You may or you may not succeed. But if you didn't try, you will never know. I would have been a far happier person having tried and failed completely ; rather than one who never tried.

If you are surprised why I can write this, remember, I am only able to write this because I am physically in California USA. Had I been within Singapore now, I would have been immediately arrested and tried for treason and jailed and the key thrown away. They only get you if they can.

Gopalan Nair
Attorney at Law
A Singaporean in Exile
Fremont, California USA
Tel: 510 491 8525


Anonymous said...

Albert Einstein also escaped from Germany's NS by running to Switzerland.

Anonymous said...

A passport and a return ticket? Why? After i apply for asylum can i apply for US PR? And will applying to asylum affect my future?

Anonymous said...

These possible?

If a Singapore male has not enjoy the fruits of the PAP govt, eg he has not started local schooling or own his own NRIC, I think he will not be liable for NS. Am I correct?

As for those foreign talents who are Singapore PRs, It is easier for them to skip NS and apply for overseas university and work there a few years while getting their citizenship. Then they return to Singapore for visits using their newly acquired passport as a tourist.

Anonymous said...

I emigrated to Canada with my son who was 16 at the time. We received a letter asking him to register for NS. We tried to do it on line but couldn't because it kept asking for guarantors or $70K bond.

I wrote a letter saying that I don't know of anybody who can guarantee or have $70K for the bond. CMPB replied that my son has to renounce his citizenship at 21 years of age , otherwise he has to return to do his NS.

By this time he had turned 21, he already obtained his Canadian passport, and was so glad to renounce. We wrote a letter to CMPB informing them of the renunciation and asking for a letter of Non-Liability for NS.

Canada has given us a much better life compared to the discrimination, oppression and just plain rude and uncourteous Singapore. The people here are polite and the govt takes care of her people. We are truly blessed to be here.

Anonymous said...

Your advice is completely unworkable!

1. ALL international students must present their properly-endorsed I-20 form to their universities before the universities will allow them to matriculate / register for classes. The United States Department of State require this of ALL universities, the purpose of which is to ensure that all international students are accounted for and none ends up, say, working, instead of studying at the universities. I am surprise you know not of this.

2. But to get the I-20 properly endorsed at the arriving airport, the international student must first have the accompanying F-1 visa issued by the American Embassy.

3. But, the American Embassy in Singapore will NOT issue an F-1 visa unless a male Singaporean can document his National Service status satisfactorily i.e. a letter from the Ministry of Defence certifying that he has completed his full-time National Service or that he is allowed to disrupt from NS, AND the presentation of a valid Exit Permit!!!

This is not my hear-say. As an immigration lawyer, you ought to know point 1 and 2 , and you can read about point 3 yourself from the website of the American Embassy in Singapore. This is clearly a diplomatic agreement between the 2 governments i.e. the PAP government has long anticipated and closed this potential loop-hole.

So, any poor Singapore student who naively follows your advice will end up having his visa application denied by the American Embassy, due to his inability to produce the said letter and Exit Permit issued by Singapore's Ministry of Defence. Worse, if he chooses to not apply for an F-1 visa, but to instead lie to the consular officer at the airport that he is entering the United States for tourism purpose (are you aware this is what you are suggesting, totally in contravention to your status as an officer of the court?), the poor student will be denied matriculation / registration by his university and will have to return back to Singapore (after visiting you at your law office to give you a earful? *grin*)

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said

" Your advice is completely unworkable!"

What you say is incorrect.

The US government is not ordinarily obliged to ensure that you have complied with Singapore's Enlistment Act. As along as you have been accepted by the US University and have an I-20 which shows your financial ability, there is nothing under US law to prevent you entering the US for an education.

Of course any US Consulate abroad may decide themselves to ensure the domestic laws of the foreign country are complied with. If this is the case with the US Embassy in Singapore, I agree this creates a unique problem only in the Singapore case which does not apply in other countries.

I would be surprised if the US Embassy in Singapore is interested in ensuring that a student proceeding to the USA has complied with Singapore's national service requirements which is something they are not ordinarily required to do.

As to your point that the student should not lie to an officer at the US port of entry by saying his intention is to visit and subsequently change his mind and apply for a student visa, what you say is correct but for the wrong reasons.

Singapore is a visa waiver country and as such, he cannot apply for change of status to student while within the US, unlike countries that require a visa which will enable him to change status to student after arrival in the US.

If indeed the US Embassy does insist that you produce proof that you have complied with the Singapore enlistment act, there is still a way around this.

The trick is obtain a US Visitor's visa even though Singaporeans do not need a visa for a 90 days entry.

You can apply for a visa by saying you need to visit the US for more than 90 days or because you need to attend a short course, say for 4 months which does not need a student visa.

Once you do get the visa, you can then come in on your visitor status and apply to change status to Student while you are in the US. This is one way to get round the US Embassy/ Singapore Enlistment Act problem.

As for your mention that I am an officer of the court, I would like to think that as a good lawyer, my job is to help the client to see the loopholes. Which explains why I am no longer a lawyer in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore where I would probably have to do as you say. Remember, I am an Attorney in the United States where there are lawyers like me.

But not surprisingly you won't find a lawyer like me in Lee Kuan Yew's Singapore.

Anonymous said...

The easiest) way to not serve National Service is not through severing your ties with Singapore when you are 18 years old, but when you are 0 years old!

Your parents should have given birth to you in USA (or Canada, or in fact, any country in the entire South America continent). Then you would be an American (or a Canadian etc) Citizen by birth! This is called Jus Soli, and is part of the 14th amendment of the U.S. Constitution. Gopalan can tell us more about that, since it is his area of expertise.

Lots of Taiwanese and Korean parents have been doing just that for the past 30 years for the purpose of ensuring that their sons need not serve National Service. Lots of undocumented immigrants from South America do that too and it's called the "Anchor Baby" phenomenon (again, Gopalan knows more and can elaborate about this, if he wishes). And now, mainland Chinese are doing that too - to circumvent China's one-child policy.

But Singaporeans are gutless and ball-less. The idea of giving birth in United States (or Canada, or any South American country) is so alien to these sheep that even after they read what I wrote here, they won't do it! So, well, too bad then - while young men in Taiwan and Korea have been escaping their respective National Service, young men in Singapore have to find ways to escape NS, 18 years too late!

Anonymous said...

I was a landlord to a couple, Singaporean adult university students, the wife was pregnant and wanted to stayed on in Australia to give birth when they found out that they were having a boy. But they found out that the boy has to live in Australia before he will be granted citizenship at his 10th birthday. I was not sure what happened because they left my property soon after graduation. They wanted to apply for PR and asked my property manager for letter to showed that they were good tenants.

Anonymous said...

Can I even renounce my Singapore citizenship after all these years abroad? I haven't served NS but I'm past the age where I can serve. I left in my mid teens. Even though I have no wish to go back there to work, but I would prefer the choice to able to go visit without any recriminations.

Any advice here Goplan?

Gopalan Nair said...

To Anonymous who said

"Can I even renounce my Singapore citizenship after all these years abroad?"

Sorry. If you do return, as long as the present laws remain, you will have to pay a fine or worse, go to jail. You can then renounce your citizenship and visit on your foreign passport

Anonymous said...

Help? Please? I'm taking my Os and I want to move to canada afterwards to study and live and never return. What do I have to do? I'd be going there with my Singapore passport and if I try to renounce it id have to come back here. What do I do?

Anonymous said...

If a boy is 11 years old and is already studying in an international school but leaves Singapore before the age of 13, does the boy have any chance to avoid NS without needing exit permits and bond? How to avoid this damn service? Singaporeans are a minority in their own country. Who wants to waste 2 years in the service? Govt refuses to shorten the period to one year!

Anonymous said...

Gopal bro,

Need help as you're an expert. My son is going to be born. Wife is non-Singaporean. I'm Singaporean and serve the shit NS for 2.5 years and at 36 stills erving fucking reservist. Bro, my son is going to be born in 4 months time. How can I avoid this for him? Im planning for the child to give birth in the mother's country but I can't witness the delivery as i'm working in Singapore and can't get leave for this in January 2015. We plan to leave Singapore after I completed my part time studies here and look for a job in the mother's home country. I want to witness the child born here. Don't want to miss it. Can the child be born here and then 3 years later, we leave....would child need to NS later in life? If child born here, would child be Singaporean? Could I ask the embassy here for the mother to register child as non-Singaporean? Mom is Japanese. Bro, please help. I wrote to you sometime ago about moving to Oz but this didn't work as I've no experience there.

Anonymous said...


Child born in Canada by a Singaporean mum. What will be the child citizenship? By Descent, he/she will be Singaporean is it?

Understand that parents will need to register within one year of the child's birth. If it is not registered, meaning the child will not own Singapore Citizenship is it?

If it is a girl, there is not much problem. Reason is, I don't want my son to serve NS.

Any advices. Thanks.

Unknown said...

Hey, I was born in Singapore. Immigrated to the UK with my family at the age of 10. I have been a British citizen with a British passport for the past 20 years. I've never registered for my NRIC as I was too young. Can I visit Singapore without any recriminations?

Anonymous said...

I have the same problem. Born in Singapore, emmigrated to Netherlands at the age of 9. Never formally renounced my Singapore nationality whatsoever (I was a child and didn't know what to do, my parents didn't help me with this). I have been a Dutch (Netherlands) citizen for the past 23 years and have never returned to Singapore since. I really wonder if I can legally return to Singapore for holiday. It's time to go 'home'.

Anonymous said...

I have a question. What happens if the student wanting to leave Singapore due to its policies and practices, and legal NS requirements go against said religious beliefs.

Assuming the said person is below the age of 18, but has successfully been admitted to an US university. What would be the recommended course of action? Generally, this blog suggests said person to apply for a US visa( Which sents said student right into the legal minefield the US embassy seems to process. Can the student apply for a US visa through an overseas embassy?

eathemonkey said...


I left singapore with my twin brother when we were 13 ..

We ended up getting our NZ passport and have not returned to Singapore since the age of 17... or Singapore passport is expire..

my question is. Can fly transit through singapore with my British or NZ passpiort? or will i get in trouble and asked to do national service?

Also, am i still liable to do National service? or do i have to renounce my passport

Anonymous said...

Same issue here,
I left singapore with my family at age 15 and have been a US citizen for over 20 years. Will the singapore gov allow me to reounce my singapore citizenship now? And if so will I be able to visit singapore after?

Anonymous said...

Same issue here, I left Singapore with my parents at age 15 and am now 37. I have been a citizen of the US for over 15 years. Will the Singapore gov allow me to renounce my singapore citizenship and if so will I be able to visit singapore after?

Anonymous said...

This is rather hazardous, if well intentioned advice. To other readers please do a lot of research. Far too many sons are stuck away from Singapore not able to visit their older relatives for fear of prison.

Anonymous said...

Im going to canada to study and then stay there, I am 15. Will it work? Or what must i do