http://www.todayonline.com/singapore/defence-ministry-considering-more-ways-recognise-nsmen-minister-ngAs you see, I have done my time, got the letter and that I no longer need to worry that I forgotten to inform MINDEF where I fly to since last December.SINGAPORE — Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said that the Defence Ministry is considering giving more recognition to NSmen by giving them a bigger stake in the country, such as in the areas of housing, healthcare and education.He also expects the Committee to Strengthen National Service — formed last March to recommend ways to strengthen National Service — to wrap up their recommendations by June.The Committee has engaged nearly 40,000 people so far and their report is expected to be released in the second half of the year.Dr Ng was speaking to reporters on the offshore island of Pulau Sudong today (April 24) where he was observing Exercise Golden Sand conducted by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).The Exercise involved a 450-strong NSmen guards unit, as well as Armoured Personnel Carriers, disembarking on the island from naval fast crafts while receiving support from Apache helicopters.About 350 personnel from the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN) and Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) also took part in the Exercise, which will last from 14 to 28 April.
However, I saw this response
Every person deserves access to housing, education and healthcare, because these are basic requirements for human sustenance and social participation. AWARE disagrees strongly with any link between support for fundamental needs and an individual's status as an NSman, especially when the military may not be suitable for many people, regardless of their gender. AWARE has long maintained that military service should not be held up as the single gold standard of citizen belonging - an approach which this proposal threatens to intensify, creating different tiers of people with different social entitlements and worth.
and I just have to respond. In an age where we have people questioning if NSman should even sit in the MRT train, it is no longer an issue of what this will denies others, male or female. But rather the dues given to the NSman.
It is enshrined by law that National Service is something that is necessary and that failure to comply is illegal, this is not saying that people sign up at the age of 18 just so that they can get ahead in life, get bigger house faster or cheaper, or are given $8 heart bypass.
This is a matter of duty. It is not negotiable, unless of course you are not fit for duty. Which simply means that if you don't perform the duty, you don't get the dues, simple as that.
Now, in case someone is wondering how their cheese are moved, lets just say that Servicemen and Women do put themselves on the line. To be called back when the duty calls or when the call sign pops up on the screen. This is real, this happens. Not to say that it is not without its risk, despite thick books been written to ensure safety, Servicemen and women had lost their life in the line of duty.
So, really, I don't really see the hue and cries that bemoans the fact that being in military service becoming the GOLD standard of citizen belonging. It does not. Nor will it ever be the only reason to apportion basic needs such as Housing, healthcare and education. It does not.
We have seen that, as of today, there are more scholarship open to non-Singaporean than they are Singaporean. In fact, we were told that the best scholarship we will get is a loan from our parent's CPF, of which we have to pay back (most likely with interest incurred)
And that, we have seen how previous rewards worked. It goes to some vouchers and membership to SAFRA, while I am not complaining, I think more can be done other than to credit some sum of token amount to 1's CPF.
And in case someone thinks that it is unfair that only man can serve NS, I am looking forward to the day that AWARE actually actively lobby the motion that women should serve NS as an act of gender equality.