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Letter to the Editor | Open letter to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Pre-NS vs. Post-NS Benefits & Costs

"So for these “new naturalised citizens”, while they may not have “benefited” the 18 years of pre-NS apparently enjoyed by citizens, the new citizens and their families get to enjoy more than decades of citizenship benefits without any “cost” like NS and reservist obligations." — Jeff, Letter to the Editor

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Dear Editor,

Please find appended below an open letter I wrote to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Pre-NS vs Post-NS Benefits and Costs.


 

Dear Minister Ng,

1. I refer to your comment, “But if a foreigner comes to Singapore and becomes a citizen as a mature adult, typically in his 30s or 40s, we exempt him from National Service because he did not enjoy any socio-economic benefits like young Singaporeans and also because he would be too old to enlist for full-time National Service,” Dr Ng reiterated.” – CNA, 2 August 2022.

I note the reasons why these “new citizens” are exempted from full-time NS because they did not enjoy benefits when they were young. But upon becoming citizens, they are reaping many tangible and intangible (e.g. safety and security provided by our NSFs and NSmen) benefits for themselves and their families, so the least requirement is for them to contribute to the defence of the country through the “reservist” obligation like others in their age group of “30s or 40s”.

So for these “new naturalised citizens”, while they may not have “benefited” the 18 years of pre-NS apparently enjoyed by citizens, the new citizens and their families get to enjoy more than decades of citizenship benefits without any “cost” like NS and reservist obligations.

On the other hand, do NSFs and NSmen really enjoy benefits post-NS, like jobs, housing, healthcare, etc? I question this as we hear of stories where our qualified NSmen lose out to
so-called Foreign Talents (“FTs”) in sought-after PMET jobs. Or many young Singaporeans/NSmen are either not able to afford private housing (priced out by FTs or new citizens like *Zhu Su and Kyle Davis – articles below) or have to wait years for their HDB flats (any priority?).

(As an aside, the officers in the pioneering batches of NSFs had to serve 3 years full-time and decades of reservist obligation thereafter!).

Therefore, I personally feel the $100 NS55 voucher is an insult to all the NSFs and NSmen! (May I remind you that this $100 – in the current inflationary environment – is only slightly more than the $90 monthly “allowance” given to recruits in those days some 50 years ago!).

2. I append below the case of 2 of those infamous “new citizens” (Zhu Su & Kyle Davis who “vaporized a Trillion Dollars”) who have apparently managed to obtain Singapore citizenship, made millions if not billions, and bought expensive properties here (GCBs), enjoyed the benefits of citizenship for themselves and their families like safety and security provided by our NSFs and NSmen, without having to serve NS because they were considered “too old”? (Were they even required to serve NS?).

Cheers,
Jeff

Notes:

i. Many new citizens enlist for NS every year, Leong Mun Wai’s claims inaccurate and misleading: Ng Eng Hen – CNA, 2 August 2022

“But if a foreigner comes to Singapore and becomes a citizen as a mature adult, typically in his 30s or 40s, we exempt him from National Service because he did not enjoy any socio-economic benefits like young Singaporeans and also because he would be too old to enlist for full-time National Service,” Dr Ng reiterated.”

https://www.channelnewsasia.com/singapore/new-singapore-citizens-enlist-national-service-ns-ng-eng-hen-leong-mun-wai-ministerial-statement-2852251

ii. S’porean crypto billionaire Zhu Su is in early talks to buy GCB worth S$48.8M

“Only a Singapore citizen can own a GCB, and all three members of the family are Singapore citizens.”

iii. The Crypto Geniuses Who Vaporized a Trillion Dollars – New York Magazine, 15 August 2022

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/three-arrows-capital-kyle-davies-su-zhu-crash.html


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