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WP’s Gerald Giam urges fair compensation for NSmen injured in service

He asks if operationally-ready and full-time National Servicemen receive same compensation and insurance coverage

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Singapore—At the Ministry of Defence’s (MINDEF) Committee of Supply debate in Parliament on Monday (March 1), Workers’ Party Member of Parliament Gerald Giam (Aljunied GRC) called for fair compensation for soldiers injured during service.

“Singapore’s defence strategy is dependent largely on the contributions of our National Servicemen. It is important that, should our soldiers suffer injuries in the course of their service to the nation, they will be fairly compensated. This will give them the assurance to give their best during training and operations,” Mr Giam said.

He then proceeded to ask whether the current $150,000 Group Term Life and Group Personal Accident insurance cover operationally-ready National Servicemen.  

FB screengrab: Gerald Giam

“NSmen may only be serving for up to 40 days a year, but they often participate in dangerous military exercises during that short stint,” he said.

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Mr Giam went on to ask several other related questions, including how this amount was arrived at and whether it can be increased for better coverage in the event of death or total permanent disability of the serviceman. 

Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How responded to the Aljunied MP, saying that the quantum of coverage is reviewed periodically, with all relevant factors are taken into account.

Mr Heng also underlined that enhancements have been made to National Service and safety management. “The SAF is committed to the vision of zero accidents,” he said.

Mr Giam then sought clarification whether operationally-ready NSmen who suffer injuries or meet with accidents in service would receive the same compensation and insurance coverage as full-time National Servicemen.

If this is not the case, he said, could the ministry “move towards this, given the invaluable contributions of our NSmen to our nation’s defence”.

He asked if there are plans to raise the group term insurance coverage, and if there is a framework for enhanced payouts for servicemen who are injured or killed in actual operations.

/TISG

Read also: WP’s Gerald Giam to question Vivian Balakrishnan on effects of Myanmar coup

WP’s Gerald Giam to question Vivian Balakrishnan on effects of Myanmar coup

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