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Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim: To ask the Minister for Defence whether the Ministry will consider
providing further clarity on national service enlistment dates beyond
approximately two months, particularly to preclude short notification
enlistment notifications of two weeks.
Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen:
1. MINDEF recognises
the benefits of providing adequate notice of enlistment dates to pre-enlistees
to prepare themselves mentally and physically for full time National Service.
For this purpose, we conduct regular National Service (NS) engagement sessions
in schools, where pre-enlistees are informed that most can expect to be
enlisted within four to six months after completion of their post-secondary
education in Singapore. Pre-enlistees are also able to check on the various
possible upcoming enlistment dates on the Central Manpower Base’s (CMPB)
2. Within the
entire cohort of NS liable males averaging around 23,000 each year, some will
require further evaluation or delays in their scheduled enlistment date due to
medical reasons or other personal requests. Nonetheless, more than 80% of
pre-enlistees receive notice more than two months before enlistment. For those
who receive notice of less than two months, short term postponements have been
granted on appeal.
3. Only around 1% receive
their Enlistment Notices less than two weeks before their enlistment date,
often due to late finalisation of their medical status, whereupon the
pre-enlistee had requested for the next available enlistment date or due to
enlistment slots opening up due to deferments and dropouts. In such instances,
CMPB will contact them to confirm their availability to be enlisted on short
notice, before serving them their Enlistment Notices.