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I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

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nchan94
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I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby nchan94 » Sat, 30 May 2015 11:35 am

Hi,

I am a 20 year-old NS Defaulter, soon to be 21. My family and I do not reside in Singapore, as for the most part of my life I have lived outside of Singapore. I only come to Singapore to visit my extended family members. I did receive a letter from Mindef to do army, but I kinda ignored it. As I look back, I feel pretty guilty about not doing my NS. But I knew that education was more important. Now that I am going to complete Uni, I started thinking about how to get back to Singapore.

I guess my question is, If i decide now to do NS, will I still be punished? Will I face jail time? and if so, how long? OR is it simply too late to even change the situation?

Hope someone can answer my question, thanks!

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Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 30 May 2015 12:20 pm

If you voluntarily turn yourself in, you will probably be fined (up to $5G I believe) and you will have to do your NS as well. They 'could' make you do time as well. Following is a links to answer your questions but can not answer your odds....

http://www.mindef.gov.sg/content/iminde ... #Penalties for NS defaulters

Sir, let me now touch on the issue of punishment for NS defaulters. The legal framework for National Service is contained in two pieces of legislation – the Enlistment Act and the Singapore Armed Forces Act.

The Enlistment Act applies to all Singaporeans and Permanent Residents from age 16½ to 40, or age 50 in the case of officers. The Act provides for the registration and enlistment of those liable for National Service, and also for the requirement to apply for an Exit Permit or to notify MINDEF when going overseas. Those who fail to comply with the provisions of the Enlistment Act are dealt with in the civil courts regardless of whether they are pre-enlistees, full-time NSmen or Operationally Ready NSmen. On conviction, they can be sentenced to a jail term of up to three years, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.

The Singapore Armed Forces Act deals with those in the service of the SAF and contains provisions pertaining to their conduct and discipline. Those in the service of the SAF comprise regulars, full-time NSmen, and Operationally Ready NSmen who have been served an order to report for service. Pre-enlistees are not subject to the Singapore Armed Forces Act as they are not yet in the service of the SAF. Servicemen who commit offences under the Singapore Armed Forces Act are dealt with either in the Subordinate Military Court or by SAF disciplinary officers.

NS defaulters are dealt with under the Enlistment Act as they have failed to respond to orders to register or enlist for National Service, or failed to comply with Exit Permit requirements. MINDEF’s approach in dealing with NS defaulters has been to charge them in Court for Enlistment Act offences and let the Court impose an appropriate sentence based on the circumstances of each case and the provisions of the Enlistment Act.

Over the past 20 years, 185 NS defaulters have been convicted in Court for Enlistment Act offences. Of these, 43 received jail sentences, 140 were fined and two were punished in connection with other civil offences. Of the 140 who were fined, 35 were ultimately jailed when they did not pay their fines.

Of the 185 convicted defaulters, 127 were enlisted or are awaiting enlistment for National Service following their convictions. Two were supposed to enlist but defaulted again prior to their enlistment. 33 were not drafted as they were unsuitable for enlistment for security or medical reasons - they would not have been enlisted in any case even if they had not defaulted on NS. The remaining 23 were not drafted because they were either above the statutory age limit or no longer Singaporeans.

Of note is that the High Court had, in a 1993 case, reduced the sentences of two NS defaulters - two brothers - from eight months' imprisonment to a fine of $3,000 on appeal. This was an unusual case where it could be said that there were mitigating circumstances. Since then the Subordinate Courts have been using this case as a guideline, and not imposed a jail sentence on single-instance defaulters, no matter how long the default period was. The courts have imposed jail sentence on single instance defaulters only in cases where there are aggravating factors, such as repeated Enlistment Act offences, past criminal records, concurrent charges of other civil offences, and absconding during investigation.

It is for the Court to decide on the appropriate punishment for individual cases of NS defaulters. MINDEF had not been pressing for custodial sentences, nor had it appealed for heavier sentences. The majority of cases so far have been those who returned at a relatively young age and were still able to fulfil their National Service obligations. Half of those charged in Court over the past 20 years returned at age 21 or younger, and 80% returned at age 28 or younger. A fine for such NS defaulters was not inappropriate as they were still able to serve their National Service obligations in full.

However, Melvyn Tan’s case has highlighted an inadequacy in penalties for those who have defaulted for so many years that they are no longer able to discharge their National Service obligations in full. Since the appeal case in the High Court in 1993, besides Melvyn Tan, there have been 13 other cases of convicted defaulters who were sentenced only to a fine and who were not subsequently enlisted because they were already over 40 or almost 40. This is something that we need to look into more closely, especially as there may now be more defaulters who are 40 or older coming before the courts with the passing of time.

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Re: RE: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby ecureilx » Sat, 30 May 2015 12:43 pm

nchan94 wrote:. But I knew that education was more important.


Encouraging words ...

Brightened my Saturday anyway ....

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Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby nchan94 » Sat, 30 May 2015 3:12 pm

So, should I contact Mindef and ask what they would do to me if I voluntarily return? Can I trust what they say? For instance, if they say they won't put me in jail and only give me a fine + NS, can I take their word for it? I'm scared that they will turn back on their word and put me in jail (maybe its a bit naive to think like that but its still a possibility)

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Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sat, 30 May 2015 3:24 pm

If you read my post and the attached quote/link you will see that because you were not ever in the military, you will be dealt with in the civil courts.

Those who fail to comply with the provisions of the Enlistment Act are dealt with in the civil courts regardless of whether they are pre-enlistees, full-time NSmen or Operationally Ready NSmen. On conviction, they can be sentenced to a jail term of up to three years, or a fine of up to $5,000, or both.


They will not entertain any questions before hand but will tell you to return and present yourself to them. Any penalties will be the judgement of the courts and it can vary. If you go to the link for the whole page, under the portion that I copy/pasted, you will read about a rather high profile case who was just given a fine. You played, now if you want to return you will definitely have to pay, but because you are still young enough quite possibly you may only have a fine. But there are no guarantees. You buys your ticket and you takes your chances.

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Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby nchan94 » Mon, 01 Jun 2015 6:16 am

Thanks Sundaymorningstaple for your replys.

Last question, as a defualter going back to do NS, is being in OCS, navy or airforce out of the question?

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Re: RE: Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby ecureilx » Mon, 01 Jun 2015 10:49 am

nchan94 wrote:Thanks Sundaymorningstaple for your replys.

Last question, as a defualter going back to do NS, is being in OCS, navy or airforce out of the question?


Of late I know two guys who did NS retrospectively...

One did 6 months in civil defense and let off and saw it as a slap in the arm.

Another landed a 18 month boot camp in the army

Not going into the details but I believe CMP B assigns your vacation after you present yourself ... providing you escape the mandatory detention

Both were NOT absconding... FYI

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Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby taxico » Tue, 02 Jun 2015 11:36 pm

my take: because you are under 21, i doubt you'll be given a custodial sentence as you're still more than capable and able to complete your NS. i base this on statistics of those eligible for NS who were punished - thus it seems unlikely you'll see the inside of the jail cell.

on a scale of "badness" - a 32 year old defaulter is not as "bad" as a 45 year old defaulter. if you are able to prepare a mitigation package, that would surely help your case.

as for OCS... i doubt, ever, that anyone with a (known/unspent) criminal past would be sent to be an officer cadet.

having said that, i also doubt someone who has voluntarily returned to complete NS at aged 21, having paid the price (literally) for ignoring pre-/enlistment notices, would be quickly overlooked.

i think you might find soldiering different today than it was... as recently as 10 years ago. leadership roles are not only limited to officers. there's an emphasis on leadership at a lower level (eg, third sergeants), as well as various vocations that qualify for Military Expert (ME) status. ME4 (i think?) is equivalent to a lieutenant/captain. ME1 would be equivalent to a 3rd sergeant.

if you become an officer, but get posted to a crappy unit/vocation (it can happen some times), then you might have wished you never got sent to OCS in the first place.

if you enjoy soldiering, pathways are open for you to join the regular forces - with a stint in OCS if necessary. if you do not, then you'd be glad you did not go to OCS.

good luck! i hope you make the best of your time in national service.
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Re: I am a 20 year old NS Defaulter

Postby PNGMK » Thu, 21 Jan 2016 9:56 am

I hope OP can back and did his NS.
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