Singapore Expats Forum

Need Advice re NS Obligation

A moderated forum for serious discussions only.
hkfriendly
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri, 10 Feb 2017

Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby hkfriendly » Fri, 10 Feb 2017 3:18 am

Hi all – I have been reading from this forum and understand that many of you have good knowledge re NS obligations. I am hoping to get some advice for my situation.

I am a Hong Kong citizen by birth, and my mum (Hong Kong citizen) raised me in Hong Kong my whole life. My dad is Singaporean, and he got me a SG passport when I was 2. It was never renewed when I turned 11. I have never resided or studied in SG, nor have I applied for NRIC. My parents were estranged since I was young, so I don’t even know where exactly dad is to be honest.

I always thought I only held Hong Kong citizenship. I found out about the SG passport from my mother when I applied for a student pass last year for my postgraduate studies and was denied – fortunately I had alternative options so I was fine. Frustrating as it is, now that I know about this, I would like to get it resolved so I can visit Singapore in the future for tourism / business meetings. From reading the forum posts, it seems that anything more than that (e.g. live / work / study) would be difficult.

After speaking with ICA, they confirmed I lost my SG citizenship when I turned 22 as I didn’t take the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty (ORAL), so I would be entering Singapore as a Hong Kong citizen. I then contacted CPMB inquiring about my potential NS obligations. They got back and said that despite losing my citizenship, I have committed offences under the Enlistment Act for remaining outside Singapore without a valid Exit Permit and not doing NS when I was a Singapore citizen. They also said I should return to Singapore and report to CPMB.

This sounds like a bad idea as I might get arrested upon arrival. I also hold a bit of grudge against my dad for this, since I have been unknowingly put in a bind. That being said, I am committed to getting this resolved remotely if I can.

What is my best course of action? My thought is to write back to CPMB and request an exemption from offence based on my circumstances, since I never resided in Singapore, and have not enjoyed substantial socio-economic benefits of Singapore. Also not sure what to do if the request for exemption from offence doesn’t go through. Should I obtain legal advice? If yes, from where?

Many thanks to all the good people on this forum – it’s incredibly frustrating to navigate through the space and I appreciate whatever help I can get.

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5668
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 10 Feb 2017 8:38 am

This is a terrible situation to be in and I wonder if your father was also on the run from NS. I'll be interested to see what others say.

In my personal opinion I would suggest that you really only have two choices:

1. Resign from your job in HK, fly into Singapore, advise the passport officer you are reporting into CMPB and do so - you'll then be put on the pre-enlistment system which might mean you need a job while you wait for the NS process. You may be arrested at the airport but by being proactive you have the best chance of getting ahead of the situation. Once in court (you most likely will be court martialed) I would explain the situation exactly as you have done here. Because your young and able to serve NS (and if you show up obviously willing) I think the punishment will be nominal. Doing this will allow you to eventually reside and work in Singapore and potentially re-establish your Singapore citizenship.

2. Avoid Singapore for the rest of your life. You might get away with a name change and because they don't have you in the biometrics system you might pass; however their data matching is getting better all the time.

Writing to CMPB will not do anything; they're there to enforce regulations and there is no regulation that allows them to release you. You've committed an offense and the only persons who can drop the charge is the AGC / Minister / President and the only person who can mitigate the charge is the magistrate. You could consider writing a letter to the minister of defence and then the president requesting clemency and a pardon (in all seriousness) - in your circumstances (which they will investigate) they may release you.

PS I hope you have not told CMPB or ICA any identifying information about your HK ID - oh hang on you have if you applied for a student's pass! That means your done - they can flag you any time you come into Singapore and you will definitely be arrested.
IANAL. IANACPA. IANA Teacher.
Arrested? Lawyer Up
International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
School advice? Avoid for profit schools
Tax advice? CPA
Pay me $5k for 100% success filling in PR form!

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby taxico » Fri, 10 Feb 2017 8:28 pm

hkfriendly wrote:I am a Hong Kong citizen by birth, and my mum (Hong Kong citizen) raised me in Hong Kong my whole life. My dad is Singaporean, and he got me a SG passport when I was 2. It was never renewed when I turned 11. I have never resided or studied in SG, nor have I applied for NRIC. My parents were estranged since I was young, so I don’t even know where exactly dad is to be honest.

I always thought I only held Hong Kong citizenship. I found out about the SG passport from my mother when I applied for a student pass last year for my postgraduate studies and was denied – fortunately I had alternative options so I was fine. Frustrating as it is, now that I know about this, I would like to get it resolved so I can visit Singapore in the future for tourism / business meetings. From reading the forum posts, it seems that anything more than that (e.g. live / work / study) would be difficult.

After speaking with ICA, they confirmed I lost my SG citizenship when I turned 22 as I didn’t take the Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty (ORAL), so I would be entering Singapore as a Hong Kong citizen. I then contacted CPMB inquiring about my potential NS obligations. They got back and said that despite losing my citizenship, I have committed offences under the Enlistment Act for remaining outside Singapore without a valid Exit Permit and not doing NS when I was a Singapore citizen. They also said I should return to Singapore and report to CPMB.

This sounds like a bad idea as I might get arrested upon arrival. I also hold a bit of grudge against my dad for this, since I have been unknowingly put in a bind. That being said, I am committed to getting this resolved remotely if I can.

What is my best course of action? My thought is to write back to CPMB and request an exemption from offence based on my circumstances, since I never resided in Singapore, and have not enjoyed substantial socio-economic benefits of Singapore. Also not sure what to do if the request for exemption from offence doesn’t go through. Should I obtain legal advice? If yes, from where?

Many thanks to all the good people on this forum – it’s incredibly frustrating to navigate through the space and I appreciate whatever help I can get.


OP, are you willing to serve NS? and can you put your life on hold for at least 2.5 years? do you have any where to stay in singapore? if not, are you able to support yourself in singapore?

the sooner you return, the less likely you'll have to do prison time. MINDEF recommends a custodial sentence for "serious cases" involving 2 years or more of evading NS. i suspect the clock starts from age 18.

the most recent judicial "benchmark" is 20 weeks for 10 years of evasion (the man got 4 weeks off for good conduct during his first year of NS).

you may find that it will take you about half a year to be enlisted from the time you land at changi airport... i'm not entirely sure if you will be able to get a job if you do not have an NRIC and all that paperwork requires time. where will you live? even while serving NS, you may find yourself needing non-military accommodation.

NS is 2 years, and any sentence will be added on to the 2.5 years already accrued thus far. if this is a price you are (currently) unable/unwilling to pay, then there is no point discussing further what can be done.

because nothing can be done beyond putting your life on hold now, or shoving everything under the carpet and praying it goes away (it will not). i don't think you can resolve this "remotely." you can pay for legal advice but no lawyer can make a difference to the outcome.

i'm sure other more informed members may come along to give you additional pointers... or shed a more positive light to what i've said. until then, check back in regularly.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

hkfriendly
Newbie
Newbie
Posts: 2
Joined: Fri, 10 Feb 2017

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby hkfriendly » Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:03 pm

Thank you for the replies PNGHK and taxico. A few points of clarification:

1. When CPMB got back to me regarding my NS obligations, it also said that since I am no longer a Singapore citizen (since I was citizen by descent and didn't take the Oath by 22), I will not be called up for NS. As I was born and raised in Hong Kong and did not enjoy substantial socio-economic benefits of Singapore (no passport after 11, no NRIC, no school etc.), I do not feel obligated to serve NS as well.

2. I have never resided or studied in Singapore, and I have no plans to live and work in Singapore for the forseeable future. I am also supporting my single-mom through my full time job, as such it would be unwise for me to just leave everything behind to resolve this issue. My goal here is to proactively resolve this issue that I didn't even know existed. I also hope to be able to visit Singapore for tourism / occasional business meetings in the future.

Hope this clarifies things.

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5668
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby PNGMK » Fri, 10 Feb 2017 10:38 pm

You need this clarified:

I have committed offences under the Enlistment Act for remaining outside Singapore without a valid Exit Permit and not doing NS when I was a Singapore citizen. They also said I should return to Singapore and report to CPMB.


I don't believe the offenses have been pardoned or forgotten and AFAIK there is no statute of limitation on these. What this means then, is that you may not have to do NS but you have committed an offense. What the punishment is I don't know. Not being a Singapore citizen won't get you out from this issue I believe but it is possible the punishment will fall on the light end of the scale. You run a risk of arrest on arrival in Singapore as I believe you will still have a warrant out. This would disrupt both your tourism and your business meeting. Your exact scenario is why the US government and others warn dual citizens of the risks of not correctly following the procedures to reduce the NS liability prior to the child turning 13/21.
IANAL. IANACPA. IANA Teacher.
Arrested? Lawyer Up
International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
School advice? Avoid for profit schools
Tax advice? CPA
Pay me $5k for 100% success filling in PR form!

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby taxico » Sat, 11 Feb 2017 1:47 am

hkfriendly wrote:Thank you for the replies PNGHK and taxico. A few points of clarification:

1. When CPMB got back to me regarding my NS obligations, it also said that since I am no longer a Singapore citizen (since I was citizen by descent and didn't take the Oath by 22), I will not be called up for NS. As I was born and raised in Hong Kong and did not enjoy substantial socio-economic benefits of Singapore (no passport after 11, no NRIC, no school etc.), I do not feel obligated to serve NS as well.

2. I have never resided or studied in Singapore, and I have no plans to live and work in Singapore for the forseeable future. I am also supporting my single-mom through my full time job, as such it would be unwise for me to just leave everything behind to resolve this issue. My goal here is to proactively resolve this issue that I didn't even know existed. I also hope to be able to visit Singapore for tourism / occasional business meetings in the future.

Hope this clarifies things.


your case is something i've pondered over in the past when people in your situation post on here.

i suspected the way defaulters were handled quietly (many unreported cases) by the authorities have changed, in at least the last few years (but in actuality, since at least 2008), and concluded that defaulters would have to at least face the music in court for, at a minimum, exit permit offences if ineligible for NS.

it doesn't matter if you feel obligated to serve or not. you may not have to, for the reasons you brought up, but you are 100% guilty of flouting the Enlistment Act (not just the EPs) - aggravating/mitigating factors are for a judge to decide, not you.

you should take PNG's advice but i suspect you won't get anywhere unless you returned (surrendered) to singapore voluntarily. asking people on the internet to take your view will not help your case in reality.

you cannot resolve this remotely. and you may have to serve time, whatever that may be. (it could even be reduced to a cash fine upon appeal!)

just my 2c.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

User avatar
taxico
Director
Director
Posts: 3190
Joined: Sat, 10 May 2008
Location: Existential dilemma!

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby taxico » Sat, 11 Feb 2017 2:00 am

btw, as your name (and other details) are already in the national wanted list when you defaulted, there is no way for you to leisurely visit singapore.

(police/provost would be waiting for you at the airport before your plane lands)
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

User avatar
PNGMK
Governor
Governor
Posts: 5668
Joined: Thu, 21 Mar 2013
Location: Sinkapore

Re: Need Advice re NS Obligation

Postby PNGMK » Sat, 11 Feb 2017 11:50 am

taxico wrote:btw, as your name (and other details) are already in the national wanted list when you defaulted, there is no way for you to leisurely visit singapore.

(police/provost would be waiting for you at the airport before your plane lands)


Agreed.
IANAL. IANACPA. IANA Teacher.
Arrested? Lawyer Up
International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
School advice? Avoid for profit schools
Tax advice? CPA
Pay me $5k for 100% success filling in PR form!


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “Strictly Speaking”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 0 guests