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National Service Singapore

Do you have a question about National Service (NS) in Singapore? Discuss it here.
laaussi
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National Service Singapore

Post by laaussi » Thu, 08 Mar 2018 8:08 pm

Hi there,
My boyfriend is born in Singapore and moved to Australia with his parents and siblings at the age of 8. He is turning 19 soon and currently studying. So far i know Singapore delayed his NS as he is currently studying but wants him to serve by the age of 21 now. The thing is he knows exactly what he wants to achieve in his life and serving NS does not involve that, especially because he lived mainly in Australia and feels more Australian. He is worrying a lot because the day will come at some point and he has big plans for his future and me too. He would give up his singaporean citizienship but of course he does not want to become a enemy of the country. He means the world to me and I am trying to find a way out of it for him. Is there anything we could do?
Thanks a lot.

Cheers,
Nadine

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PNGMK
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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 08 Mar 2018 8:57 pm

Yes. Encourage him to man up and do his NS. Nothing else keeps all options open.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 08 Mar 2018 8:58 pm

Yes. Encourage him to man up and do his NS. Nothing else keeps all options open. FYI he probably cannot give up his SC this late anyways as he most likely has not followed the requirements to emigrate without an NS obligation.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

laaussi
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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by laaussi » Thu, 08 Mar 2018 9:20 pm

PNGMK wrote:Yes. Encourage him to man up and do his NS. Nothing else keeps all options open.

Its not like he would not do it at all. If he really has to, he has no choice. Of course he is a bit intimidated and reared differently in Australia. But don't you think it is a bit unfair for someone who has not been in Singapore for more than 10 years and is Citizen of another country to not give him the choice to choose if he wants to join or not? He feels Australian and wants to build a career and then he will be ripped out of it for something he does not even want to do and where he feels no connection to it at all for two years? Don't get me wrong we both hold high regard towards your culture. Moreover I am not really sure if I am even allowed to stay and work in Singapore for that amount of time.
Thanks for any help and advice.

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by BBCDoc » Thu, 08 Mar 2018 9:41 pm

Fair or unfair is completely relevant to Singapore’s national interests. Perhaps if he were to be a registered, active member of ‘unhealthy interest’ groups, then they may have no interest in having him gain knowledge in military operations.


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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Fri, 09 Mar 2018 6:39 am

laaussi wrote:
PNGMK wrote:Yes. Encourage him to man up and do his NS. Nothing else keeps all options open.

Its not like he would not do it at all. If he really has to, he has no choice. Of course he is a bit intimidated and reared differently in Australia. But don't you think it is a bit unfair for someone who has not been in Singapore for more than 10 years and is Citizen of another country to not give him the choice to choose if he wants to join or not? He feels Australian and wants to build a career and then he will be ripped out of it for something he does not even want to do and where he feels no connection to it at all for two years? Don't get me wrong we both hold high regard towards your culture. Moreover I am not really sure if I am even allowed to stay and work in Singapore for that amount of time.
Thanks for any help and advice.
Blame his parents, not Singapore. There is literally a brochure available from CMPB that shows how to correctly emigrate and void the NS obligations. Getting onto a plane and just flying off is not the correct method. He's been in Australia since the age of 9 by my count; he could have emigrated and avoided NS if his parents had just picked up the phone and called CMPB before they left Singapore. It's NOT Singapore's fault.
I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by taxico » Mon, 12 Mar 2018 5:58 pm

laaussi wrote:My boyfriend is... turning 19 soon and currently studying... The thing is he knows exactly what he wants to achieve in his life...
famous last words!

also, if he simply ignores the NS call ups, and gets caught when his plane lands in Singapore (whether planned or not - bearing in mind the kangaroo route)...

there will be a bigger price to pay.

so, take the advice of the others and tell him to sort it out now.
Aut viam ad caelum inveniam aut faciam

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by vlogin » Wed, 21 Mar 2018 10:02 pm

Do not cross post the same thread in multiple forums. It only confuses things.

Your post will be read and addressed if there is anyone knowledgeable enough to answer your questions.

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by PNGMK » Thu, 22 Mar 2018 10:52 am

vlogin wrote:Do not cross post the same thread in multiple forums. It only confuses things.

Your post will be read and addressed if there is anyone knowledgeable enough to answer your questions.

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I not lawyer/teacher/CPA.
You've been arrested? Law Society of Singapore can provide referrals.
You want an International School job? School website or http://www.ISS.edu
Your rugrat needs a School? Avoid for profit schools
You need Tax advice? Ask a CPA
You ran away without doing NS? Shame on you!

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NS stress and questions

Post by mummysushi » Tue, 07 May 2019 4:41 pm

Dear all,

The infamous NS problem.

I am a Singaporean who has been residing overseas for the last 20 years. When my first son was born, I applied for citizenship for him. At the time, he was allowed dual nationalities (by the Netherlands) but the law has since changed. So he is now both dutch and Singaporean. We have not resided in Singapore for the last 20 years, we visit semi-regularly, don't own a property in SG, my son has never applied nor hold a Singaporean Passport.

As a family, we have decided to settle down overseas and we have no intention of living in Singapore (in the near future). Since he will be turning 11 soon, I started to look into the his NS obligations & citizenship. I called the NS call centre today to gain some clarity about what I have do. Renunciation of nationality (at ICA) can only take place when he turns 21. At age 13, he will be pre-enlisted and we will have to apply for exit permit and obtain a banker's guarantee of 75,000 SGD or combined annual income of the parents. We will have to ask for deferment pending renunciation.

Emotionally, I felt like I have made a terrible mistake of applying citizenship for him. I wonder how on earth we can afford a bond of this amount. I understand that I am in a privileged position as a Singaporean and living overseas but we are by no means rich. My husband works at an NGO and we are a single income family not by choice but by circumstances. I hope that by sharing my story here, I can unload my mind and somehow get over the shock.

In any case, life must move on. I sincerely hope that perhaps somebody with similar background (foreign nationality family members?) else can share their experience with me.

I know that the reply for the NS call centre is the official route, but I also understand that the detail in getting satisfactory result is in the details. So what else can I do or bear in mind? For example, I understand that I shouldn't accept or apply for his pink IC (how do I not accept it, isn't it usually issued when he comes to the official age?) Also to my horror, I understand that giving up my own nationality is a route advised. How does this help? Lastly, when Singaporean children are born, they are granted some kind of educational funds (can't remember what it is called) but we have never made use of it. Should/can I stop this fund being given?

If you have been reading, thank you very much for bearing with me in this long post. Please feel free to make suggestions or share your experience. I haven't been able to function properly since the phone call so please be gentle and patient with your comments.

Much appreciated!

mummysushi

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sundaymorningstaple
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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Tue, 07 May 2019 7:21 pm

Posting the bond is the only way to go. The bond can be in the form of a banker's guarantee. This is like having term insurance. Most banks can handle this type of transaction and it's surely bestter than posting a bond with your own cash.

The problem with saying the child is never going to live in Singapore will not be view with any certainty by ICA/Mindef as long as you continue to keep a backdoor open to Singapore yourself. So it's doubtful that they will accept the idea that he is going to renounce as long as his mother doesn't and continues to hold a back door into Singapore (Sincerity has come from both sides. The student educational fund is of little consequence and as it is in his CPF fund, he may have to return it as/when he renounces at the age of 21.

My question is if it is a tragic mistake on your part that you applied for and got his SG citizenship. It is you liability to get your son out of his liability, about the only way that is going to happen is for you to cut ties with Singapore as well. If you don't then they are going to see the ruse for what it is. It's only to escape his obligatory NS duties at birth. Otherwise, the mother would surely have giving up hers already.

You need to make some hard decisions.

NB: NRIC has to be applied for. And don't get him a SG passport!

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by mummysushi » Tue, 07 May 2019 8:46 pm

Hi sundaymorningstaple,

Thank you for the response. Can you please explain a bit more what a banker’s guarantee is? Or point me to a link that does? Is it like taking a loan and asking the bank to be our guarantor.

I agree that one can never say never. Currently, it is not part of our family plan. Would giving up my citizenship make a difference? And how much difference does it make, I wonder. I don’t think it’s a question of sincerely when we talked about renouncing citizenship. I was born and I grew up being Singaporean, even though I am alway for more than half my life, I still feel bonded to my country because of my family. My son on the other hand, was born abroad and have never stayed for longer more than three months in SG. My keeping of my citizenship is not a “backdoor”. My citizenship is my birth right and my heritage. When my son was born, I wanted him to feel Singaporean and I wanted to share my heritage with him. However, life circumstances has never brought him back to SG.

Thank you for the reply on the educational fund and NRIC, it’s pretty clear to me about what I should do on that front.

As for my responsibility to get him out of this, I definitely will do my best. My naivety & romantic notion of wanting (back then) my son to share my heritage and culture with a hint of office paper has indeed backfired. On his part, I don’t think it’s his liability or even responsibility to serve NS because he is only a Singaporean in name but nevertheless then trapped in this situation because of one and tragically huge bad call from his mum.

It’s going to be a hard decision because I have never considered myself not to be a Singaporean.

Thanks in advance,
mummysushi

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 May 2019 12:42 am

Basically that is correct. The banker is acting as your insurer to the Singapore Government that if you default they will cover the guarantee. However, should you default you will be liable to the bank for the amount of the bond.

If it's any consolidation, I know exactly how you feel. I retired 2 month ago. I've been in Singapore for 36 of my 72 years. I am married to a Singaporean and have two children, both as Singaporean as you can get. (Both born in the old KK hospital, one in 84 & one in 89). My youngest (a son) had to make that decision as both had dual citizenship as well as the US at that time gave them actual birth certificates for the birth of a US Citizen born abroad, so in reality neither country had "more" claim to him. However as he was still a Singapore Citizen he inherited the obligation to do NS. I gave him a choice and I talked to him every year on his birthday from about the age of 6 (primary one) until that eventful day @ 16.5 years when he got his letter from Mindef. I could have gotten him out of it, but he'd spent his whole live in Singapore aside from a couple holidays back in the US and he was always proud of that Blue passport with the Eagle on the front, but when push came to shove, he did his national service in the SG Navy (again, I gave him a choice as I registered him with the US Selective Service as well. I told him he'd be better off doing NS in the SG because if he went to the US, while we currently had a volunteer military service I was under no illusions that he could end up in a war he shouldn't be in (I'm a NAM Vet). He was going to do Military Service! However, I, like any parent of my generation, unlike the wimps of today, believe in service to my country. Singapore was his country.

Today he is 29, owns his own business and is recently married (1st anniversary last month), My daughter also married and gave me my 2nd grandson 6 months ago. But at the end of the day, I let both of my children make up their own minds as I am not about to live my life for them. They have to make their own beds in this life and they have to sleep in them. Too many parents try to saddle their beliefs on their children and in the process screw up the child's future, especially in this ever shrinking world.

Sorry for the mini-dissertation but, between myself and Mad Scientist, we've pretty much got more on this subject on this forum than can be found anywhere in Singapore in one place.

You might get lucky with Mindef/Central Manpower Board, but they are not too forgiving and like I mentioned, you biggest problem is how to convince them that the family has immigrated with the child having dual citizenship and the mother still retaining her citizenship after 20 years overseas. (In my case I've been a PR for 25+ years, but my son was going to do his NS unless HE decided he wanted to give up SG citizenship. I didn't try to sway them either way but just made sure they knew what they were getting into.

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by mummysushi » Wed, 08 May 2019 2:35 pm

I can't really find much info about how the posting of the exit bond work online. Can you advise where I can get more info? Just a detail and official explanation. & why do you say posting a bond is better than paying with our own money? Isn't it still our money?

I'm so glad that things work our for you and your kids, sounds like things are going well for you and you are probably more Singaporean than I am. I can completely understand your perspective and the choices that you and your family have made. I would like to think that we are giving our son a choice too. And ours is one made on the fact that we live abroad. In fact, it's always assumed in the family that I live abroad and the rest of them are just foreigners in my country. I am totally heartbroken that we are in this situation. As long as my family is in Singapore I will always be tied to the country. I don't see how being away for 20 years is relevant to it. I certainly don't feel Dutch because I have only lived there for 6 years and the rest of the time, we are in Europe. To be honest, I feel more like a world citizen than anything. But if there is an international football tournament, I would still support the SG team.

It's both scary and frustrating that there isn't much more transparency and communication between the authorities and family involved. I would be more inclined to come home and have less problem convincing my family that indeed Singapore is a place where we can build our lives. Perhaps, I have been away for too long. Shame.

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Re: National Service Singapore

Post by sundaymorningstaple » Wed, 08 May 2019 3:22 pm

If you call Mindef, I'm pretty sure that they can tell you exactly how to get a banker's guarantee for the bond. If you post the bond with your own money, it's tied up with no access to it until such time as the NS has been completed. If you use a banker's guarantee, it's like an insurance policy, you are paying an annual premium to the bank for them to guarantee the Singapore Government that they will cover the bond amount. Obviously, the banks will have their own hooks into you, but usually it is a legal one and not a physical one. It is the same as paying the bond to hire a domestic foreign worker here. I pay a fee to Malayan Banking Berhard for the $5000 bond to hire a domestic worker. I pay a fee to the bank (about $180/year) for a bankers guarantee to the Ministry of Manpower. Also within that $180 fee, there is a separate amount that is insurance that in the event of the maid doing a runner, I would only have to reimburse the bank a "deductible" amount of the first $500 and an insurance would see that the bank is covered. That isn't a requirement but it's handy to have albeit, it costs extra for the Insurance part of it.

Frankly, you are going to do just like a fairly large number of ex-resident Singaporeans have done, much to the dismay of their male children once they get to that age. They find out that their well-meaning parents decided to limit their futures before they even get on the track but burning bridges before they even get to them. It's a small world and it would really be a shame if he, for one reason or another, was forced to renounce and not do NS and then join a major MNC as rising star and they wanted to send him to the powerhouse of S.E.Asia for a 2 years stint at their regional office (for that next promotion) and he would have to tell them that he couldn't go because he couldn't get an EP because his parent thought 20 years earlier that he shouldn't do NS even though they thought he should be a Singaporean. Hope he, like a lot aready, doesn't come to resent you trying to live his life for him before he's old enough to make his own decisions or at least had his say on the matter.

I wish him well.

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