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tnt33a
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EP Defaulter - need advice

Postby tnt33a » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 2:05 pm

Hi all,

I've been reading the great information on these forums regarding exit permit defaulters, but many of the threads do not seem to match 100% with my situation. Would like to seek your advice on what I should do, or if anyone has faced the same situation before.

I am a singapore citizen, still hold red pp, and served 2.5 years back in 2001 - 2003. Halfway through, I was downgraded to PES E1L9, and I completed the full 2.5 years full time national service.

Now a few months prior to my ORD, a theft happened in camp for which I was a suspect. The Provost interrogated me, and after I ORD, as I was now a civilian, the case was transferred to the singapore police, who also interrogated me, but never charged me or instructed me to not leave the country (five years later, the case was closed and I have an official letter from the police stating that I am not being charged).

As I had registered for university overseas, I naturally left a few weeks after the interrogation in May 2003. Some time after that, my parents received a posting notice on Aug 2003 stating that I have been posted to holding list NSPC and I will not be required to participate in any NS IPPT/RT activities until I am notified otherwise.

The notice also said: NSMan who wishes to travel out of Singapore for more than 24 hours and less than 6 months is required to notify MINDEF of his overseas trips.

No instruction was given regarding Exit Permits, and I stupidly assumed that because I was PES E1L9, I didn't need to serve reservist, and therefore, didn't need to apply for an exit permit when I left.

My belief was strengthened when I attempted to apply for exit permit, getting the error message "You are not eligible to apply for exit permit".

I have since completed my university education overseas (both my undergraduate and my master's in 2008, and have been working overseas from 2008 - present). I have not returned to singapore since I left, and the NS Portal says that I do not have any call up history, which I understand means I was never recalled for reservist.

I do miss singapore, and would eventually want to go back, but I am not sure what the consequences will be. I recently tried to renew my singapore pp online, but received an email from ICA telling me I needed to contact CMPB to resolve an outstanding NS matter, which I suspect is related to me staying outside of Singapore without an exit permit.

Any advice guys? Most of the threads I've read here is related to guys not having exit permits since they were outside of the country since young, or guys that forgot to renew their exit permits.

I don't see any similar cases where one has served the full 2.5 years, was downgraded and thought he was no longer reliable for reservist and therefore did not need to apply for exit permit.

Thanks much for your help and insight!

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Postby tnt33a » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 3:46 pm

=( hoping Mad Scientist or SMS will see this thread and offer some insight

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Re: EP Defaulter - need advice

Postby taxico » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 4:57 pm

tnt33a wrote:...my parents received a posting notice on Aug 2003 stating that I have been posted to holding list NSPC and I will not be required to participate in any NS IPPT/RT activities until I am notified otherwise.

The notice also said: NSMan who wishes to travel out of Singapore for more than 24 hours and less than 6 months is required to notify MINDEF of his overseas trips.

No instruction was given regarding Exit Permits, and I stupidly assumed that because I was PES E1L9, I didn't need to serve reservist, and therefore, didn't need to apply for an exit permit when I left.

My belief was strengthened when I attempted to apply for exit permit, getting the error message "You are not eligible to apply for exit permit"...


i do not believe no instruction was given for EP. the next paragraph after "...NSMan who wishes to travel out of Singapore for more than 24 hours and less than 6 months is required to notify MINDEF of his overseas trips" should address EP for overseas trips that are > 6 months.

it does not make sense that you would only have to notify MINDEF about a trip >24 hours < 6 months. ignorance of the law is not a valid reason for breaking the law.

FYI, in 2003 the NS portal was (and still is) well stocked with information and FAQs - i know because i've read it extensively from 2001-2003.

further, even if you're a PES A soldier and you've completed all your reservist cycles/call-ups (and are now in your 40s/50s), IIRC you'd still have to apply for an EP.

additionally, ICA will not stop you at customs if you do not have an EP/done your overseas trip notification - it's not their job.

at the time, your "strengthened" belief was a feeble assumption at best and you knew deep down you should have contacted CMPB before leaving but you didn't coz you didn't want to jeopardize your uni admission... now it's time to man up.

unless you're able to obtain citizenship elsewhere before your singapore passport expires AND never step foot into singapore again, i don't think you can go forward without contacting CMPB.

i guess since you're a PES E soldier, it shouldn't be a big deal and it could all be easily resolved as there are no outstanding charges from the alleged theft against you (and i'm sure you're more than capable of painting a picture that this EP situation was a genuine "mistake").

i'm not mad scientist but i recommend: contact CMPB, explain, wait, (repeat if necessary) get the fine paid and move on.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 14 Mar 2013 5:16 pm

I would have to concur with taxico on this one.

My belief was strengthened when I attempted to apply for exit permit, getting the error message "You are not eligible to apply for exit permit".


How you could construe the above as "You are not required to apply for exit permit" is totally beyond me. Not eligible and not required mean a world of difference. Unless, as taxico said, it's what you wanted it to mean in your own mind. Regardless of your PES I think there will be some grief, but probably only of a monetary nature as you did do your NS as required.

Maybe MS will weigh in with more depth, later.

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Re: EP Defaulter - need advice

Postby tnt33a » Fri, 15 Mar 2013 12:01 am

[quote="taxico"][quote="tnt33a"]...my parents received a posting notice on Aug 2003 stating that I have been posted to holding list NSPC and I will not be required to participate in any NS IPPT/RT activities until I am notified otherwise.

The notice also said: NSMan who wishes to travel out of Singapore for more than 24 hours and less than 6 months is required to notify MINDEF of his overseas trips.

No instruction was given regarding Exit Permits, and I stupidly assumed that because I was PES E1L9, I didn't need to serve reservist, and therefore, didn't need to apply for an exit permit when I left.

My belief was strengthened when I attempted to apply for exit permit, getting the error message "You are not eligible to apply for exit permit"...[/quote]

i do not believe no instruction was given for EP. the next paragraph after "...NSMan who wishes to travel out of Singapore for more than 24 hours and less than 6 months is required to notify MINDEF of his overseas trips" should address EP for overseas trips that are > 6 months.

it does not make sense that you would only have to notify MINDEF about a trip >24 hours < 6 months. ignorance of the law is not a valid reason for breaking the law.

FYI, in 2003 the NS portal was (and still is) well stocked with information and FAQs - i know because i've read it extensively from 2001-2003.

further, even if you're a PES A soldier and you've completed all your reservist cycles/call-ups (and are now in your 40s/50s), IIRC you'd still have to apply for an EP.

additionally, ICA will not stop you at customs if you do not have an EP/done your overseas trip notification - it's not their job.

at the time, your "strengthened" belief was a feeble assumption at best and you knew deep down you should have contacted CMPB before leaving but you didn't coz you didn't want to jeopardize your uni admission... now it's time to man up.

unless you're able to obtain citizenship elsewhere before your singapore passport expires AND never step foot into singapore again, i don't think you can go forward without contacting CMPB.

i guess since you're a PES E soldier, it shouldn't be a big deal and it could all be easily resolved as there are no outstanding charges from the alleged theft against you (and i'm sure you're more than capable of painting a picture that this EP situation was a genuine "mistake").

i'm not mad scientist but i recommend: contact CMPB, explain, wait, (repeat if necessary) get the fine paid and move on.[/quote]


Thank you taxico. I agree there is no excuse, but being young, rash, and prone to making assumptions, reading the posting letter "NSMan who wishes to travel out of Singapore for more than 24 hours and less than 6 months is required to notify MINDEF of his overseas trip" where it only talked about less than 6 months and then making the assumption that since it did not say more than 6 months, no exit permit required was definitely a mistake, but that is something that I truly believed at the time. (and yes, looking back, that was really stupid)

As a PES E soldier, there was ambiguity regarding whether my status after I ORD was operationally ready NS Man, or if I no longer needed to serve. At the time (in 2003), most of the information I gleaned online as well as talking to others who had ORD indicated that PES E soldiers don't get called back.

I guess I really need to get in touch with CMPB, but would any one know if this can be resolved while overseas, or will they demand that I return to singapore to resolve?

I am currently working a 60 hr week job overseas and have a family to support, so I cannot imagine the disruption flying back to singapore to answer in person compared to calling them would be.

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Postby tnt33a » Fri, 15 Mar 2013 12:11 am

[quote="sundaymorningstaple"]I would have to concur with taxico on this one.

[quote]My belief was strengthened when I attempted to apply for exit permit, getting the error message "You are not eligible to apply for exit permit". [/quote]

How you could construe the above as "You are not required to apply for exit permit" is totally beyond me. Not eligible and not required mean a world of difference. Unless, as taxico said, it's what you wanted it to mean in your own mind. Regardless of your PES I think there will be some grief, but probably only of a monetary nature as you did do your NS as required.

Maybe MS will weigh in with more depth, later.[/quote]

SMS, thank you for your thoughts. I know not eligible and not required mean a world of difference, but at the time, I guess it really just seemed to fit what I wanted it to mean.

Personally, I disagree with the gahmen's policy of "controlling" its male citizens travel, even more so for someone who is PES E and will very likely not get called up (I haven't been called up since, although I know there IS that chance).

I am aware that there will be some grief, but in your opinion, is this offence of not applying for an EP is really that serious enough to warrant a jail term. I mean.....I wasn't called up for reservist, I served my 2.5 years which I've learned is way longer than what current NSFs serve, and even if they called me in, I can't go outfield due to my PES.

I know that this forum will only provide opinions, and not actual case decisions which I should get from CMPB, but your thoughts are very valuable too.

I've tried emailing CMPB, but no reply so far, which seems alarming since if this was a simple matter, there would be an immediate reply right?

I also tried calling but always reach a message that says they are unable to pick up the phone right now.

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Re: EP Defaulter - need advice

Postby taxico » Fri, 15 Mar 2013 12:48 am

tnt33a wrote:...As a PES E soldier, there was ambiguity regarding whether my status after I ORD was operationally ready NS Man, or if I no longer needed to serve. At the time (in 2003), most of the information I gleaned online as well as talking to others who had ORD indicated that PES E soldiers don't get called back.

I guess I really need to get in touch with CMPB, but would any one know if this can be resolved while overseas, or will they demand that I return to singapore to resolve?

I am currently working a 60 hr week job overseas and have a family to support, so I cannot imagine the disruption flying back to singapore to answer in person compared to calling them would be.


there is no ambiguity regarding your status. you are still an NS man. you will remain an NS man until you are removed from the reserve list. you will also need an exit permit unless you've been issued an official exemption notice... (congrats!)

if you've read through the other posts, it seems likely you might be asked to return home to sort your mess out. it's not the end of the world, and i doubt you're headed for prison.

others have had their mess sorted out without going home, but hey, CMPB decides. wait for their reply or keep calling. the NS call centre is 24-hours +65 65 67 67 67 so make time.

if you think your 60 hour work week and supporting your family is more important than renewing your passport (your primary documentation that allows you to work overseas), then i think you still have a lot of growing up to do.

i wish you luck.

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Re: EP Defaulter - need advice

Postby tnt33a » Fri, 15 Mar 2013 1:24 am

[quote="taxico"][quote="tnt33a"]...As a PES E soldier, there was ambiguity regarding whether my status after I ORD was operationally ready NS Man, or if I no longer needed to serve. At the time (in 2003), most of the information I gleaned online as well as talking to others who had ORD indicated that PES E soldiers don't get called back.

I guess I really need to get in touch with CMPB, but would any one know if this can be resolved while overseas, or will they demand that I return to singapore to resolve?

I am currently working a 60 hr week job overseas and have a family to support, so I cannot imagine the disruption flying back to singapore to answer in person compared to calling them would be.[/quote]

there is no ambiguity regarding your status. you are still an NS man. you will remain an NS man until you are removed from the reserve list. you will also need an exit permit unless you've been issued an official exemption notice... (congrats!)

if you've read through the other posts, it seems likely you might be asked to return home to sort your mess out. it's not the end of the world, and i doubt you're headed for prison.

others have had their mess sorted out without going home, but hey, CMPB decides. wait for their reply or keep calling. the NS call centre is 24-hours +65 65 67 67 67 so make time.

if you think your 60 hour work week and supporting your family is more important than renewing your passport (your primary documentation that allows you to work overseas), then i think you still have a lot of growing up to do.

i wish you luck.[/quote]

Thank you taxico. I am a PR overseas now, so I don't need my passport as long as I don't travel. However, this is obviously not the best scenario, and because I eventually want to step foot back in Singapore. The challenge here is not just a simple renewing of the SG passport, but the hurdles required to resolve the EP issue before the passport can be renewed.

Glad to hear your opinion that there likely will not be prison time, but hopefully I can confirm for sure once I get ahold of CMPB. I will report back once I get more info.

Thanks so much for your frank and honest opinion.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 16 Mar 2013 1:49 am

OP, I received your PM but have no time to reply as this things needs research and proper info. Sorry for this late reply

Now,

1. Unless you have been formally discharged by Mindef which will received a letter to that effect you are still an NS reservist personnel.
2. If you have been acquitted of any wrong doing for that offence and has a letter to support from the police then you are fine.
3. You need to apply for EP if you are going overseas for more than 3 months on the purpose of study , work etc. since you are a NS man than you are on the wrong side of the law
4. This is not a major as you have served your time. E-mail to cmpb.com.sg
There will be a 72 hours turn around on the reply
5. You will need to come back and sort this and pay fine for this.Only then you can renew your PP and move on.
From past memory , there is no jail term just fine and you will get a stern warning that is all
As a reservist on holding strength under the division you will get a roll call once every year if you are in Singapore as long as you stay in Singapore for more than 3 months.
If you are nearing 40 and holding NCO or below rank, you will get a discharged letter once you turn 40 or 50 for officer from Mindef stating you are no longer required to serve NS
Since you did not apply for EP , and they cannot locate you on the roll call hence ICA was activated and found that you are overseas without proper EP.
Call CMPB and go from there
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Postby tnt33a » Sat, 16 Mar 2013 2:13 am

[quote="Mad Scientist"]OP, I received your PM but have no time to reply as this things needs research and proper info. Sorry for this late reply

Now,

1. Unless you have been formally discharged by Mindef which will received a letter to that effect you are still an NS reservist personnel.
2. If you have been acquitted of any wrong doing for that offence and has a letter to support from the police then you are fine.
3. You need to apply for EP if you are going overseas for more than 3 months on the purpose of study , work etc. since you are a NS man than you are on the wrong side of the law
4. This is not a major as you have served your time. E-mail to cmpb.com.sg
There will be a 72 hours turn around on the reply
5. You will need to come back and sort this and pay fine for this.Only then you can renew your PP and move on.
From past memory , there is no jail term just fine and you will get a stern warning that is all
As a reservist on holding strength under the division you will get a roll call once every year if you are in Singapore as long as you stay in Singapore for more than 3 months.
If you are nearing 40 and holding NCO or below rank, you will get a discharged letter once you turn 40 or 50 for officer from Mindef stating you are no longer required to serve NS
Since you did not apply for EP , and they cannot locate you on the roll call hence ICA was activated and found that you are overseas without proper EP.
Call CMPB and go from there[/quote]

Thank you MS! Your insights, together with SMS and taxico's were very helpful!

One other question. Based on all that you know, is it absolutely necessary to come back to sort this and pay fine? Can this be resolved remotely (i.e. through the phone, email etc?). I do realize that this would be a question for CMPB, but just wanted to see if you had any knowledge on the matter.

I've seen some posters in this forum that just paid the fine online but I'm not sure if they actually had to fly all the way back across the big sea.

Thank you once again for imparting your wise knowledge!

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Postby taxico » Sat, 16 Mar 2013 1:53 pm

i think it's best if you're prepared to return to singapore to sort the mess out. trying to justify why you need not go back will probably not help.

you should probably find out how long you'd need to be in singapore in the worse case scenario and plan accordingly.

prepare for the worst and if you get to pay your fine from overseas... good for you. otherwise, you're already prepared.

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Postby Mad Scientist » Sat, 16 Mar 2013 2:49 pm

OP

First of all you must understand that although you are on Pes E, that does not mean you are out of the woods just yet hence you have to follow the protocol like all of us.

Years ago they would have told you to return and face the music in person. Recently I was told otherwise. It all depends on the severity of your offense.
The clerk cannot make that call . Only the supervisor or the Chief Clerk of CMPB can do that.
Based on your info, your offense is not major. Tried calling them and talk to Susila if you can . Not sure if she is still there or not and go from there.
If need be to return do so with all the intent and purpose to resolve this
Remember you are only PR of another state. Singapore Government provide you the means to be abode overseas under her request for protection of Singapore Government.
If you lose or failed to renew your SG PP and transfer your residence permit to the new SG PP , most countries will have that PR canceled.
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