Adopt good suggestions to improve NS quickly

The added focus on making national service more fruitful to ordinary servicemen is a step in the right direction ("A more fruitful NS experience"; Tuesday).

The greater inclusion of choice will definitely be welcomed by future batches of enlistees.

It is a sign that the system of NS is getting less rigid and more open to change. This will prove vital if it wishes to avoid losing its meaning, relevance and the support of stakeholders.

However, this cannot be a one-off event, and good suggestions should be adopted as quickly as possible.

The Committee to Strengthen National Service drafted a comprehensive list of suggestions after discussions between the various stakeholders in 2014.

But there has not been much activity from this committee since then, which could make it unsustainable because it may not be adaptive enough to provide the solutions to improve NS.

Also, rotating the people within the committee or even inviting new members, including servicemen, is a possibility that should be actively explored, so as to infuse fresh and creative solutions.

The adoption of the new ideas is great news, but it is only the beginning. The implementation is where the real challenge lies.

Upsetting the status quo may be difficult and challenging, but policymakers must stick to their guns because it is the right decision.

Lionel Loi Zhi Rui

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 07, 2016, with the headline 'Adopt good suggestions to improve NS quickly'. Print Edition | Subscribe