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Parliament: Mindef gives nod to NS changes which could cost $4.5b

Published on May 29, 2014 7:40 PM
 
Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) troops participate in Exercise Golden Sand at Pulau Sudong on April 24, 2014. The Defence Ministry will go ahead with recommendations made by a high-level committee upon Government acceptance, despite the "huge administrative impact and significant resources" they are expected to cost, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament on Thursday. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

SINGAPORE - The Defence Ministry will go ahead with recommendations made by a high-level committee upon Government acceptance, despite the "huge administrative impact and significant resources" they are expected to cost, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament on Thursday.

Proposed changes to shorten the waiting time for 90 per cent of pre-enlistees to a four-month window, as well as to match full-time National Servicemen to their preferred vocations will not be easy, given that the SAF enlists 20,000 servicemen annually, he said.

All 30 recommendations, if implemented, will also cost Mindef about $4.5 billion over the next decade, he added.

Speaking on behalf of the Committee to Strengthen National Service, Dr Ng urged the Government to accept and fully support the recommendations. He noted that with times changing, the Committee's work is to ensure that NS remains "responsive and relevant to a new generation of millenial National Servicemen".

"Better to hear them now and adjust policies, rather than wait and assume previous policies will work even when circumstances have changed."

 

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