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Singapore

 

Plan to enlist poly students for NS earlier

Change among NS recommendations set to cost $4.5 billion over a decade

Published on May 30, 2014 7:05 AM
 
Singapore Armed Forces troops participate in Exercise Golden Sand at Pulau Sudong on April 24, 2014. Polytechnic students are likely to start their national service in May or August next year, a month earlier than usual, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament yesterday.  -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN

Polytechnic students are likely to start their national service in May or August next year, a month earlier than usual, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament yesterday.

The proposed change, which will affect an annual intake of some 11,000 polytechnic students, is one of 30 recommendations by the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS), which released its report last week.

Their implementation, including enhanced benefits for NSmen, is expected to cost about $4.5 billion over the next decade, Dr Ng said. It is a move that will have a "huge administrative impact" and require "significant investment" from the Defence Ministry, he said. About 24,500 servicemen are enlisted annually.

"My SAF commanders are sweating over this... Each batch is about five, six, seven thousand, and they're wondering how do we do this."

 
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