Budget 2013: New committee to find ways to strengthen NS

A new committee will be set up to look into ways that will make Singaporeans who serve National Service feel more appreciated and get more buy-in from citizens and permanent residents.

Called the Committee to Strengthen National Service, it will look into how to better reward those who have fulfilled their NS liabilities and increase support from various groups like families, employers, schools, PRs and new citizens.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, who will chair the committee, said he will work with Senior Minister of State Chan Chun Sing and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Maliki Osman to canvass for views and feedback from a cross section of society. The committee will complete its work within a year, he added.

During Monday's debate on his ministry's spending plans, Dr Ng said he has heard the feedback from MPs and the public on the NS rite of passage.

He said he has heeded their calls for more to be done to match the abilities of the men to their roles during National Service, increase their commitment and recognise their efforts.

Dr Ng also said he will look into ways to help reduce the impact of NS on studies, work and family commitments.

"We should study how we can provide more springboards for NSmen."