Parliament: National servicemen to get $100 vouchers when they get married or start a family

NSmen queueing to return their empty magazines after a firing exercise at the SAF's Multi-Mission Range Complex.
NSmen queueing to return their empty magazines after a firing exercise at the SAF's Multi-Mission Range Complex. PHOTO: ST FILE
Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung announced a new Celebratory Gifts scheme for NSmen, at the Committee of Supply Debate on April 7, 2016.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung announced a new Celebratory Gifts scheme for NSmen, at the Committee of Supply Debate on April 7, 2016.ST PHOTO: KUA CHEE SIONG

SINGAPORE - Besides being rewarded for performing well during training, national servicemen will also be given a token when they start families.

Under a new Celebratory Gifts scheme, NSmen will receive $100 worth of vouchers when they get married or have a new child in their families.

The initiative was announced by Senior Minister of State for Defence Ong Ye Kung at the Committee of Supply Debate on Thursday (April 7), along with plans to enhance existing NS recognition schemes.

Mr Ong said: "We have been finding ways to show appreciation to our national servicemen, and those who support them - the NSman Tax Relief, NS Housing, Medical and Education Awards, Safra facilities.

"These forms of recognition are important to let them know their sacrifices are deeply appreciated, and for the greater good of Singapore," he added.

Starting from this month (April 1), a programme to reward NSmen who do well during in-camp training and national service courses has been enhanced, Mr Ong said.

Through the NS Excellence Award, formerly called the Family Recognition Voucher, the number of NSmen who will be awarded vouchers will increase from the top 10 per cent to the top 30 per cent.

The top 10 per cent will receive $200 worth of vouchers, while the next 20 per cent will receive $100.

Mr Ong also announced that the Government will enhance the basic life and personal accident insurance coverage for national servicemen from the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force.

 
 

With this, each serviceman will be covered for $150,000 in group term life and in group personal accident insurance.

This will cover all incidents during full-time NS and operationally-ready NS activities, Mr Ong said.

More will also be done to recognise employers who adopt human resource practices that support NSmen.

A national accreditation scheme, the NS Mark, will be launched this year. Under the scheme, organisations can be awarded with the NS Mark or a more prestigious NS Mark (Gold).

The NS Mark was one of 18 proposals put forth last year by the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) - a channel for the community to provide feedback on issues concerning Singapore’s defence.

In his speech, Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman said 14 out of 18 recommendations - aimed at boosting support and recognition for national service - have been implemented.

Among them, almost 70 business have joined a programme that offer discounts and benefits to NSmen at selected restaurants and cafes. 

Additionally, four post-secondary educational institutions have also piloted fitness programmes to prepare their students for NS. The results have been encouraging, Dr Maliki said, adding that at Temasek Polytechnic, the IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) pass rate of participating students went up by more than 25 per cent.