Former presidential candidate Tan Kin Lian has started a petition online to call for national service (NS) to be shortened from the current two years to a year, and for less frequent reservist training.
Mr Tan said in the petition, posted three days ago, that national defence is important to Singapore but it should be reviewed to ensure that the country's resources and budget are being effectively used. The petition has garnered 114 signatures so far. His goal: 10,000.
"Two years is too long. In many countries that have conscription, they are able to achieve their training within 12 months," said Mr Tan, adding that many conscripts have said that the actual military training could be completed within a year. "They spend a large part of the remaining period idling, doing general cleaning, being involved in National Day Parade preparations, and waiting to be discharged," he wrote.
He also said that the regular call-up for reservist training, over a period of up to 15 years, places a heavy strain on NSmen because employers do not like having the work schedule of their employees disrupted.