The Straits Times
Published on Feb 19, 2013

Get foreigners, PRs to do community service


MP HRI Kumar Nair's proposal for a national defence tax quantifies the distinction between a male foreigner and a male citizen ("Levy national defence tax on PRs, foreigners: MP"; last Thursday).

His proposal aims to recognise the contributions of all Singaporean men towards defending the nation.

But is Mr Nair putting a monetary value on their efforts?

Instead of levying a tax on foreigners and permanent residents (PRs), wouldn't it be better to introduce mandatory community service for them, similar to the Community Involvement Programme in schools?

Not only would it contribute to our society, but also allow PRs and foreigners to forge closer bonds with Singaporeans.

Like national servicemen, who take time off from work and family to serve the nation, PRs and foreigners should also be made to put in an equal amount of time and effort.

A defence tax can never equal the efforts and contributions of our national servicemen.

Allan Siew Fei Yuan