Commitment to NS important for national security

The national service (NS) deferment request by footballer Ben Davis has been publicised in the media, debated in chat groups and talked about in coffee shops the past few weeks.

The emotions have ranged from rational to emotional, from both those in favour and those against his deferment.

Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen explained in Parliament why Davis' request was rejected (Eng Hen explains why request from Ben Davis was rejected; Aug 7).

The security of Singapore has to be taken very seriously and our national servicemen play an important role in keeping our families, citizens and all those who live in our country safe and secure.

During hostilities in the past, we had to rely on British and Commonwealth armed forces for protection.

This is not the case now as we are on our own, and need a strong Singapore Armed Forces to safeguard our country.

Although our air force and navy are widely acknowledged as strong forces, our NSmen and reservists who now number in their thousands are also a strong deterrence against potential adversaries.

But numbers are meaningful only if there is a strong commitment and proper military training is given to our young men.

That's what I believe the SAF asks of Davis and others.

Adrian Villanueva

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 09, 2018, with the headline 'Commitment to NS important for national security'. Print Edition | Subscribe