Your Letters

Extend national service to women

I agree with Ms Kit Chan's views about national service ("Chivalry, thy last name is NS"; Aug 23). Interestingly, the advantages of NS she mentioned can also apply to our female counterparts here.

Perhaps Singapore should consider extending national service (NS) to women.

Naturally, the NS that women would serve must take into consideration the differences in physiology between the two genders, and the economic costs that the state would incur in implementing such a move.

Therefore, a differentiation must be made in the mode and, possibly, length of NS.

I suggest that Singaporean women serve a truncated period of one year, by being attached to hospitals or hospices to learn first aid and help those in need.

This would allow Singaporean women to learn valuable first aid skills, which would be useful in times of war or emergency.

It would also go towards strengthening the aims of Total Defence by getting women involved in defending the country.

Deploying them to hospitals or hospices would also reduce the manpower shortages faced by these organisations.

In addition, such attachments would go a long way towards building and developing the character and mental strength of our women. We should not deny women the institutional bonds and camaraderie that all Singaporean men enjoy via NS. Such an initiative would strengthen the feelings of kinship among the daughters of Singapore.

The time is ripe for Singapore to consider extending NS, and the benefits that it can bring, to women.

Aloysius Liu Cheng Han

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on September 06, 2015, with the headline 'Extend national service to women'. Print Edition | Subscribe