Rather than post full-time national servicemen to land checkpoints to ease the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority's (ICA) manpower crunch as Mr Lionel de Souza suggests, I propose that we leave them where they are as their youth and fitness may be more suited to their current vocations (Post NSFs to work as ICA checkpoint officers; Jan 5).
Instead, move older and more mature operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) from other Home Team agencies, such as the Singapore Police Force (SPF), to the ICA to be retrained as immigration officers after they have completed the high-key phase of their national service training cycle.
Additionally, the ICA can supplement its ranks by recruiting volunteer officers, which the SPF is already doing.
If ICA NSmen or part-time volunteers are deemed unsuitable for more sensitive tasks, they can be deployed to less sensitive duties, thereby freeing up career ICA officers to do the front-line work.
I also believe that many Singaporeans would find the ICA's critical mission of being Singapore's first line of defence in border security attractive, but it must step up its recruiting efforts.
Perhaps it is time to produce a TV series on our ICA officers?