Think of implications of granting deferment

I am glad the Ministry of Defence stuck by its decision to deny Ben Davis' deferment application and I fully support it (No NS deferment for Davis: Mindef; July 16).

I do not actually favour deferment being given to any of our athletes to compete in the Olympics or other competitions.

As much as I understand that in sports, age matters and this is about giving our athletes a chance to bring us glory, deferment just creates an avenue for a lot of other potential problems.

Should we provide Singapore's potential Mark Zuckerberg with a chance to fulfil his destiny instead of enlisting? I do not find sports any more different than any other activity, like entrepreneurship.

If a teen is growing his business to become the new Facebook, do we want to grant him an exemption because he could also make us proud and bring economic success to Singapore? This could as well be a once-in-a-lifetime chance for him.

I belong to the "I do not care what you do; if it is time to serve, you serve" camp. And I think people should think of the potential consequences and implications of deferment instead of focusing only on Singapore potentially "losing" its Ronaldo or Messi.

Ng Chee Siang

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 20, 2018, with the headline 'Think of implications of granting deferment'. Print Edition | Subscribe