Last year, I secured employment in Manila, and was to be away from Singapore for two years.
As I am an operationally ready national serviceman, I followed the standard protocol of applying for NS duty deferment. Unfortunately, despite repeated attempts, my deferment has been unsuccessful.
I have been advised to apply for an exit permit, which would allow me to be exempted from reservist duties until 2019.
However, the system will not process exit permit applications while I am liable for reservist duties.
As a result, I have been unable to leave Singapore to take up my new job. My employment offer and contract have since been retracted.
This red tape has cost me a valuable opportunity in today's challenging economy.
The system must be redesigned to minimise or eliminate the chance of such situations happening in future.
Mervyn Chan Ping