Parliament: About 350 people defaulted on NS obligations each year

About one third of the defaulters have been arrested or have come forward to resolve their Enlistment Act offences, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
About one third of the defaulters have been arrested or have come forward to resolve their Enlistment Act offences, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An average of 350 people defaulted on national service each year over the past 10 years, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

They either failed to register or enlist, or did not return to Singapore after their exit permit had expired.

In a written response to a parliamentary question by Mr Ang Wei Neng (Jurong GRC), Dr Ng said the Ministry of Defence sends registered mails to the defaulters' last known place of residence, including their overseas address, makes house visits to their local addresses and tries to trace them through schools they have attended.

About one third of the defaulters have been arrested or have come forward to resolve their Enlistment Act offences.

Dr Ng on Monday (Sept 10) also responded to a separate question by Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan on physical punishments.

The minister said physical exercises in the form of push-ups and sit-ups, or foot drills, and non-physical punishment such as additional duties and weekend confinements, can be meted out to servicemen for disorderly behaviour and improper attire.

He added that the Singapore Armed Forces Joint Manpower Directive clearly states details like the number of repetitions allowed for specific exercises and the seniority of the commander who are allowed to order such punishments, among other things.