NS deserter jailed 20 months for being absent without leave for around five years

SINGAPORE - A man who deserted from his full-time national service duty at the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) for about five years was jailed for 20 months on Wednesday (Nov 8).

Muhammad Izzat Jaffar, 27, had admitted to one charge of failing to report for duty at the SCDF headquarters, without leave from Aug 21, 2012 to Sept 20, 2017.

Investigations showed that he had neither a legitimate reason nor any medical exemption to justify his absence of five years and 30 days.

Izzat was enlisted on Sept 13, 2011 and posted to the SCDF headquarters in Ubi Avenue 4 to continue his national service duty from Jan 9, 2012 until further notice.

But he failed to report for duty on Aug 21, 2012 and continued to be absent, with intent to remain permanently absent without leave, until he surrendered on Sept 21 this year.

Pleading for leniency, Izzat's lawyer Rajan Supramaniam said his client was under stress and had relationship problems with his former girlfriend at the time.

He said Izzat surrendered himself voluntarily, and is now serving his second year of national service with the SCDF.

Izzat could have been jailed for up to 10 years.