Budget debate: Parliamentary Replies

More places to return used SAF uniforms

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) will set up more collection points for used uniforms, to make it more convenient for national servicemen to dispose of them.

This follows an incident of SAF military apparel being smuggled to Batam last November.

Senior Minister of State for Defence Maliki Osman said yesterday that disposal bins will be set up at entrances of selected camps near populated areas in the next two to three months. These bins will have a "one-way, non-return valve", he told Parliament.

Currently, NSmen can dispose of used military attire and equipment at SAF eMarts islandwide, as well as at the Army Logistics Base in Old Choa Chu Kang Road.

To make it easier for NSmen to return old equipment, more disposal bins will also be placed at the eMarts, Dr Maliki said.

He was replying to Non-Constituency MP Dennis Tan, who asked about the Indonesian Navy's seizure of a truckload of used SAF uniforms in Batam last November.

The smuggled attire included the pixelated combat uniform which was introduced by the SAF in 2008, as well as the older variant, which has green, black and brown camouflage patterns.

Dr Maliki said investigations by the Indonesian Navy are still ongoing. On Singapore's end, checks found that SAF's authorised contractors responsible for uniform disposal had done so according to established procedures, he said.

The suspicion is that "actions of unauthorised parties" had led to the uniforms being smuggled to Batam, he added, without elaborating.

Dr Maliki said that following the incident, the SAF has reminded its contractors to follow procedures, which require them to collect the used uniforms and send them to the incinerators. The attire is then incinerated with SAF personnel present.

The SAF will also be reminding NSmen to dispose of their equipment only at authorised locations.

"These measures will reduce opportunities for unauthorised vendors to obtain and then sell used SAF uniforms," said Dr Maliki.

Under Singapore law, NSmen are not allowed to sell any army equipment issued to them, and those caught will face disciplinary action.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2017, with the headline 'More places to return used SAF uniforms'. Print Edition | Subscribe