Pianist dealt with, though he's no longer a citizen
I REFER to Mr Liew Kai Khiun's letter, 'Are NSmen's sweat and tears worth only $5,000?', and Mr Samuel Oh Chee Ooi's letter, 'What is Mindef's stand on draft dodgers?' (ST, Nov 22).
All able-bodied male Singapore citizens are required to serve national service to contribute to the peace, security and stability of the country. Singaporeans enjoy the socio-economic benefits that this stability brings and are expected to shoulder the responsibility of national defence.
Mindef takes a serious stand on all defaulters who evade their national-service duty. Defaulters will have to bear the consequences of their action and will be dealt with by the courts under the Enlistment Act.
They are, on conviction, liable for an imprisonment term not exceeding three years or a fine not exceeding $5,000, or both. The exact sentence will be determined by the courts.
Besides having to answer to the courts for their national-service offences, defaulters will also have to serve their national service if they are still liable for national service.
In the case of Mr Melvyn Tan, although he had renounced his Singapore citizenship in 1978, he remained liable for the national-service offence and has been dealt with by the courts in accordance with the Enlistment Act.
Colonel Benedict Lim
Director, Public Affairs
Ministry of Defence