Norwegian Brothers.


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Give up citizenship? Brothers must do NS first

THREE brothers, born to a Norwegian father and Singaporean mother, want to give up their Singapore citizenship.

But the Ministry of Defence has said no. Not until they do their national service.

They want to renounce their citizenship so they will be free to visit their parents - Mr O.M. Bugge, 65, and his wife Margaret, 55 - who still live here.

They cannot return here because they have been classified as NS defaulters and risk arrest on arrival.

They were all born here and are considered Singapore citizens. But they also hold Norwegian citizenships, like their father.

They first left Singapore when they were five, three and two years old respectively, and lived in Norway for 10 years before returning here.

But each left Singapore after their O levels, and just before they could be called up for national service.

Mindef sent them NS enlistment letters, but in turn, each brother ignored the call-up. Instead, they enlisted in the Norwegian armed forces for a 19-month national service term.

All three decided to renounce their Singapore citizenship when they turned 21, but Mindef rejected their initial bids to do so.

They tried several more times over the years, writing to the ministry, then-prime minister Goh Chok Tong and the late former president Ong Teng Cheong to explain their case.

Their parents have also met staff from Mindef.

But all their attempts have failed.

When contacted, Mindef's director of public affairs, Colonel Darius Lim, said: 'Only persons who have emigrated at a very young age together with their families, and who have not enjoyed the privileges of Singapore citizenship, will be allowed to renounce their Singapore citizenships without serving national service.'

He said the three men are Singapore citizens and are required to fulfil their NS obligations. Their requests to renounce their Singapore citizenships can be considered only upon completion of full-time NS.

The brothers said they were disappointed by Mindef's position.

When asked, they maintained that they did not leave Singapore to avoid NS. They preferred to be in Norway, they said, and their enlistment there showed they were not shirkers of NS, they said.

Mr Frode Bugge is a career soldier with the Norwegian army and has seen action in Kosovo and Afghanistan.

Brother Thorbjoern is also a career soldier, while Ingvar is a postman.

For now, they will have to continue meeting their parents in Malaysia. Their mother spends six months in Norway each year.

Their father, a marine consultant, said he cannot afford to spend extended periods in Norway because his business is based in Singapore. He tries to visit his sons once a year.

He said: 'My sons' cases are about a choice of citizenship, and not a case of national service...They would like to get this matter cleared up and be able to travel to Singapore for a visit like any other Norwegian.'

He is hoping that the law will be changed.

'My sons' situations may seem unique now. But as more foreigners marry Singaporeans, there will be more of these cases,' he added.

NS defaulters can be jailed up to three years and/or fined up to $10,000 if convicted.
 

Canonised

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Aug 27, 2003
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#3
In this case, our government's stand is correct and fair.

You cannot have all the cake and eat them yourself. The brothers have enjoyed all the benefits of being a Singaporean when young, such as subsidized education, medical, etc...

The parents should not have taken up citizenship for them in the first place.
 

Apr 15, 2008
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#4
pretty iffy issue we have here, but i have to agree with the government's stand :think:

its pretty clear that as a Singaporean Citizen, little boys will grow up to be green men. I'm sure the parents understood that before their children were born.

ah wells, Shrugs*
 

#5
In this case, our government's stand is correct and fair.

You cannot have all the cake and eat them yourself. The brothers have enjoyed all the benefits of being a Singaporean when young, such as subsidized education, medical, etc...

The parents should not have taken up citizenship for them in the first place.
Err, if the argument is that Singaporeans should do NS because of the benefits they enjoy then how come women don't have to do NS? That's where I say it's so odd. Worrying about the action of 2 people living overseas when we have 50% of the population doing exactly the same thing simply because of gender as an excuse.
 

waileong

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#6
Why give up citizenship? It's an extra passport FOC, or at least, at a nominal fee. There's no need for them to come to Singapore if they just want to meet their parents.
 

Apr 15, 2008
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#7
Err, if the argument is that Singaporeans should do NS because of the benefits they enjoy then how come women don't have to do NS? That's where I say it's so odd. Worrying about the action of 2 people living overseas when we have 50% of the population doing exactly the same thing simply because of gender as an excuse.
It on the basis of principles that living in Singapore, its an obligation for them to serve NS.I don't see it as 'worrying'. Besides, the fact that Singaporean women don't serve NS isn't related to this. Your logic is flawed :think:
 

Apr 15, 2008
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#8
Why give up citizenship? It's an extra passport FOC, or at least, at a nominal fee. There's no need for them to come to Singapore if they just want to meet their parents.
that was exactly what i was thinking. Is it that hard to have a family gathering on Johor Bahru?:bsmilie:
 

Feb 11, 2008
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#10
Pity the usual $5000 "administrative fee" has been doubled. :bsmilie:
 

blazer_workz

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May 8, 2006
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#11
Given the same scenario..if those 3 were girls and not boys..and the 3 girls enjoy the same education/medical subsidy..can they just renounce their Singapore citizenship easily?
 

Hommie

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#14
It on the basis of principles that living in Singapore, its an obligation for them to serve NS.I don't see it as 'worrying'. Besides, the fact that Singaporean women don't serve NS isn't related to this. Your logic is flawed :think:
Tell that to the Israeli.......
 

waileong

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1. I don't see what the boys have to gain unless they have large amounts of $$ locked up in CPF that they want to withdraw by renouncing citizenship.

2. Actually, the parents are the ones who screwed up. They should have renounced their citizenship for them when they were born. Now 18 years later, their bad decision has come back to haunt them.

Yes, 2nd-generation PR's have to serve NS, but if their intention is to live outside Singapore, it would have been far easier to give up PR and move out of Singapore.

Why give up citizenship? It's an extra passport FOC, or at least, at a nominal fee. There's no need for them to come to Singapore if they just want to meet their parents.
 

Feb 11, 2008
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#19
Actually, NS is no big deal. You dont like it - u can simply organise a mutiny :bsmilie:
 

Jun 25, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#20
Actually, NS is no big deal. You dont like it - u can simply organise a mutiny :bsmilie:
Sure, and YOU can simply disappear into a cell and never see the light of day for the rest of your life.

NS is no big deal for you? Tell that to those who gave their lives for the nation while serving.

Don't get me wrong though, I look forward to serving NS, and if i get posted where i want to go, I might just sign on.
 

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