Better benefits for Singapore NS men sign now

Dear Prime Minister,

I am writing to you on behalf of millions of aggrieved Singaporeans (male and female - whether directly or indirectly through their spouses, children, siblings or friends) after the recent NS-dodger, Melvin Tan fiasco.

I do not wish to repeat what many Singaporeans have expressed about their indignation and displeasure through their letters to the newspapers. However, I would like you as the leader of the Singapore government to implement policies to immediately right the wrong that has been done to those male Singaporeans that have faithfully and unquestionably served the country all these years.

As many Singaporeans know, one of the most important so-called "benefits" of citizenship is the right to vote, but with the way the electoral system has been changed (especially the Group Representation Constituencies - GRC) to make it very challenging for Opposition parties to field candidates in these contests, many citizens have been deprived of their right to vote. (I shall not even go into other benefits of citizenship like the NSS or ERS which are really "peanuts").

On the other hand, the liability of these male Singaporeans is life-long: after their 2-1/2 years of full-time national service (NS), they have reservist duty for the next 10 - 20 years, and in the event of war, who knows till when? What do they get out of this blood and sweat? The Melvin Tan case really made a joke out of this NS liability. Is it any wonder why so many Malaysians and so-called "foreign talent" choose to remain Permanent Residents - they practically get to enjoy almost all the benefits Singapore offers (jobs, education, medical care, housing etc) but without any NS liability.

With many Singaporeans out of job, do they enjoy "privilege" of citizenship over foreigners when it comes to securing that job? NO.

Even for those Singaporeans with jobs, there are also fears that they may lose their jobs to foreign talents! (see letter in Today, 7 Dec 2005, Will serving the nation get us served a pink slip? link http://www.todayonline.com/articles/88755.asp )

With the local universities admitting foreign students, do our very own citizens (after serving NS) get priority over them? NO!

When they get sick, do they get preferential treatment at the public hospitals? NO! (see Today, 16 August 2005, No shortage of hospital beds , link http://www.todayonline.com/articles/66958.asp )

What is worse is that when it comes to NSS or ERS entitlements, many of these so-called "naturalized" citizens (eg "foreign talent" marrying female Singaporeans) that did not have to go through national service are actually getting more shares than many male Singaporeans who have served NS - simply because these naturalized Singaporeans stay in smaller HDB flats!!

Therefore, I humbly urge you to consider more concrete policies to elevate the status of these NS-serving Singaporeans to reflect the sacrifices they make - by conferring them special "privileges" or "preference". Some of these can include jobs for the thousands of unemployed ex-NS men (like attachments in other areas of national defense, not just military, besides the commercial sector), enhanced benefits in education and health for them and their families, etc...


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Lara LeonBy:
Justice, rights and public orderIn:
Petition target:
Singapore Prime Minister

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