Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Renounce PR status before serving NS - there will be adverse consequences

Yes, there will be adverse consequences
Published TODAY, 6 Dec 2011

We refer to the letter "PRs who do not serve NS may not be at a disadvantage" (Nov 29).

Permanent residents liable for National Service who renounce their PR status without serving NS will face adverse consequences. Their failure to serve NS will be taken into account when they subsequently apply to study or work in Singapore.

This ongoing policy has been in place since 2002, and these PRs are warned about the consequences of their action at the point of renunciation.





PRs who do not serve NS may not be at a disadvantage
Letter from Sreedharan Sechachalam, Published TODAY, 29 Nov 2011

IT WAS reported in "8,800 PRs served NS in last five years" (Nov 23) that failure to serve National Service "would be taken into account" when permanent residents who renounce their PR status subsequently apply to study or work here.

According to the article, about one-third of those who were enlisted in the last five years renounced their PR status and were "warned of the consequences".

As this is a significant proportion, may I ask what other factors are considered when these renouncers apply to study or work here, or if they were already doing so, that would allow them to continue studying or working here?

Based on personal observations as a doctor who studied medicine here, I am not confident that the ground situation reflects the stated policy.

I know of renouncers who were admitted to the National University of Singapore's highly competitive medical school, to which, every year, some straight-As Singaporean students fail to gain admission.

At a higher level, some renouncers have been admitted to speciality training programmes which are sought after by many Singaporeans and non-Singaporeans. Those who complete these programmes will qualify to be specialist doctors in the public or private sector.

In my academic or professional life, I am fortunate not to have been in a situation where I had to compete with renouncers. I have nothing personal, either, against these individuals, who are good doctors but not particularly outstanding.

But if their admission to study and work here is in accordance with existing policies, what then are these policies? I am sure there are similar examples in other industries.

From a pragmatic viewpoint, I do not suggest a blanket ban for all who renounce their PR status prior to serving NS. However, I would like to be assured that there are valid reasons for allowing them to study and work here.

And if they are permitted to do so, they must be put at a relative disadvantage, in some manner, for not having performed NS. This will further strengthen the mindset of those who serve NS that they do have an edge in applying to study or work here.

Perhaps the authorities could disclose the number of renouncers still studying or working here.




8,800 PRs served NS in last five years
by Teo Xuanwei, TODAY, 23 Nov 2011

Over the last five years, about 8,800 permanent residents (PRs) served National Service (NS), Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in a written reply to a parliamentary question.

These males had become PRs under their parents' sponsorship.

Of these, about 6,100 have since taken up citizenship, Dr Ng added.

In the same period, however, another 4,200 men who were enlisted renounced their PR status before serving NS. They too had become PRs under the sponsorship of their parents.

Dr Ng said their failure to serve NS would be taken into account when they subsequently apply to study or work in Singapore.

They were warned about the consequences of their decision before they renounced their PR status, he added.

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