Jan 18, 2006
Let those who intend to emigrate opt out of NS
I REFER to the Insight article,‘Doers & dodgers: Time to heal the rift?’(ST, Jan 14).
I share the same sentiment as Mr Paul Wong, feeling no allegiance to Singapore and not being able to assimilate into Singaporean culture even though I was born and raised here.
As a child, I grew up watching classic American movies and cartoons, and listening to American-genre music like country, southern gospel and classic American oldies.
My paternal aunts and uncles are Ivy League students and speak with a slight American accent and use American grammar in speech. I was influenced by them.
Because I am the child of a Thai father and a Singaporean mother, I am a citizen of both Thailand and Singapore. I hold a Singapore passport and will have to serve national service next year.
I do not intend to live in Singapore and, in fact, have made serious plans to emigrate to the United States in future.
Many friends of mine who have gone overseas to study intend to settle down in their host country after serving national service.
I do not support the evasion of national service but I appeal to the Government to make some changes to the policy.
For those who do not intend to live in Singapore, there is no purpose in serving national service. It is a waste of resources for the Government and a waste of time for those affected.
In my case, I will renounce my Singapore citizenship at age 21 and take on Thai citizenship. The US will be my home in future and if a war breaks out between Singapore and the US, God forbid, obviously I would help to defend the US and fight Singapore if need be.
Therefore, I do not see the purpose of training men who might ‘turn against’ their country in unforeseen circumstances.
Perhaps the Ministry of Defence could come up with a policy to permit those who intend to emigrate to opt out of national service but if they do not leave by a certain age, then they would be drafted.
Patriotism and loyalty cannot be forced. It is ultimately up to an individual whether he wants to serve the country.
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