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2 out of 5 NS deferment applications to pursue arts granted by MINDEF

In eleven years, only two National Service (NS) deferment applications had been granted to those wanting to pursue the arts. There were five applications made during the period between 2003 and 2013.

SINGAPORE: In eleven years, only two National Service (NS) deferment applications had been granted to those wanting to pursue the arts.

There were five applications made during the period between 2003 and 2013.

Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen revealed this in a written reply to a question by Nominated Member of Parliament Janice Koh.

Ms Koh wanted to know how many male artists had put in deferment applications, and how many have been successful.

Dr Ng said enlistment to NS must be applied equitably to all enlistees.

Deferments are considered selectively for the few with exceptional talents in the sports, arts or other areas.

Even then, Dr Ng said deferment is not for individuals to achieve personal accomplishments.

It is allowed only when they indicate the ability to achieve national pride.

They will also have to indicate why performing their NS duties like everyone else would prevent them from achieving this.

Ms Koh also asked if the Ministry would consider setting up a formal appeals committee that could include respected arts leaders to assess the applications, and also recommend exceptional artistic talent for deferment.

To this, Dr Ng said deferment requests for artists are assessed based on the above criteria by the Defence Ministry after consulting with the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth. 

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