SINGAPORE: A 22-year-old man was charged on Monday (Jul 15) for defaulting on his national service obligations for five years.
Jonathan Lee Han Wen, a Singapore citizen by birth, is accused of remaining outside Singapore for five years from September 2013 to September 2018 while he was subject to the Enlistment Act.
He was charged with five offences under the Enlistment Act, which states that any person registered under it cannot leave Singapore or stay outside Singapore unless he has a valid permit.
According to charge sheets, Lee allegedly remained outside Singapore from Sep 1, 2013, even though his exit permit had expired.
He is accused of failing to comply with an order to report for pre-enlistment documentation and medical screening, which he was supposed to go for as early as Sep 19, 2014.
He also allegedly failed to report for enlistment into full-time national service between Oct 6, 2017, and Sep 3, 2018.
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) had previously said during a similar case that it takes a firm stand against those who commit offences under the Enlistment Act.
"All male Singapore citizens and permanent residents have a duty to serve NS," it said. "If we allow Singapore citizens or PRs who are overseas to evade NS or to choose when they want to serve NS, we are not being fair to the vast majority of our national servicemen who serve their country dutifully, and the institution of NS will be undermined."
MINDEF had issued the statement in relation to the case of Indian national and Singapore permanent resident Thirumal Pavithran, who was jailed 10 weeks last month for defaulting on NS obligations for more than five years.
If found guilty of the offences he has been charged with, Lee could be jailed for up to three years, fined a maximum of S$10,000, or both.
He will return to court on Aug 13.