SINGAPORE: A national serviceman was charged on Thursday (May 9) for leaving and remaining outside of Singapore without a valid exit permit for a combined duration of more than five years.
Corporal First Class (CFC) Thirumal Pavithran, 25, was charged with four counts of leaving Singapore without a valid permit before he eventually returned and started his full-time National Service (NS) in May 2017.
It was alleged that Thirumal, a Singapore permanent resident (PR) from India, had defaulted on his NS obligations for a total duration of five years, seven months and 16 days.
According to the charge sheets, Thirumal first left Singapore on Nov 1, 2010, when he was 16 years old, for a period of 10 months and 27 days.
He returned on Sep 28, 2011, but left Singapore again on Oct 5 that year, this time for a year and 11 days. He came back to the country on Oct 16, 2012.
On Oct 24, 2012, Thirumal left Singapore for three years, one month and 29 days. He came back on Dec 22, 2015, before going overseas eight days later, on Dec 30, 2015.
He came back to Singapore on Jul 8, 2016, and enlisted into full-time NS on May 13, 2017. He will finish his full-time service on Sunday, MINDEF confirmed.
For these offences, the Attorney-General's Chambers pressed for a custodial sentence of 10 to 12 weeks' imprisonment.
MINDEF reminded all male Singapore citizens and PRs that they have a duty to serve NS.
“The Ministry of Defence takes a firm stand against those who commit offences under the Enlistment Act,” 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.”
The case will come back to court on May 23.
If found guilty, he will be liable to a maximum fine of S$10,000, a jail term of up to three years, or both, for each charge.