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1% of national servicemen ineligible for NS55 credits due to 'serious offences and disciplinary issues'

1% of national servicemen ineligible for NS55 credits due to 'serious offences and disciplinary issues'

File photo of NSmen undergoing training. (Photo: Facebook/Ministry of Defence, Singapore)

SINGAPORE: About 1 per cent of national servicemen were ineligible for the NS55 Recognition Package due to serious offences and disciplinary issues.

This was revealed by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in a written reply to Parliament on Monday (Sep 12), following a question by MP Wan Rizal Wan Zakariah (PAP-Jalan Besar) on how many national servicemen were not eligible to receive the package.

The NS55 Recognition Package was given to eligible past and present national servicemen to thank them for their contributions to Singapore's defence and security, as the country marks 55 years of National Service. 

The package included S$100 worth of credits disbursed via the LifeSG mobile application, as well as a complimentary one-year SAFRA or HomeTeamNS membership.

“All eligible recipients have received their credits by end-July and as of end August, more than 50 per cent of recipients have used some or all of their credits,” Dr Ng said.

“About 47 per cent of all credits issued have already been spent, which is much higher than the figure over the same period for the NS50 package in 2017, when hardcopy vouchers were distributed.”

Dr Wan Rizal also asked about the number of complaints on difficulties encountered in claiming the credits, and the measures taken to address the respective issues.

Dr Ng said that the LifeSG application, which is used to redeem the credits, had an average rating of 4.8 out of five stars.

He added that the call centres and email hotlines of the Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Home Affairs have responded to about 8,000 calls and emails from national servicemen who needed help to redeem their credits or requested for hardcopy vouchers.

The number made up about 0.8 per cent of all recipients.

Digital ambassadors were also deployed at locations such as selected community centres and public libraries, as well SAFRA and HomeTeamNS clubhouses. They catered to about 16,000 walk-ins from members of the public, helping them with a variety of issues such as app installation and navigating the redemption service.

About 4,000 national servicemen, or about 0.4 per cent, have requested to have hardcopy vouchers sent to them instead of using the app.

“These are primarily servicemen who do not have access to smartphones or are not comfortable with making digital payments, notwithstanding our offer of assistance,” said Dr Ng.

He added that those who opt to convert their digital credits to hardcopy vouchers will generally receive them within one month of their request.

Source: CNA/ga(gr)


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