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Ng Eng Hen on deferring or disrupting National Service for those with sporting and arts talent

15:54 Min

Singapore has enjoyed strong national support for National Service (NS) for many years; but this is an exception, not the norm, and it would be a serious mistake to take that affirmation for granted, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. He said the key reason for this support is the unequivocal application of universality and equity where all who must serve are required to do so, not at a time of their choosing, and while putting aside all personal goals. Any deferments and disruptions are provided sparingly, justified adequately and implemented openly, otherwise the system fails. Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (Jul 5), Dr Ng said even with this strict criteria, not all Singaporeans support deferment or disruption of NS for sport. However, he said there is space for ground-up dialogue and when the next review of NS policies is convened, his ministry will incorporate views from both sides. Dr Ng added that fulfilling NS duties and winning medals for Singapore at the same time is not easy, and unrealistic expectations must not be placed on sportsmen. He was responding to questions from members of the House on the possibility of reviewing the current policy and holding a national dialogue on the issue.

*Audio issues inherent from source   

Singapore has enjoyed strong national support for National Service (NS) for many years; but this is an exception, not the norm, and it would be a serious mistake to take that affirmation for granted, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen. He said the key reason for this support is the unequivocal application of universality and equity where all who must serve are required to do so, not at a time of their choosing, and while putting aside all personal goals. Any deferments and disruptions are provided sparingly, justified adequately and implemented openly, otherwise the system fails. Speaking in Parliament on Tuesday (Jul 5), Dr Ng said even with this strict criteria, not all Singaporeans support deferment or disruption of NS for sport. However, he said there is space for ground-up dialogue and when the next review of NS policies is convened, his ministry will incorporate views from both sides. Dr Ng added that fulfilling NS duties and winning medals for Singapore at the same time is not easy, and unrealistic expectations must not be placed on sportsmen. He was responding to questions from members of the House on the possibility of reviewing the current policy and holding a national dialogue on the issue.

*Audio issues inherent from source   

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