MP Jamus Lim

Assoc Prof Jamus Jerome Lim asked the Minister for Defence whether the Ministry will consider providing further clarity on national service enlistment dates beyond approximately two months, particularly to preclude short notification enlistment notifications of two weeks.

Dr Ng Eng Hen: MINDEF recognises the benefits of providing adequate notice of enlistment dates to pre-enlistees to prepare themselves mentally and physically for full-time National Service. For this purpose, we conduct regular National Service (NS) engagement sessions in schools, where pre-enlistees are informed that most can expect to be enlisted within four to six months after completion of their post-secondary education in Singapore. Pre-enlistees are also able to check on the various possible upcoming enlistment dates on the Central Manpower Base’s (CMPB) website.

Within the entire cohort of NS liable males averaging around 23,000 each year, some will require further evaluation or delays in their scheduled enlistment date due to medical reasons or other personal requests. Nonetheless, more than 80% of pre-enlistees receive notice more than two months before enlistment. For those who receive notice of less than two months, short term postponements have been granted on appeal.

Only around 1% receive their Enlistment Notices less than two weeks before their enlistment date, often due to late finalisation of their medical status, whereupon the pre-enlistee had requested for the next available enlistment date, or due to enlistment slots opening up due to deferments and dropouts. In such instances, CMPB will contact them to confirm their availability to be enlisted on short notice, before serving them their Enlistment Notices.

Ministry of Defence
1 August 2022

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