What sort of special treatment? NS. National Service. Foreign male who are Singapore Permanent Residents (PR) studying in government schools are expected to serve national service should they decide to stay on in Singapore after completing their secondary/tertiary education at the age of 18-21 years (please correct me if I am wrong). I am not sure what happens if they don’t, but I do understand that taking up citizenship following completion of national service is optional.

I remembered that Indonesia kept discrediting the treaty that was signed between Singapore and Indonesia, which was eventually voided. However, here they are meddling in our affairs and dictating how our country should be run. If Singapore listens to them, doesn’t that mean that Singapore will ultimately listen to everyone else? So… who runs Singapore in the end?

Indonesia has asked Singapore to exempt Indonesian citizens who are permanent residents from performing National Service.

Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said that such an exemption was necessary as Indonesian citizens doing military service in another country risk losing their citizenship.

‘For our citizens, whatever the reason, undertaking foreign military training would mean losing their citizenship under the citizenship law,’ Mr Hassan was quoted as saying by the Republika daily on Friday.

He said that the issue of national service for Indonesian citizens with permanent resident status had been around since the Singapore government started requiring foreign citizens with such status to be enlisted.

‘In our communication with the Singapore government, we have requested that Indonesian citizens, including those with permanent resident status, to be exempted from doing national service,’ he said.

He did not disclose when the Indonesian government had made the request.

He also said the government could only remind Indonesians that under the law, their citizenship could be revoked if they agreed to be enlisted.

Article obtained from straitstimes.com on 22nd February 2008



Reader's Comments

  1. Mark | February 23rd, 2008 at 12:24 am

    This is also the same with Malaysians.

    It is not really special treatment as enlisting to be a soldier to another country can be seen as “betraying” the home country.

    If the PR doesn’t want to serve, he will have to renounce PR and most probably leave Singapore. Getting back the PR in the future after that will be very very very tough….

  2. Ridz | February 23rd, 2008 at 12:38 am

    I don’t think they will allow it…but if they do, and still give citizenship, they’re going to have a lot of angry people here…

  3. Vandalin | February 23rd, 2008 at 2:16 am

    2 words. piss. off.

  4. Chin Chye Lah | February 23rd, 2008 at 10:47 am

    These people want to enjoy the benefits, yet do not want to serve NS like all true blue male citizens. Although the real world is never fair, this got to be a blatant show of disrespect to one country’s sovereign rights.

    Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said that such an exemption was necessary as Indonesian citizens doing military service in another country risk losing their citizenship.

    Simple. Ask all these NS eligible Indonesian PRs to return to Indonesia permanently and this would definitely reduce the risk. Of course, Singapore should also revoke the PR status of these Indonesians. As the government always said, there is no free lunch.

    The government got to be careful here as a wrong move will alienate the thousands of true blue male citizens who went through the compulsory 2.5/2 years and the long cycle of reservist training. Singapore men are already screwed by losing of couple years of advantage in terms of career or education.

    The government better not screw up. Again.

    But, is this another ploy to get back at the rich parents of these NS eligible Indonesian PRs?

  5. Ian Timothy | February 23rd, 2008 at 1:44 pm

    The thing is, we also don’t want to chase away these Indonesians PRs. Why? Because they are likely to be rich. If you revoke the PR, then what? We lose them and their wealth if they decide to shift it elsewhere. Of course, they can still remain in Singapore without PR status, but our ‘hold’ on them becomes more tenuous. Oh well…

  6. paced | February 23rd, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    If I’m not wrong, not all PRs need to serve NS. I have some male friends who are PRs but their parents are not, hence they are considered “1st generation PRs” and do not need to serve. But those who are “2nd generation PRs” need to serve.

  7. sylv | February 23rd, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    i know the same thing as paced. I think the ones that got PR after working (after getting work permit or something) don’t need to do NS. That’s why some of my friends (Indonesian) delayed their PR application until finishing the education, although they are already offered the PR status.

    Btw I’ve never known about losing citizenship if doing military service in foreign land. Well but i’m a woman anyway. hahaha.

  8. Filia Suryanti | August 27th, 2008 at 11:17 pm

    Chin Chye Lah,

    I’d suggest that you use your brain before commenting. Without Indonesian PRs here, do you think the value of your properties will go up? And without them, who will support the retail and private medical economies of Singapore? And what “free lunch” are you talking about? PRs who stay and work in Singapore pay full taxes! Staying here is not exactly a free lunch dude!

    Chin Chye Lah wrote:

    “Simple. Ask all these NS eligible Indonesian PRs to return to Indonesia permanently and this would definitely reduce the risk. Of course, Singapore should also revoke the PR status of these Indonesians. As the government always said, there is no free lunch.”

  9. Capt. O.M.Bugge | August 31st, 2008 at 1:13 pm

    What is Singapore’s policy on Singaporean serving in Foreign Military Forces?
    I don’t know if any Singaporean has taken it up, but America is offering citizenship to those who enlist and serve in Iraq or Afghanistan.

    The next question is; if a Singapore citizen is FORCED to serve in a foreign army, does Singapore approve?
    Israel is the only country, other then Singapore, who practices this, I believe, but since there are few males with dual Israel/S’pore citizenship I don’t know if it has ever occurred?

    Also, has anybody heard of any Singapore citizen who is/has served in the French Foreign Legion? Does Singapore approve?

    FYI two of my sons are serving on active duty in a “foreign” army and has done so for many years.
    They are regarded as Singaporean by the Singapore Authorities, but they have actually been Norwegian citizen from birth, although born in Singapore.
    As such they must then be regarded by Singapore as dual citizen, which is not allowed under Singapore Law after the age of 21. How can this be?

    Does anybody know the answer to any of the above?

    Other countries may not accept that their citizens serve in a foreign army and may ban their citizens from doing so. We already have problems with Indonesia and, for those with long memories, Mahatir jumped in the fray when a dual Malaysia/Singapore citizen was arrested and forced into SAF some years back.

    If Singapore intend to attract foreign talents Singapore must start to look hard at the draconian NS Laws and how they are applied to foreign nationals and dual citizens.

  10. alvin | June 29th, 2009 at 7:06 pm

    Stupid Indonesian regulation!
    What’s up with Military training abroad ??

    I have served for French Foreign Legion and keep my Indonesian citizenship. Nobody will know, Legion will protect your identity. You are asked to serve with different name, after 3 years of your service, you can keep your legionnaire name or retain yours. Nobody in this world know that you are a legionnaire unless you put yourself on legionnaire uniform in Facebook!!

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