An average of about 350 National Service (NS) defaulters each year have either failed to register or enlist for NS, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in a written parliamentary reply on Monday (10 September).
In response to a question by Jurong GRC MP Ang Wei Neng, Dr Ng said, “Among these, about one third have been arrested or have come forward to resolve their Enlistment Act offences.”
The issue of NS defaulters has come under the spotlight recently after the Ministry of Defence told the media in August that Crazy Rich Asians’ Singapore-born author Kevin Kwan is a wanted man in Singapore for failing to register for NS. Separately, a Thailand-born man was convicted in a Singapore court almost a week later over his failure to meet his NS obligations.
Dr Ng said efforts to contact NS defaulters include sending registered mails to their last known place of residence, including their overseas address, house visits to their local addresses, and contact tracing through educational institutions that they have attended.
Mindef works with the police to arrest NS defaulters and those who are charged have their punishments meted out by the courts in accordance with the Enlistment Act, he added.