Some 56 per cent of Singaporeans feel that the length of National Service (NS) should be reduced, according to a poll commissioned by Yahoo News Singapore.
In the survey conducted by market research consultancy Blackbox Research from 14-26 February, some 908 Singaporeans were asked if they agreed with the statement, “The two-year duration of full-time national service should be reduced”.
About 26 per cent of the respondents strongly agreed with the statement, while another 30 per cent somewhat agreed.
Another 13 per cent strongly disagreed while 32 per cent somewhat disagreed with the statement.
Separately, the respondents were also asked if they agreed with the statement, “Compulsory NS remains crucial to Singapore’s security”.
An overwhelming 81 per cent of them supported the statement, with 40 per cent agreeing strongly and another 41 per cent agreeing somewhat.
Only 6 per cent strongly disagreed and 13 per cent somewhat disagreed with the statement.
The 908 respondents were evenly split between men and women, with those aged 50 years and above being the biggest group at 38 per cent. About 29 per cent of respondents were aged 35-49 years, while a quarter were aged 25-34 years. Those aged 15-24 formed 8 per cent of the respondents.
In terms of ethnicity, 78 per cent were Chinese, 14 per cent were Malay, 7 per cent were Indian, while the remaining 12 per cent were of other ethnic origins.
SAF training safety issues were thrown into the spotlight after the death of local actor and national serviceman Aloysius Pang, 28, in a training accident in New Zealand in January. It was the fourth SAF training-related fatality in 16 months and led to a public outpouring of grief.
A Committee of Inquiry has been established to investigate the circumstances surrounding Pang’s death. The SAF has also set up an Inspector-General’s Office to scrutinise and enforce safety processes across the three services.