NS men to get pay raise in April

NS men will receive a $60 increase in monthly allowance starting from April this year. (Yahoo! file photo)NS men will receive a $60 increase in monthly allowance starting from April this year. (Yahoo! file photo)

National servicemen in the Singapore Armed Forces, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force can look forward to a $60 pay raise across all ranks from next month.

Speaking in Parliament, Minister of State for Defence and Education Lawrence Wong said that the raise "goes one step further in signaling our acknowledgment of our servicemen's commitment and service".

With the latest revision, a recruit will receive a monthly pay of $480, up from the $420 which he currently receives.

Singaporeans currently serving their National Service welcomed the pay raise. Said Alvin Lim, 24: "I believe a lot of NS [National Service] boys will appreciate the increase, especially with food and entertainment getting more expensive."

He added that increase is good because it "shows appreciation for the boys serving the nation".

Similarly, 23-year-old Bai Hong Fu voiced his approval of the move. "It's good, because currently the pay is quite low, especially for corporals. It's not enough for them to survive in society now because they need to pay for food and everything," he said, although he added that the increase could have been of a higher amount.

However, others like M. Tan feel that although the pay raise is welcomed, it does not change the fact that national service is not as difficult as people make it out to be.

"Increasing pay does seem to ease the process of serving for one year ten months to two years. But it makes NS [National Service] life seem easier than it already is. Our generation is one that cannot take suffering," the 22-year-old said.

Current and revised NS rank allowance per month. (source: MINDEF)Current and revised NS rank allowance per month. (source: MINDEF)

Wong also said that the government has other recognition schemes in place, such as the National Service Recognition Award (NSRA) to recognise national servicemen through their training cycle.

In addition, the ministry is also exploring other methods of extending professional development opportunities to regular servicemen.

"The increase in NS rank allowance reaffirms the key role that National Servicemen play in safeguarding the sovereignty and security of Singapore as we mark 45 years of NS this year," said the Ministry of Defence.

According to MINDEF, the allowance for national servicemen was last reviewed in 2009, when it was increased by $20.

Related articles:
NSF in photo has been counseled: MINDEF
NSman dies from unknown virus
SAF NSman dies during in-camp training
Netizens react: Are S'pore's youth getting 'soft'?

  • Top Asian News at 7:00 p.m. GMT

    SINGAPORE (AP) — Singaporeans bid farewell to longtime leader Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday with an elaborate procession and a three-hour state funeral at which his son, the current prime minister, eulogized the statesman and declared that the wealthy city-state he helped build is his monument. Undeterred by heavy rain, about 100,000 people lined a 15-kilometer (9-mile) route through the city to catch a glimpse of the funeral cortege. Lee's coffin, draped in Singapore's red and white flag and protected from the downpour by a glass casing, lay atop a ceremonial gun carriage that was solemnly led past city landmarks from Parliament to a cultural center where the state funeral was held.

  • Lee a committed karma yogi, says Modi; joins world leaders in tribute

    Singapore/New Delhi, March 29 (IANS) Prime Minister Narendra Modi joined many world leaders at the funeral of Singapore founder and first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew who he described as a "committed karma yogi" and among the "tallest leaders of our times". In India, as a tribute to Singapore's founding father, the government observed a day's national mourning and the national flag was flown at half-mast at all government offices and no official entertainment was held. In a book of condolence at the funeral in Singapore, Modi wrote that the death of Lee was "not the passing of an individual, but indeed, of an era" and that he was an inspiration to him. "He was a torch-bearer of hope, not just for Singapore, but for all of Asia," Modi added.

  • Grateful Singapore gives Lee Kuan Yew a hero's funeral
    Grateful Singapore gives Lee Kuan Yew a hero's funeral

    More than 100,000 people lined Singapore's streets to bid farewell to its founding father Lee Kuan Yew on Sunday, officials said as a week of mourning ended in the city-state he led to prosperity. "The light that has guided us all these years has been extinguished," his son, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, told a state funeral attended by 2,200 people including Asia-Pacific leaders at the National University of Singapore.