Senior Counsel's son withdraws appeal against sentence for NS evasion

Wan Ting Koh
SAF national servicemen seen at the Army Open House event held at the F1 Pit Building in May. (PHOTO: Dhany Osman / Yahoo News Singapore)

A man sentenced to four months’ jail for evading national service (NS) withdrew his appeal against his sentence in the High Court on Wednesday (20 September).

Jonathan Tan Huai-En, 28, the elder son of Senior Counsel (SC) Tan Chee Meng, had earlier pleaded guilty to two counts of evading NS between 22 December 2004 and 4 May 2015 and was sentenced in February this year.

On Wednesday, Tan’s lawyer C R Rajah said that his client – who is currently out on bail – wished to defer the start of his sentence to 6 October.

Tan, together with his two siblings and mother, migrated to Canada in December 2000. They did not intend to return to Singapore. SC Tan remained here as there were no employment opportunities in Canada.

The younger Tan became a Canadian citizen in early 2005. Between December 2015 and June 2016, several letters requesting him to register for NS were sent to his Singapore address. Officers from the Central Manpower Base (CMPB) also visited his home when he failed to show up.

In mid-2009, SC Tan called CMPB to inform them that his eldest son wanted to renounce his Singapore citizenship. He also sent a letter to CPMB through his lawyers, which stated the same request.

In response, CMPB said that the younger Tan had to first fulfil his NS obligations. SC Tan was also informed that his son had been classified as a defaulter and called for his return as soon as possible. Tan returned to Singapore on 5 May 2015, and enlisted for NS on 8 January 2016.

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