Yahoo Poll: Should male citizens with little connection to Singapore be made to serve NS?

A National Day Parade at the floating platform. (File photo: Reuters/Edgar Su)

Two recent news reports have raised the issue of Singaporean men living overseas who defaulted on their national service (NS) obligations.

In the case of Kevin Kwan, author of the novel “Crazy Rich Asians” which later inspired the movie, he is now a wanted man in Singapore for having not responded to his NS call-up and for remaining overseas without an exit permit.

According to the Ministry of Defence (Mindef), the 44-year-old Kwan, whose family moved to the US when he was a child, had failed to register for national service in 1990 despite repeated notices sent to his overseas address. Kwan is now an American citizen.

The ministry added in its statement that Kwan’s 1994 application and subsequent appeal to renounce his Singapore citizenship without serving NS were rejected.

As for 24-year-old Ekawit Tangtrakarn, he had been registered as a citizen at the age of one by his Singaporean mother even though his family had left for Thailand before he was born.

While he gave up his Singapore citizenship in 2015, the Thai national had still breached the Enlistment Act by remaining overseas without an exit permit. Having returned to Singapore to face the music, he pleaded guilty on Tuesday (28 August) to one charge of the offence.

In the light of these reports, Yahoo News Singapore asks: Should the government be more flexible in such instances? Share with us your views.

Related stories:

Thai citizen born in Bangkok pleads guilty to defaulting on NS in Singapore

‘Crazy Rich Asians’ author Kevin Kwan wanted in Singapore for defaulting on national service