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Modest NS Changes to Reflect the Sacrificial Spirit for NS!

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  • Queen of sgForums
    驚世駭俗醜不啦嘰 moderatress
    FireIce's Avatar
    265,961 posts since Dec '99
    • SINGAPORE - Polytechnic students are likely to start their national service in May or August next year, a month earlier than usual, said Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen in Parliament yesterday.

      The proposed change, which will affect an annual intake of some 11,000 polytechnic students, is one of 30 recommendations by the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS), which released its report last week.

      Their implementation, including enhanced benefits for NSmen, is expected to cost about $4.5 billion over the next decade, Dr Ng said. It is a move that will have a "huge administrative impact" and require "significant investment" from the Defence Ministry, he said. About 24,500 servicemen are enlisted annually.

      "My SAF commanders are sweating over this... Each batch is about five, six, seven thousand, and they're wondering how do we do this."

      But enlisting these students earlier means they get into the workforce earlier. For those who enlist in September and are bound for local universities at the end of their two years in August, they will no longer need to disrupt their NS, he said, speaking at the debate on the President's Address.

      Junior college and Institute of Technical Education students will also benefit from a shorter waiting time, as the Singapore Armed Forces aims to enlist 90 per cent of its incoming recruits in a four-month window, up from 45 per cent now.

      If these suggestions are accepted, they could take effect as early as the middle of next year, said Dr Ng, who chaired the CSNS. Such changes will bring "substantial" benefits to servicemen and Singapore, he noted.

      Earlier in his speech, Dr Ng also highlighted the importance of NS to building a credible SAF, since national servicemen form the bulk of the fighting force.

      He observed that Singapore is one of the few countries that has sustained its conscript system - for 47 years, as other states gradually phased them out, due to waning public support or to reap peace dividends. He attributed Singapore's success to the NSmen who had discharged their duties, and high levels of public support.

      Despite that, the CSNS pressed on with its work, to ensure that NS remains "responsive and relevant to a new generation of millennial national servicemen".

      "Better to hear them now and adjust policies, rather than wait and assume previous policies will work even when circumstances have changed," said Dr Ng.

      For instance, family sizes have shrunk, work life is more hectic and more Singaporeans aspire to higher education. "Motivating national servicemen will have to change. Especially when this new generation has no direct experience of our early struggles."

      He also welcomed positive feedback on the committee's work and explained the rejection of certain suggestions. "For example, priority places in primary schools... if we give priority to all NSmen then nobody gets priority."

      On the additional benefits the committee recommended, he noted: "The benefits we give must reflect the right values of service... (they) must never dilute the spirit of service - that is for duty, honour and country."




  • charlize's Avatar
    31,782 posts since Mar '05
  • claudialovespink's Avatar
    5 posts since May '14
    • CSNS Recommendations

      A Strong NS Training System

      • Strengthen the NS training system by employing an additional 1,100 Regulars in the SAF, and 230 Regulars in the SPF and SCDF, to improve training and inculcate values more effectively. These Regulars will be well-versed in the latest training methods and technology. They can also better emphasise and enforce training safety. As role models, regular trainers will provide our servicemen with a better appreciation of why they train and what they are defending.


      More Opportunities for National Servicemen to Contribute

      • Increase leadership opportunities for our servicemen by raising the proportion of officers and specialists from 30% to 40%, to meet new operational needs.
      • Increase deployment flexibility for NSFs by taking into account skills and preferences when deploying servicemen. This would maximise the contributions of NSFs, provide them with a better NS experience and meet our operational requirements.
      • Provide more leadership opportunities and deployment options for servicemen in service vocations (i.e. non-combat vocations) to enable them to contribute more.
      • Enhance the value proposition of NS by accrediting skills that NSFs gain during NS, and enhancing the Certificate of Service to highlight the competencies and skills gained during full-time NS.
      • Provide opportunities for NSFs to contribute as SAF, SPF and SCDF Regulars on short contracts after they have completed their full-time NS. This will enable NSFs to continue to contribute to the defence and security of Singapore while honing important life skills.
      • Provide scholarships to develop talents in engineering and science who will be able to contribute to the 3rd Generation SAF.
      • Expand opportunities for NSmen with relevant civilian expertise to contribute to national defence and security in their areas of expertise.

      The SAF Volunteer Corps

      • Establish an SAF Volunteer Corps to enable the broader community, especially women, first generation PRs and new citizens, to contribute to defence and strengthen support for NS.

      Recognition and Benefits for National Servicemen

      • Revamp the NS Recognition Award into the NS HOME (HOusing, Medical and Education) Awards to support servicemen in housing, healthcare and education with an additional Medisave component.
      • Provide life and personal accident insurance coverage for our servicemen, to cover incidents during their full-time NS and the period of their ORNS call-ups.


      Expand Community Support for National Servicemen

      • Increase recognition for the families of servicemen, such as through an extension of the Family Recognition Voucher (FRV) scheme. The number of NSmen who are awarded FRVs could be increased from the top 10% to the top 30% of ICT performers. The quantum for the top 10% can also be increased.
      • Introduce small gifts to servicemen at significant milestones of their lives, such as marriage or the birth of their child. Just as NS has become a part of NSmen’s lives, we care for them and celebrate joyous moments in their lives too.
      • Restructure the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence to comprise (i) an Educational Institutions Council; (ii) an Employer and Business Council; and (iii) a Family and Community Council, to deepen stakeholder engagement.
      • Enhance awards for employers and individuals supportive of NS. These awards include the “NS Mark” which recognises companies with pro-NS policies and human resource practices, and could be a factor for consideration when companies bid for MINDEF/SAF and Home Team contracts.
      • Strengthen National Education efforts through the SAF Veterans’ League and Home Team Veterans, to impart core national values to the younger generation and boost community support for defence and security.
      • Expand SAFRA and HomeTeamNS recreational facilities for our servicemen and their families.
      • Improve community recognition by supporting community-led initiatives that recognise servicemen and raise public awareness of NS.
      • Facilitate NSFs’ transition to employment and further studies after they complete full-time NS by expanding the range of companies and institutes of higher learning at career fairs.


      A Positive NS Experience: Easing Administrative Restrictions

      • Partner NSmen to improve their fitness by giving them more time and flexibility to meet their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT), IPPT Preparatory Training and Remedial Training requirements.
      • Increase incentive awards for the attainment of Gold, Silver and Pass with Incentive for IPPT, to recognise servicemen who put in the extra effort to keep fit.
      • Engage schools and educational institutions to help pre-enlistees build up their fitness prior to full-time NS.
      • Reduce enlistment wait-time for pre-enlistees to between four and six months after the completion of post-secondary education.
      • Work with tertiary institutions to explore ways to reduce transition time after full-time NS.
      • Change the MINDEF Notification Centre and Home Team Overseas Notification Centre requirements, such that notification will only need to be given for overseas trips of more than 14 days. This will increase convenience for NSmen.
      • Implement Make-up Training for high-key ICTs, which will allow NSmen to keep pace with their ORNS training cycle.
      • Allow NSmen to use electronic devices such as tablets and laptops during their ICT, in non-sensitive areas within their camps like accommodation blocks and cookhouses. This will help NSmen remain connected to their family and work during ICT.
      • Deepen engagement and communication between commanders and servicemen, to achieve better unit cohesion.
      • Establish NS Relations Offices in the SAF, SPF and SCDF to assist NSmen with complex administrative issues.
      • Harness technology to improve NS-related touch points, such as the NS Portal, to make NS administration more efficient and user-friendly.
      Edited by eac 01 Jun `14, 3:07PM
  • Moderator
    eac's Avatar
    4,047 posts since Dec '03
    • The debate on the President's Address moved to the theme of "Safe and Secure Singapore" on 29 May and Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen shared on the recommendations put forth by the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) and the warm reception they have received.

      "Overall, the response has been positive and the Committee is thankful for this. Some have said that we struck the right tone, by capturing the wide range of sentiments and ideas from the focus group participants.

      "Indeed, we reproduced some of their direct feedback in our report because we wanted to capture the essence of what they said and their main points. The Committee was careful not only to recommend actions that were easy to implement," said Dr Ng.

      Some of the Members of Parliament who welcomed the recommendations earlier in the week included MP for Sembawang GRC Ellen Lee, who said: "The proposed changes show more than due consideration towards Singaporeans who defend us and our homes.

      "They are proof that the nation places great priority on furthering options that will increase their well-being as well as their family's well-being which in turn strengthens their sense of belonging to our nation." Ms Lee is a member of the CSNS working group which looks into recognition and benefits for NS. The other working group looks into boosting support for NS.

      MP for Potong Pasir GRC Sitoh Yih Pin, the newly appointed Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs also voiced his support earlier this week: "The CSNS... is making some very far-reaching proposals that will strengthen Singaporeans' support for NS.

      "I am glad that the Government is not content with what it has achieved and continues to strive to make NS even more relevant and to secure more support and buy-in from not just Singaporeans, but... (also) employers and companies that hire Singaporeans."

      If accepted by the Government, the CSNS recommendations will bring about substantial recognition to national servicemen, and more importantly, boost Singapore's defence. The recommendations will cost about $4.5 billion over the next decade to implement.

      One of the recommendations called for 90 percent of all future NS cohorts to be enlisted within four months of leaving school. The remaining will be enlisted within six months.

      This is a significant commitment from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), said Dr Ng in Parliament on 29 May. "Such recommendations have a huge administrative impact."

      He noted: "If accepted by the Government, this could be implemented as early as the middle of next year." Every year, the SAF typically calls up NS-liable males in June and September. These will be brought forward to May and August, respectively.

      The recommendations also included a call for the SAF to better match the skills of enlistees to their eventual vocations. "For the first time, we will ask NSFs (Full-time National Servicemen) to indicate their preferred vocation," said Dr Ng.

      "This is another headache which my commanders are grappling with. Similarly for the SPF (Singapore Police Force) and SCDF (Singapore Civil Defence Force)," he said.

      But Dr Ng cautioned: "Any time we give choice to everyone, not all will get their first or even second choice."

      He elaborated: "The Committee deliberated this, said even though some, not all, will get their first and second choice... this should not deter us. Because giving choice will better match aptitudes to vocations and allow people who want to contribute in areas that they think they have strength in to do so."

      Speaking for the continued importance of NS in Singapore's fabric, Dr Ng said: "Singapore remains one of very few countries able to sustain an NS system... Others have dismantled their NS systems, not because threats disappeared but because public support waned.

      "NS support (in Singapore) has been built on the service of 900,000 national servicemen who have discharged their NS duties. Everyone faithfully, dutifully, did his duties."

      Dr Ng also paid tribute to all NSmen. "Here we want to place on record the appreciation of this House for all the national servicemen who have served, and recognition of their contributions."

  • digimonfan2008's Avatar
    212 posts since Apr '08
    • Yup very minor changes nia, like no change almost.

      btw I read 2 years to clear IPPT, does this mean I only need to serve once RT (20 RT sessions) for 2 years? This part they never mention.

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