NS evaders could soon face jail time for evading the duties of being a Singaporean son.
A recent case saw Joseph Chow a 25 year old pay a fine of $4,500 after he completed his NS in August this year. Joseph who had been studying in Australia to help cope with his diagnosed attention deficit disorder, failed to show up after initial deferment for his tertiary education was rejected.
He had moved to Australia to study when he was 15 to be enrolled in Murdoch College as they had a programme that to help manage his disorder. at the age of 18 he was notified that he had to return to Singapore to serve his NS, he deferred and was successful initially. However MINDEF had only issued the deferment for his foundation course and not the entire tertiary education.
Joseph returned to Singapore voluntarily two months after he graduated from University. He served his NS and was only fined upon completion. He received positive testimonials from his commanding officers while he served.
However prosecutors have called the fine inadequate as it sends a message to other males that they could get away with a fine if they were to evade and return after they’ve passed the eligible age for service. Prosecutors are pushing for a jail term of four months that can be adjusted accordingly depending on the severity of the situation.
Justice Chan Seng Onn has reserved his judgement for later.