All NS men treated equally regardless of background: Ng Eng Hen
20 October 2011
SINGAPORE: Singapore's Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said his ministry is acutely aware that all NS men must be treated equally, regardless of their background.
Dr Ng said the equal treatment for national service has been and must remain a cardinal principle, because without strict adherence to this fundamental tenet, the commitment to NS will be severely eroded and the institution of NS weakened.
Replying to questions in Parliament on the disruption of Dr Patrick Tan, the son of President Tony Tan Keng Yam, Dr Ng said the disruption was in accordance with prevailing policies to obtain his medical degree. Also, a longer period was granted to those admitted to US medical schools.
He assured Singaporeans that neither Dr Patrick Tan, nor any other individual who has disrupted, was given any preferential treatment because of their "connections".
Dr Ng said the policy to allow full time national servicemen to disrupt for medical studies in Singapore dates back to 1973. However, he added that from 1992, disruption for overseas medical studies was no longer allowed as the number of local medical graduates had met SAF's needs.
Dr Patrick Tan deferred his NS for 12 years for a PhD. He re-enlisted in 2000 after having obtained both his medical degree and PhD, and was deployed to the Defence Medical Research Institute in view of his training.
Dr Ng said: "There was no preferential treatment given to Patrick Tan, or any other individual who has disrupted, because of their 'connections'. Let me emphasise to all, including commanders on the ground, that no NS man should be accorded preferential treatment.
"I would like to further assure Singaporeans that Mindef implements a policy of selective disruption for university studies fairly and openly, in accordance with existing criteria. Mindef shall henceforth publish the list of all those disrupted for university (education) annually on a routine basis for public scrutiny."
Isn’t it amazing that the sort of crabs one can says.
Can MINDEF please explain why did you ask me to declare do I have a relative in the SAF and if so what is his/her rank on the first day of my recruit life if there is no preference treatment?
Oh I forgot Cedric Foo answered that a few years ago, he practically said MINDEF indentified white horses so to ENSURE they will not be given preference treatment.
Dumb ass! If really no preference treatment, there should not be any identification at all so commanders have to be fair to each and every soldier.
Ng Eng Hen is beating around the bush here when trying to explain Toni’s Son case.
Basically he just blamed it on old policies.
He failed to explain base on what did Patrick was granted his disruption, he failed to give a statistic on how many applied and rejected during that periods and who is in the committee that review these.
Was Tony Tan the then Minister of Defence in the reviewing committee? If not did the committee know Patrick was Toni’s Son?
This is important as, Gosh! Who will reject your boss son’s application you tell me.
Eng Hen also failed to tell us how many other were given a 12 years deferrer and how many others were posted to Defence Medical Research doing lab work while attaining a Sergeant rank during National Service.
Was this post specially created for Patrick? If not which other NSF were in this position before and after Patrick and please do also tell us what Patrick contributed during his time there.
We are not stupid like you Eng Hen.