SINGAPORE - When the National Service Recognition Award was first announced in 2010, many operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) looked forward to receiving it.
While I was not eligible for the awards for the first two "milestones", I thought I would receive the $3,000 Central Provident Fund (CPF) contribution upon completing my operationally ready NS training cycle (the final milestone).
The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) notified me that I had completed my operationally ready NS training on April 25, and I waited eagerly for the funds to be credited into my CPF account.
When this did not happen after two months, I wrote to the NS online portal.
The SCDF replied that I was not eligible for the payment as my last in-camp training (ICT) was in 2009, before the announcement of the award.
There were four years between my last ICT and the end of my training cycle, and the decision not to call me up for ICT lay entirely with the SCDF.
Why should I be penalised for a decision that was not within my control?
I understand that there is no policy stating that NSmen must finish 10 ICTs before completing the training cycle.
Does this mean units can use this loophole and not call up NSmen during the last stage of their training cycle, to avoid paying out the award?
I am sure that my unit of 250 men was not the only one affected.
Why is there no official policy statement or clarification to address this issue?
I hope the relevant agencies can relook the eligibility of NSmen who are in a similar situation.
Leslie Teo Chin Hin
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