SINGAPORE - Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen stated that to ensure that the SAF's operational readiness is not compromised, it may not always be possible to align its full-time National Service (NS) period to suit the needs of all National Servicemen.
This is in response to Mr Zainal Sapari's parliamentary question regarding NS registration and matriculation waiting time.
Dr Ng explained that NS enlistment is carried out over four quarterly intakes starting in December, March, June and September. In general, Junior College (JC) students enlist in the December and March intakes, and wait about a few weeks to three months after their JC studies. Polytechnic students who complete their studies in March are enlisted in the June and September intakes, and wait about three to six months.
About 55 per cent of JC and Polytechnic students are enlisted in the earlier intake. A small number of National Servicemen are enlisted later than their educational peers as further investigations for medical conditions are required to determine their physical employment status.
He said that while MINDEF regularly reviews measures to reduce the time interval between completion of full-time NS and local university studies, some factors are beyond MINDEF's control, such as the start date of universities and the place of study which the NS men choose.
In general, Australian Universities begin term in February, while US and UK Universities begin in September and October respectively.