I refer to the letter 'Synchronise poly students' NS entry better' by Lee Kok Meng (ST, 29 May). Enlistment for full-time National Service (NS) takes place every quarter. This enables the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force to maintain their operational readiness, and to accommodate the more than 20000 pre-enlistees who complete their studies in different institutions here or abroad and are due for enlistment each year. Those who graduate from polytechnics are mostly enlisted in the quarters beginning June and September. Polytechnic graduates who are enlisted in the September intake can be granted disruption from full-time NS on the principle of equity.
This will allow them to begin their studies at the same university at the same time as those who are enlisted in the June intake. Therefore, polytechnic graduates who are enlisted in the September intake can begin their university studies, either locally or abroad, from July in the year of disruption. Singaporean males are enlisted for two years of full-time NS. They would generally commence their university studies two academic years later than their female classmates. Colonel Darius Lim Director, Public Affairs Ministry of Defence MINDEF's reply was published as "Poly grads can disrupt NS for varsity", The Straits Times, 04 Jun 09