Mr Leong Mun Wai: To ask the Minister for Defence of the males who have become Singapore citizens by registration since 2000 (a) what is the percentage of those who are not required to serve National Service; and (b) what do they do to fulfil their obligation to share in the defence burden of our country.
Minister for Defence, Dr Ng Eng Hen:
Under the Enlistment Act, all male Singapore Citizens and Permanent Residents between the ages of 18 to 40 for non-officers and 50 for officers are liable to serve National Service (NS). However, males who receive citizenship as mature adults, typically in their 30s and 40s, are not enlisted as they are not suitable for full-time NS at that age and did not enjoy any benefits prior to their citizenship.
New male citizens who stayed in Singapore when young and enjoyed economic and social benefits are enlisted when they reach 18 years of age or older. They number on average 3,400 each year, which constitute about half of all new male citizens registered each year.