Saturday, December 03, 2005

Today : Mindef considers stiffer penalties for Singaporeans evading National Service

I read the Today's article on the Melvyn Tan issue.

The following Teo Chee Hean's remark is most enlightening:

"There are different classes of cases and in the class that Melvyn Tan fell in, the courts had decided not to impose custodial sentences."

Yes of course we cannot expect ordinary Singaporeans to be punished the same way as elite foreign pianists - this is perfectly consistent with how our society operates. Wonder the other 'classes' are?

See how good our govt is. They have realised that the crime of evading NS should be dealt with the same way we deal with drug trafficking. If we can kill a person by imposing a mandatory death sentence, why should there be flexibility in sentencing for evasion of NS.

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Mindef considers stiffer penalties for Singaporeans evading National Service By S. Ramesh, Channel NewsAsia

01 December 2005 1945 hrs

SINGAPORE : The Defence Ministry is reviewing penalties imposed on those who evade National Service, with the view of asking for stiffer sentences including jail for those who deliberately and knowingly evade National Service. Defence Minister Teo Chee Hean is in favour of firm sentences, saying it is important a strong signal is sent that National Service is an obligation Singaporeans should fulfill. His comment comes in the wake of reactions to the recent case of painist Melvyn Tan who was fined for evading National Service. Each year between five and 20 cases of Singaporeans who evade national service go to the courts. Mr Teo said: "There are a number of ways we can do this. If we need to change the law, we have to, of course, go back to Parliament. We could also press for custodial sentences, that is also possible. "In the past, we have not been pressing for custodial sentences, but we need to consider whether that's something we want to do. "In the case of Melvyn Tan, the way he was dealt with is exactly the same as the way that other people in similar circumstances as him were dealt with, both by Mindef and by the courts and the sentencing for people in these circumstances has generally been a fine. There are different classes of cases and in the class that Melvyn Tan fell in, the courts had decided not to impose custodial sentences." Mr Teo said he appreciated the very strong support that Singaporeans show for National Service, and the recognition that National Service is a very important part of keeping Singapore safe and secure. "I also understand the unhappiness that many Singaporeans have expressed over what seems to be an ability for some Singaporeans to evade NS responsibilities. It is something we need to address," he added. - CNA/de

4 comments:

ereserves said...

no, lucky. Melvyn Tan is a SPECIAL exception because he has the potential to be groomed into an prominent political figure!! In accordance to the inspiring words of Teo Chee Hean, we have to be thankful for this existence of class system, for it drives singaporeans to achieve great things to forge for a better future!!!
MM LeeKY has great foresight to see potential in a piano player who lived abroad for many years!

we are singaporeans, no questions please.

Anonymous said...

i belong to no class :(

Chin Ho Seh said...

Gahmen is right. So many people so angry with pianist because of “the very strong support that Singaporeans show for National Service”. Then, why not extend the period of NS? Like that everyone who condemned pianist can serve longer and show even stronger support for NS.

From the US of A said...

You guys think this Melvyn Tan is the only one who skipped NS? I believe there are thousands who are living abroad in the same situation. If the govt gonna make it harder for them, they can never come back to see their family and friends back in Singapore.