Indian national and Singapore permanent resident Thirumal Pavithran, 25, was jailed for ten weeks on 20 Jun, after defaulting on his National Service (NS) obligations for more than five years.
He pleaded guilty to four charges under the Enlistment Act as he defaulted on his NS obligations to complete his secondary and university education in India.
Between 2010 and 2011, Thirumal has failed to register for full-time NS and report for the mandatory medical screening. Later in 2011, he warranted a police gazette against him after visiting Singapore for about a week before returning to India.
In 2012, Thirumal was stopped by the police and placed under arrest when he touchdown Singapore. He was then registered for NS, attended the medical examination, and instructed to report at the Basic Military Training Centre on 12 Mar 2013.
On the day of his enlistment, he requested a deferment for his enlistment, saying that he was studying in India and would be completing his secondary education in May 2013. After which, he would begin his university education in June 2013.
The Central Manpower Branch allowed him to defer his NS till 31 May 2013, for him to complete his secondary education in India. However, the branch emphasised that he was not eligible for deferment for his university studies.
Despite this, Thirumal did not report for NS on 13 Jun 2013, a fresh police gazette was issued as a result.
He completed his university education in India in Jun 2016 and returned to Singapore the same month. Thirumal reported to the Central Manpower Branch in Jul 2016, enlisted into full-time NS and completed his service in May this year.
He is now serving his sentence.
“All male Singapore citizens and permanent residents have a duty to serve NS,” The Ministry of Defence stressed. “If we allow Singapore citizens or PRs who are overseas to evade NS or to choose when they want to serve NS, we are not being fair to the vast majority of our national servicemen who serve their country dutifully, and the institution of NS will be undermined.”
For failing to fulfil liabilities under the Enlistment Act, offenders could be jailed for up to three years, or fined a maximum of S$10,000, or both.