Readers of TR,
I believe I am not the only person doing his best to balance between reservist, work, family and study life. The government encourages us to study and so I did a part-time degree in UniSim with government grant.
However I am experiencing such difficult and unreasonable situations with my reservist deferment unit. Ever since I started studying last year, I found out that I’m not eligible for deferment because it is not a local university like NTU/NUS/SMU. However, in order to be eligible for grant, it has to be a local university in which UniSim is recognised by the Government. But its not a university recognised by Mindef. I wonder why is there a difference in view between Mindef and the Government?
Mindef officers later called me to work out with my commander(CO), I believe them at first. On the first day, I was told by CO that I should planned out my study without affecting my NS work. He does not understand that studying part-time(night class) in Unisim also have to do the assignments and submit them. If I’m not able to leave for class, how am I able to study effectively and submit assignments which will affect my grades? He does not have an answer and was bent on NOT working with me.
On Mindef’s website, they mentioned that if you have ROMs/local wedding, you can get deferred. This year is a good year for me to get married. Therefore I applied for deferment. However, I get a different opinion once again from my Unit and Mindef views. The same commander and other officers rejected my marraige deferment this year. They said I have to work out with my commander again. I doubt that is going to happen.
For 2 straight years, I get caught in these kind of situations. I have not been following much on army news but I recall Mindef is transforming. However, all I see is that it is transforming into a more harsh, critical and less understanding organization and that the peoples’ best interests are not served.
So much of the talk about growing Singapore’s population.
Editor’s note: Letter was published verbatim.