Tuesday, March 22, 2011

New Male Citizens Can Aspire to Political Office Without NS

New Male Citizens Can Aspire to Political Office Without NS


The first official batch of PAP candidates to be unveiled included Dr. Janil Puthucheary which became a citizen in 2008. According to media reports, he settled in Singapore in 2001, presumably got his PR sometime between 2001 and 2008 before being sworn in as a newly minted Singapore citizen.

This is not new, the Health Minister Khaw Boon Wan is also a ex-Malaysian who became a Singapore citizen and is now in the cabinet.

It is interesting to note that in Singapore, it appears not to be a liability to standing for political office if you have not served your country in the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force or the Singapore Civil Defence Force as many of us born and bred Singaporean male citizens have.

In the US, previous President George W Bush was in the National Guard. President John F Kennedy served in a patrol boat in Vietnam and Senator McCain who was the Republican nominee for the US Presidential elections in 2008. US politicians who have served their countries military typically have in their campaign publicity materials trumpeting this fact as evidence of their record in serving the country.

We currently have many ex-SAF generals/admirals in the likes of Foreign Minster George Yeo, DPM Teo Chee Hean etc.

Only in Singapore do we have aspiring politicians who gun for public office not worrying too much that they have never served their country under its mandatory conscription policy. In US, many who volunteer to serve in the US military do so in order to obtain citizenship. Over here, you can aspire for political office under the auspices of the PAP even if your citizenship tenure is shorter than the average 10 years served in reservist plus 2 to 2.5 years in full-time national service by most Singaporean male citizens.

Majullah Singapura.

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