Mindef Delivers Smackdown To NSMan Denied Exit Permit
The long list of Singaporeans trying their best to avoid their military commitments just got a new addition. This time, a NSman has turned to The Straits Times’ forum page to outline his failure obtain an exit permit for overseas employment.
Mr Mervyn Chan Ping wrote to the ST forum, possibly in an attempt to gain some sympathy and supporters for his rant about Mindef’s treatment of him.
He succeeded…. for about two days.
Mindef promptly released their side of the story on Friday (March 10), debunking Mr Chan’s story — and adding some information he conveniently missed out. Turns out, the original letter was little more than a cherry-picking of the details.
The First Letter
On Mar 7, Mr Chan wrote a rather sympathetic letter to The Straits Times’ Forum page. He claimed to have lost a job opportunity in Manila because of his inability to gain permission to work overseas from Mindef. An exit permit, essential for a prolonged overseas stay, was also withheld from him.
According to the Mindef website, when a Singaporean/Permanent Resident male completes national service, he is given the status of Operationally Ready and is eligible for reservist cycles each year for up to 40 days.
Within this period, if he wishes to travel overseas for more than 6 months, he needs to apply for an exit permit, which would exempt him from reservist duties. Leaving Singapore without authorisation is a chargeable offence.
Hate Storm Ensues
As expected, the forum post stirred some commotion, and many netizens were quick to share their bad experiences with reservist or simply to join the hate train.
There were those who sympathised with Mr Chan and told him to seek more help before giving up, lest the scenario were to repeat itself.
We hope you weren’t one of the critics, though, because oh how the tables were turned.
Cat’s Out Of The Bag
The highly anticipated response from Mindef was delivered by none other than director of manpower Lee Chung Wei, who justified Mr Chan’s permit denial.
In his reply, Mr Lee revealed that Mr Chan had actually used similar reasons to apply for exit permits thrice in the past, all of which were successful.
But he was discovered to have been residing in Singapore when he was supposed to have been living overseas. Moreover, Mr Chan had an outstanding disciplinary offence. These factors were the cause for the denial of his latest exit permit.
How nice of you to conveniently forget to include this piece of information, Mr Chan.
Yep. Those of you who were having a field day scrutinizing Mindef, a slice of humble pie should do you good. It’s not their fault this time.
Of course, there are a few of you who might want to rush down to buy a lottery ticket because you totally called it this time.
Two Sides Of The Coin
This is truly a lesson to listen to both sides of the story before coming to a conclusion. Singaporeans should strive to be critical thinkers who process what they read, and not be a blind consumer of news, to ensure that they are not being misled by a lack of information/wrong information.
This is Desmen.
Desmen is a critical thinker.
Be like Desmen.
However, if you want to be different, opt to be like this person instead, who decided to ask a math question amid the commotion.
We sincerely hope that you choose to be the former.
Featured image from Mindef