HOW BEST TO LEARN FROM OTHERS – NS

1) ST reported that SG Defense Minister is leading a delegation from the Committee to Strengthen National Service to visit several European countries as part of the committee’s effort to study the best practices on NS in other countries.

2) Good to send delegations overseas to learn and see how others work. But I urge the delegation to come up with a public report to be shared in Parliament and share with the country – to share they had learnt and of those practices, which are possible consideration for implementation in SG.

3) Following deliberations and discussions, I hope the committee will come up with yet another public report to be shared again in Parliament, on which of the measures would eventually be implemented in SG, and also to provide rationales for why the other initially thought “implementable” practices are not to be implemented.

4) It is important for the committee to share its findings in a public report to Parliament because all the measures learnt, and perhaps implemented, will affect all servicemen, who are Singaporeans. Singaporeans have a right to know which practices did the committee learnt, and which will be implemented, and which not, and why were they not implemented.

5) Singaporeans have the right to know because the SAF is maintained by taxpayers’ monies, and served by generations after generations of taxpayers’ sons, who themselves will eventually be contributing to the SAF (like all other Singaporeans) as taxpayers! It is a lifelong commitment to SAF and its efforts to defend SG!

5) It is important for the committee and the government as a whole for any matter, to adopt this level of accountability and transparency whenever they embark on trips to learn from other countries. The Parliament is the best setting for such sharing for it is a forum where the democratically elected representatives of the people sit, and their primary role is to represent and safeguard the interest and the welfare of the people. Opportunities should then be also given to MPs to query on the findings. Only with debates on matters, can the public understand any issues better.

6) I hope there will be such a public report in Parliament for the current trip to study the best practices on NS in other countries. I certainly look forward to it.

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