SAF needs to stop treating NSmen like slaves/ mercenaries if Singapore is to defend herself successfully.
It is absurd that SAF reservist remuneration schemes seems to discredit the objective military appointments/ performance of NSmen gleaned from their 2.5yrs of NSF training experience and prefers to remunerate NSmen in a very biased, subjective manner based upon their civilian salaries (commercial worth), as if SAF were some medieval colonial naval entity heavily involved in slave trading, the employment of mercenaries and other immoral/ illicit activities (e.g. the kidnapping slaves from Africa, British India Company forcibly importing Opium into China).
I say this because for SAF to remain a cohesive fighting force of professional and committed men of at least 2yrs full time military training, SAF has to professionalise/ personalise its NSmen remuneration schemes, rather than irresponsibly attach a reservist soldier's value to his commercial value: since this only encourages generations of NSmen to find excuses to downgrade/ avoid military liabilities in lieu of striving for a higher civilian salary, as evidenced in the fact that an unbelievable >60% of NSmen have since successfully applied for medical downgrades, so serious, "Vast majority of NSmen not even fit to take physical fitness test(?let alone able to pass it?)."
It is my suspicion that the currently irrelevant and unmeritocratic way in which Singaporean NSmen are remunerated
severely distorts the values and objectives of the SAF to the extent that many see the SAF as designed to defend the commercial interest of the rich and affluent rather than the welfare and wellbeing of all Singaporeans: since by current reservist remuneration criteria, lower regular waged NSmen get the short end of the stick (no matter if they has worked hard during NSF or serve in critical high risk/ responsibility duties in NS).
I thus suggest that for all bonafide NSmen trainings, test/ examinations not of a remedial/ punitive nature, a minimum pro-rata of the equivalent ranked/ appointment regular serviceman salary be paid and the concept of make up pay be retired.
(WRT remedial training/ re-test due to poor performance/ failure to perform to defined standards, only the usual service pay ought be paid).
I reference the following facts to define my case:
According to 'Overview of Operationally Ready National Serviceman (NSmen) Payment': 'Service Pay': ...The NSman will be paid pro-rated service pay depending on the duration of his NS training. A minimum sum equivalent to half-day service pay will be paid for NS activity of 4 hours or less.http://www.ns.sg/cs/content/eService..._overview.html
The following slide is sourced from http://www.ns.sg/cs/content/eService...ing_slides.pdf
, titled: 'NSmen Payments Matters', Updated in Jun 15, NSmen Payments Centre, MINDEF Shared Services)
In essence, I suspect that not few NSmen are indeed being paid BOTH service pay as well as their normal full monthly salaries by their companies (company claims this from SAF but SAF does not reclaim service pay from NSman) resulting in a significantly biased remuneration scheme which can only be better explained with the example of SAF being a medieval corporate entity, with subjects(NSmen) being divided into 2 distinct classes of slaves (only paid pittance 'service-pay/ allowance') vs the mercenaries (receive their hourly ransome PLUS allowance).
This kind of blatant, inequitable double standard treatment
will certainly severely penalize NSmen who are retrenched, studying, between jobs, sabbatical leave, house husbands, taking care of ill relatives, unstable income source or paid lump sum fees at intervals with no formal documentation, project based work in across different continents, structurally under-employed, anyone without black-white proof of regular salary/ too onerous to declare locally, un/ underpaid due to poor-business/ failure etc and cause NSmen to view the SAF as an economic tool/ device to prop up GDP statistics at all costs: thus subjugating the professionalism of a robust fighting force to the short term concern of boosting commercial (GDP) statistics.
The internet seems pretty rife with discussions along the lines, e.g. of "Minimum pay(salary) to evade ICT"
It is thus my heartfelt suggestion that in objective recognition for an NSman's sweat and toil during his 2-2.5yrs of NS fulltime (NSF) training, for whatever bonafide reservist test, trainings or courses and NSman should undergo, the pro rata equivalent of a regular serviceman's salary ought be paid in recognition for the skill and sacrifices an NSman has made.
Let the following negative reactions to NS be the exception rather than the norm that the majority of lower wage earning NSmen feel inside, let every Singaporean not feel shortchanged by NS. Lower wage Singaporeans should not have their past military experience discounted and high wage Singaporeans should not use NS as an opportunity to profit more than deserved.
Young NSF recruit enlistees must enter with the mindset that no matter what their future economic fortunes/ misfortunes, they would always be equitably remunerated for their reservist postings/ trainings and that exaggerating medical conditions to evade reservist liabilities in lieu improving one's commercial value does not pay.
Where NSmen perceive SAF as a professional organisation both in conduct and in remuneration of NSmen, a good reputation of SAF amongst NSmen would automatically follow.
](alt photo reserve
Since NS is a duty and by definition involuntary, all reservists ought to be compensated pro-rata the equivalent regular serviceman (in equivalent appointment) salary, whatever one earns in civilian job capacity ought to be discounted for the 2 weeks or so reservist service and the economically well off shouldn't grumble but either perform the duties to their best ability or suggest to their manpower officer how NS could be better diversified and themselves be better deployed to perhaps new NS vocations serving the community at large: e.g. as accountants for charities, nurses and therapist in hospitals or even the training in new vocations to adopt new appoints during reservist e.g. logistics officer for someone now employed as logistician etc etc:
(PS: All info referenced is official released/ publicly available and retrieved via Google search in internet, no secret military info referenced/ revealed here).