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Thursday August 23rd 2018

Mother worries for son on PR status getting NS enlistment due to a hearing ailment


Hello all,

I need some help here.

Would like to ask a question, not sure where to find the answer and  hopeful that someone might give me an answer or show me direction.

My son is having moderate hearing loss and has to use hearing aids to help him hear.

He is also not allowed to swimming as he had surgery done on his ears and there is a slight hole in the eardrum. So doctors mentioned that he cannot do swimming or he will  get water into the ears which will in turn cause an infection.

His chance of any hearing improvement is very slim. Moreover he has a genetic condition, because of this, his facial features are quite different, the eyes are not complete like all of us, but end of his eyes are being cut and when you see his eyes, you see them like a oval cut at the right side (he does not have a bend at the corner of his eyes like we all and his face is quite small, all the organs like being squeezed).

Anyway, because of the facial features, he is being make fun/bullied by his class mates (as monkey face ) so  I am worried if he will be bullied in NS by his fellow members.

He is also very sensitive to cold and for the weather here in Singapore when it turns cool, he will be down with flu, – so every 3 months we will visit the doctor and every 6-9 months he will be having one surgery or the other to his ears.

Even now for bath, he wears shower cap so that water does not go into his ears.

He will be reaching the age where he will get the letter for the enlistment…I was told that once he gets the letter he cannot be away from Singapore for long period and that permission must be taken from MINDEF.

Other than that, I did not find any other health issues but is still worried about the training as sometimes they have to do a run through the rain etc.

Will he get any deferment/any exemption for part of the training where he cannot go into water/rain etc? I was trying to read through articles and forums but still could not find anything.

He is currently on PR status and we want to take up citizenship or continue his PR. We are for this NS stint, but worried about his health issues.

We are keen to apply citizenship for him or continue with his PR and we would like him to  do NS. This was our earlier thought.

But recently I was diagnosed with a rare heart condition and now I am in a limbo. In case I go back to my home town and my son still holds PR/SC, he will have to come to Singapore for NS on his own. Before I was diagnosed, we are fine with the idea, my husband and I can stay here for 2 years while my son goes for NS. I don’t know how bad the heart condition is, I might have to be on oxygen 24 X 7, cannot do my own work and may even need some one to help me on daily routine.

Because of this, I may not be able to find employment in Singapore to be financially stable for two years.

By cancelling his PR, we will close the door on his future chances here (either work or studies).

Also, his sister has heart condition as well.

So will he be doing front line combat duties?

Will the NS check for genetic and parental conditions?

If his hearing does not improve and he has to wear hearing aids or he has moderate hearing loss, will there be any NS front line action he has to undertake?

Will there be any deferment/exemption given based on his condition? Or will he have to do the combat training?

Does any one know how can we approach the issue?



Sorry to hear of your illness.

1. He will almost certainly be awarded a medical exemption if this is a genuinely permanent disability and he is deaf enough not to understand commands etc. If he is taken in to NS he will most likely end up in a paper work job or possibly civil defence, His appearance doesn’t count but it sounds like he simply will fail out medically. There are some damn ugly NS men and if he uses humour and other tools to deflect the bullying I’m sure he can cope.

2. Given the above – I encourage you to try to keep him in Singapore and as early as possible (after he turns 16.5) consider sending him in for early enrolment at CMPB. They will examine him, give him a deferment and then you don’t need to worry about him leaving Singapore or doing NS. If for some reason he DOES pass medical then decide when he should do the NS (i.e. before or after ITE/Poly). It’s possible that CMPB may insist he report back again after 18 but considering his permanent deafness I expect he’ll get a permanent exemption or a very poor PES which will exempt him from anything but inside work. Another idea might be to find a GP who has some experience of the PES grading and see if he can judge if your son is a PES F grade (permanent disability). … nt-scheme/ … dards-pes/

3. Don’t give up his PR. If you’re really not well and pass away for your son to be in Singapore where he can complete his education and find work is probably far better than returning to your home country. Once you give up his PR he has no chance to stay in Singapore and work or study.


Editor’s note: This article is extracted from a comment posted on Singapore Expats forum.

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4 Responses to “Mother worries for son on PR status getting NS enlistment due to a hearing ailment”

  1. National Service is the best thing that can happen to a boys life..He will be a man. He will learn more than anyone that disagree think of.
    I miss my NS days.. My life change for the good. It’s lucky that the welfare and pay they receive these days are more than my time.
    A person will get stonger, gain confidence and a lot more.
    During NS is the last phase in life that someone is looking after you. once you are finish, than you are on your own… When reservice call, think of it as holiday camp and meet your learn even more by sharing expirence..
    I did that and now OH i really wish i can go back in time and redo everything.. :)
    If you are afraid, just get it over and done…you’ll never know till you try it right?

    • You Die Your Business says:

      I absolutely disagree with the previous poster speaking as though NS is a bed of roses.

      It is NOT.

      Recall the increasing news of army boys losing their lives in there?

      Plus she herself is in poor health, and may not even be able to stay gainfully employed. If her condition worsen, how can she be there emotionally / financially for her son if he faces issues during his NS obligations?

      I don’t understand why this mother will want to subject her son to all these potential suffering.

      What is so lucrative and wonderful about life in Singapore for her to put her son’s life at risk?

      She really ought to reconsider her options, and maybe nurse herself to better health in her home country first, she can still return to Singapore thereafter if she still wishes to live here.

      PS: PNGMK is a snob who openly disrespects and looks down on Singaporeans in that forum.

  2. Jia Ming says:

    Hi! Madam,

    Your worries for your son are similar to most mothers who seek the best for their child. But you should not be worrying and let it goes in its way. Just bear in mind not to create anything illegal in order for your son to achieve what you wanted him to achieve. Based on the writing, I found you are getting more worry than your son. As you are also having a problem with your health, you should learn to better managed it. Just because your son has hearing problems does not mean he could not solve his own problems. There are a lot more people having more disabilities. The reply from the editor mentioned if your son is not deem fit for NS, the government will never force or cancel his PR. I was physically very thin when I was called into NS. I was not called to serve physically tough NS but became a clerk in the army. For a male Singaporean serving NS is part of our contribution to the country. But when you are not fit to serve does not mean you are not good enough to be a Singaporean. There are other areas a Singaporean can contribute to the nation. My only concern is not your son but you. Take care of yourself, Madam.

  3. Michael says:

    Dun worry, Almond. Just tell your son to display his illness and medical conditions when he goes for pre-enlistment checkup, dun act tough and gungho, just display his conditions in a normal manner.

    After he lands on a desk job in army, it will be plain sailing. He can report sick daily to tend to his illness.

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