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Sunday March 24th 2019

Concerned mother asks SCDF to discharge mentally-ill son from national service

Dear CPT Yusof, SCDF

With reference to our tele-conversation yesterday morning. I would like to update you regarding Ian’s overall health conditions. He takes after my father who has a history of mental instability, though Ian’s condition is not as serious at the moment.

He has a wild, untamed mind. Thoughts are quite random, he can swing from one emotional extreme to the next in a matter of minutes, very reactive and it does not take much to trigger him especially under stress. Many volcanoes big and small waiting to erupt at the slightest provocation, be it words or situation.

He has very low self-esteem and he is afraid of people. He dislikes crowd and getting him to Orchard Road is nightmarish for him. He is constantly anxious and has a violent nature as he imagines that people are there to attack him or have high expectations of him that he feels he cannot meet. Whenever he cannot get what he wants he will get into a fit. His brother used to be his punching bag or he will destroy things.

He has a problem focusing and following though both in school and at work. He is constantly miserable and life is not worth living.

He has asthma at the age of three, genetic. Chronic eczema due to emotional stress and/or food/medication induced. Alleged to immunization as these trigger his asthma and/or eczema.

The recent NS enlistment puts a tremendous toll on his mental capacity to handle his thoughts and emotions. Some of his random thoughts are as follows:-

1. He wanted me to help him ran away.
2. He asked his brother and me to either break his arms or legs so he can escape NS.
3. He wanted to check into mental hospital and asked us for help.
4. He wants to max out his life and commit suicide.
5. He fist-fight with his father.

Recently these are the main thoughts that have been tormenting him. He takes refuge in cigarette, movies, computer games, music, reading and drawing which did not last long. Much effort was put into persuading, encouraging, inspiring, and motivating him to finally change his mind and get enlisted into NS.

He wanted to run away again this time as he felt that he is being treated like an animal in SCDF. His officials scream strings of vulgarities at everyone and him. He is not allow to express himself. Just follow instructions without questions. To him this is the epitome of living Hell.

It is very sad that he had to break a law to obey a law here in Singapore. Unfortunately or fortunately cannabis helps him stay very centered and calm, without which he would be another causality of our regimental society.

Both my husband and myself are at our wit’s end. In fact, we are constantly fighting over what is the correct and proper way to guide and bring him up. We belong to the poor income family as my husband is a taxi driver and myself a masseur. We can hardly make ends meet let alone send him for psychiatric treatment here in Singapore.

On the bright side, Ian is a very intelligent boy, too intelligent for his own good. He questions everything you tell him or ask him to do or follow. He has a very sharp and focus mind (when not escaping) when he is balance and when he is not afraid. He writes and draws well and can excel in anything he is inspired to. He responds well to people who can walk their talk. These people inspires him tremendously.

Unfortunately, as his parents we often failed to live up to what we have taught him. The rat race and fast-paced city life do not allow us to stay calm, have patience and be tolerant. We find ourselves doing almost every thing that we taught him not to do.

Cpt Yusof, please help!!!



Good afternoon madam,

This is the confirmation email of your son’s discharge from NS.

He is required to repay $526.94 to CDA finance for the overpayment of his NS allowance as well as to complete his clearance form.

Following that he is free to collect his civilian IC at SCDF HQ NSPD.


LTA Leon Seow
Platoon 12 - 1st Division
Special Rescue Unit| Singapore Civil Defence Force

Editor’s note: This email was forwarded to us recently and permission is granted to repost it on our site.

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