An annual national defence tax should be levied on permanent residents and foreigners. This will sharpen the distinction between Singaporeans and non-citizens, says Bishan-Toa Payoh GRC Member of Parliament MP Hri Kumar Nair.

He called the tax “national defence duty” and suggested it be in the form of additional income and property tax.

In making this proposal in a Facebook post on Feb 13, Mr Nair observed that non-citizens also benefit from the security that is due in part to those who serve in the armed forces, and should make a contribution.

He said he planned to raise the proposal during the Budget debate next month.

“In short, we do duty, they pay a duty,” he wrote.

All male Singapore citizens and second-generation PRs around the age of 18 are liable for two years of national service (NS), unless they are exempted.

But PRs have the option of avoiding conscription if they give up their residency status, a policy Ang Mo Kio GRC MP Inderjit Singh said should be changed during last week’s White Paper debate. In 2011, the Ministry of Defence said that one-third of NS-liable 18-year-old PRs chose this escape clause.

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