Singaporean parents of newborn boys were surprised when they received letters from the Ministry of Defence recenly. They were even more surprised when they read letters congratulating them about the birth of their newborn boys… but then their surprise turned to dismay as the letters were really meant to emphasize the importance of national service and remind them of their child’s national service obligations.

Despite sending the letter a whole 18 years too early, the parents of these newborn boys were reminded that they would have to apply for exit permits for their child and deferment for full time studies. It also warned that the government would withhold an individual’s renunciation of citizenship if his NS liabilities were not fulfilled.

The letters have been part of an effort by Mindef to better educate parents about NS policies. The letters have been distributed since the start of this year.

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