Here’s another indication that National Service is doing our Singaporean men a great disservice – if you still have to serve, gentlemen, you won’t get a chance to be part of Japan Airlines’ flying crew.
JAL requires that cabin attendants need to have completed, finished, or be exempted from serving National Service. This was part of the terms in its job advertisement in Today newspaper last month (23Dec 2014).
While many may cry foul and say this is job discrimination on JAL’s part, it’s actually a practical and sound business decision.
JAL is an international airline, with origins in Japan. Wouldn’t it be more economical to hire a male flight attendant who doesn’t have to scoot off for 2 weeks to 3 months of every year to put on an army uniform?
This doesn’t include the various other recalls a NSmen receives in a year, for example IPPT and emergency call-ups.
Also, think of the administrative headache and extra costs the airline will incur, having to dedicate more staff and resources to manning the system for NSmen payments.
For the Singapore government though, NSmen are a form of cheap labour, used to make up the numbers which Singapore’s defence forces lack.
Should Singaporeans be expected to give up their aspirations, and rice bowls, to be another digit in the Singapore Armed Forces arsenal?