NSmen who miss their IPPT for three times or more will now be locked up for five days for forced training.
Currently, the penalty for not attending IPPT for three times is a $100 fine.
Under the new regime, not only will NSmen have to face a fine, they will also be locked up and forced to train.
The new control measures will be implemented with almost immediate effect, by January next year. Singaporeans with genuine issues might have difficulties adjusting their schedules around this.
This new hard punishment is being implemented even though the army’s assistant chief of general staff (training), Colonel Ng Ying Thong admitted that there are NSmen with “valid reason(s)” which makes it difficult for them to attend IPPT.
NSmen have to go for the Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT) yearly to assess their physical fitness.
Already, NSmen lose out to their foreign colleagues, who do not have to do National Service. This new control tool will mean that Singaporean NSmen will lose even more weeks of work, which puts them at a serious disadvantage to their foreign colleagues.
The new punitive controls comes amidst the unclear direction by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
In 2010, NSmen were forced to have to complete their IPPT within a 9-month time frame when they were previously allowed a year. NSmen were also forced to attend an extended 20-session remedial. They can choose to go on the IPPT preparatory training instead but SAF would not pay them for the time wasted.
In July this year, SAF announced that the number of IPPT stations will be reduced from five to three by April next year.
Just several months after that announcement, SAF has now taken another draconian stance to throw NSmen into the detention barracks.
The new form of punishment will not be taken lightly by Singaporean NSmen who feel threatened on their jobs, by the already-tedious requirements of NS, and now have to forfeit more of their time for the new imposition.