My last response to you was in response to your suggestion in your post 'Re: I served NS, but now I'm Stateless'- 10Nov2010, 01:49 PM wherein you suggested the dropping of the NS issue "once and for all".
What I intended to remind you was that in negating the issue of NS, you are complicit with the feet-dragging, nonchalant, 'No U-Turn Syndrome' ICA of needlessly interrupting Mr Ogawa's NS appointment and commitment, with severe implications upon the value of citizenship to all Singaporeans. The quoted law being (the) 'Enlistment Act' of Singapore (Cap 93), the definition being: (PART I> PRELIMINARY> Interpretation.); "a 'person subject to this Act' means a person who is a citizen of Singapore or a permanent resident thereof and who is not less than 16 years and 6 months of age and not more than 40 years of age or, in the case of a person who — (a) is an officer of the armed forces or a senior military expert; or (b) is skilled in an occupation which the Minister by notification in the Gazette designates as an occupation required to meet the needs of the armed forces, not more than 50 years of age;" The section being: "13. Every person subject to this Act, who is fit for national service, shall be liable, while not in any full-time service under this Act, to render operationally ready national service".
My further elaboration is as follows:
My contention with this entire issue is the perfunctory management of Mr Ogawa's case by the ICA.
Mr Ogawa has fulfilled every requirement requirement of the ICA towards retaining his Singapore citizenship which was first awarded to him halfway through his NS on 20June2008. Besides not having a provision for mitigating circumstances, ICA has responded to both Mr Ogawa and his MP Mr Lee Boon Yang's following appeal with the unacceptably perfunctory reply: "(sorry, there is) no provision law".
Going by his blog and news reports, Mr Ogawa has fulfilled every requirement of citizenship in both word and spirit- except for the last formality which by unfortunate circumstance, he had overlooked- one that ICA is now either mischievously/ negligently withholding.
- He has spent 15 of his 22 years of life in Singapore and received almost all his basic education here.
- He served and completed his full time NS liability of 2 years by June2009.
- He was cognizant of the need to choose between his 2 citizenships before 22 yrs of age which he amply did by renouncing his Japanese citizenship at the Embassy of Japan on 15July2010 only to he given a slip of paper stating that his application is "currently in process".
- His Reservist NS posting was revealed to him by mail in August2010. Mr Ogawa's reservist vocation is that of a rifleman. I doubt Mr Ogawa has any reservations about such duties.
Not having received the routine 2 reminder letters from the ICA and mistaking that a "completed renouncement" would be a prerequisite for taking the 'Oath of Renunciation, Allegiance and Loyalty' ('ORAL')[Ref: 'Step 5: Oath Taking and Becoming a Singapore Citizen'], he had decided to await its arrival only to be shocked and saddened that his efforts at confirming his Singapore citizenship had been in vain as by failing to attend the 'ORAL' before his 22nd birthday, his Singapore citizenship had been by default revoked. In earnest, he has since found himself 'stateless'.
The following questions now remain,
1) Is Mr Ogawa legally required to respond to SAF recalls since he is presently 'stateless'. What implications would this have upon SAF's administration and operational readiness whilst his citizenship (and thus NS liability) lies in the balance. More so, what would the impact upon the morale Singaporeans with national service liabilities be given to the fact that the ICA in its perfunctory response of "(sorry, there is) no provision law" has effectively stonewalled both an active NSman reservist and has local MP Mr Lee Boon Yang.
By trivializing Mr Ogawa's citizenship appeal, ICA is negating Mr Ogawa's national duty to report for his reservist call backs.
Is the SAF so overstaffed that the NSmen reservist have become so dispensable that lengthy delays in reinstating conditional Singapore citizenships have since been warehoused under the category of "(sorry, there is) no provision law".
2) Why was ICA unable to explain the processes of the application better to Mr Ogawa, himself being every bit Singaporean except by a technicality- then so not more than 5 weeks delayed by honest mistake! Why not reassure him about the situation of his 'statelessness' rather than drive him from pillar to post in desperation and confusion about his nationality? Why in his confusion and desperation was Mr Ogawa driven to then further seek the help of Mr Heng Chee How, a Minister of State after the appeal by Mr Lee Boon Yang was perfunctory rejected with the possibility of intervention by Mr Goh Chok Tong being suggested? Do Senior Ministers and MPs relish all this attention?
Is the perfunctory response "(sorry, there is) no provision law" acceptable on part of the ICA given to the fact that it has serious implication upon, besides Mr Ogawa's NS liabilities, his freedom of travel and employment, CPF liabilities and other benefits of Singapore citizenship. It would be very unfair of Singapore to Mr Ogawa if having withdrawn citizen benefits, Mr Ogawa was still expected to serve the SAF in his usual capacity as a reservist soldier.
3) Shouldn't the issue of "(sorry, there is) no provision law" be one that should be raised internally within the management of the ICA rather then through MPs and as mentioned, Senior Minister Goh CT?
Who is the Minister in charge of the ICA and shouldn't he be attentive and available to decide upon such issues that none of his staff are able to decide? Is the ICA's perfunctory response to Mr Ogawa symptomatic of the 'No U-Turn Syndrome', and is this nonchalance the norm for all ICA services?
4) Should ICA review it's contact processes since this is neither the first case of citizens loosing their citizenship on a technicality not the first time either or reminder letters have been undelivered or bounced. More weightage should also be placed upon date of renouncement of one's foreign citizenship given to the fact that it seems to be the principal document in the taking of the 'ORAL' [Ref: 'Step 5: Oath Taking and Becoming a Singapore Citizen'] for such persons. Disconcerting is the ICA's perfunctory effort at contacting these Singaporeans residing in Singapore, who by all accounts, but for an administrative lapse, are most likely committed citizens of Singapore.
ICA in its response thus far is either mischievous or grossly negligent.
Perhaps, if both new and current Singaporeans didn't have to contend so often with the 'No U-Turn Syndrome' at the respective government department offices that they visit, Singaporeans would feel welcomed and thus more committed to defending this land that they all should be returning to and affectionately call 'home'.
10Nov2010: Re: I served NS, but now I'm Stateless