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03 Feb 2019
Ministry of Defense
Suggestion View - 278
Adopt the Swiss model of conscription

In a recent survey (more like a straw poll), about 30% of respondents opted to abolish national service and replace it with a full time professional army in Singapore. 15% prefer to continue with the current system while 45% prefer to reduce the duration of full time and reservist national service.

I suggest that we can reduce the duration of national service by following the Swiss model. This is described here.

Here are the advantages of the Swiss system

a) The basic military training is for 18 weeks (less than 5 months) compared to 24 months in Singapore.

b) The military training, including follow up training, is 260 days (about 9 months) compared to  30 month in Singapore. 

c) About 20% of male citizens are found unfit for military service and are given the option of civilian service. However they have to serve 390 days (i.e. 50% longer).

d) Females are allowed to volunteer for civilian service.

e) The male citizens are allowed to defer their training for up to four years, to continue their further study.

 The system in Switzerland is popular. In a referendum held in 2013, 73% of the citizens voted to continue their conscription.

Under the Swiss system, they are able to produce a force of 120,000 citizens under training and 80,000 citizens who have completed their training.

We should adopt the Swiss model. It will reduce our training cost, reduce the time required by the male citizens and produce an effective defense capability.

I hope that the ministry of defense will adopt this model.

Tan Kin Lian


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