If you’ve ever had the privilege of going for a vacation for more than 14 days, and you’ve ever had the even greater privilege of being an NSman, you’d know that prior to departing, you’ll need to inform Ah Gong about your trip.
And Ah Gong isn’t your wife or your real Ah Gong: It’s Mindef if you serve in the SAF or MHA if you serve in the SPF or SCDF.
It’s not because you might do a Ben Davis, since NSmen are reservists who have served their two-year NS obligations, but more of how the authorities can contact you when you’re overseas in case of an emergency, since technically you’re still a soldier / policeman / firefighter.
While it’s not exactly something that’s tedious, it still kind of dampens the mood a little, especially so if you’re just travelling up north to Malaysia and decided, when you’re in KL, that you wanted to stay slightly longer but realised you’ve not notified the authorities.
But now, if you intend to be out of the country for more than 14 days but less than six months, you won’t need to tell Ah Gong le.
Because, according to the Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, the authorities is striving to “increase convenience by reducing administrative burdens where possible.”
NSmen Only Need to Notify if They’re Overseas for More than Six Months
This will take effect from 1 March 2019, so that means if you’re going to take a two-week vacation now, you can just pack your bag and go.
According to Mr Heng, “This will help them focus on the training…We will also maximise the potential and tap into the abilities of our increasingly better-educated pool of servicemen, so that they can contribute even more meaningfully.”
Not sure where’s the correlation, but anyways.
However, NSmen should need their contact number updated in the NS portal, even for those temporary numbers you’d be using overseas so they can still be contacted. But given that nowadays, we use Wifi eggs and retain our local number whenever we go overseas, that shouldn’t be an issue.
Before 2014, it was worse: NSmen have to notify the authorities if they’re overseas for more than 24 hours (okay, show of hand: how many of you did notify?). After 2014, they changed it to 14 days. And of course, now, it’s six months.
However, there’s still one area that you can’t siam: ops or mob manning.
Ops and Mob Manning Still Need Permission
Lest you’re not aware, mob manning (usually is mob manning lah) require reservists to report back to camp within certain hours. They would usually provide a period called the mob Manning period way in advance, whereby NSmen could be activated any moment during that period.
It’s to ensure that NSmen can be mobilized within hours should the need arise.
For ops and mob manning, NSmen would still need to seek permission from their respective units, and they’re usually carried out in battalion-level.
But let’s face it: mob manning usually also means an impromptu meet-up with your NS buddies, and chances of kena-ing a mob manning during your ten-year-cycle is pretty low.
So that one no change, nebermind.
Because you secretly want to meet your Bros for some drinks after mob manning #truestory
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