Published TODAY, 14 Sep 2012
We thank Dr Tan Yih Han for his letter "Provide NSmen with comprehensive insurance" (Sept 10) and concern for National Servicemen.
The Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) will compensate any serviceman who sustains death or injury due to service. The computation of this quantum is consistent with the principles adopted by the Work Injury Compensation Act and the civil courts.
If death or injury is sustained due to military training or operations, a higher quantum is awarded. Under this framework, NSmen are treated no differently from regulars.
MINDEF's compensation framework should not be confused with the Singapore Armed Forces Group Term Life insurance, which provides affordable personal insurance cover.
This added protection extends beyond service activities in the SAF and is optional. NS allowance was increased by S$20 in January 2009 to help pay for the monthly premium.
As a matter of policy, MINDEF does not disclose the compensation quanta awarded to servicemen.
Provide NSmen with comprehensive insurance
From Tan Yih Han, Published TODAY, 10 Sep 2012
It is easy to forget that we can sleep soundly at night because our soldiers are training to defend Singapore. If there is a training death or injury, we must do our best to take care of them and their families.
The lack of clarity about the entitlement of National Servicemen in this regard makes it difficult for soldiers to decide on the extent of personal insurance coverage necessary.
Specifically, how much compensation can the family of Corporal Muhammad Fahrurrazi Salim, who died last month, expect? Given that our NSmen are conscripts who have little say on their vocations, can they expect more compensation than a regular soldier?
How does our compensation package compare with those of other armed forces with conscripts? It appears that our soldiers are encouraged to pay for their own insurance coverage.
Does this imply that, without this, they cannot expect sufficient compensation?
The absence of a comprehensive insurance framework, paid for by the Government, to cover all NSmen is hard to understand, given the sacrifices they make for our nation's defence.