While there is already very good legislation and measures in place to protect NSMen and many massive changes to protect NSMen in the workplace, I strongly urge vigilance to ensure that active measures are taken to see that NSMen are not discriminated against.
I support 2-years of National Service and I feel that the current system of 2 years of NS is a key pillar of Singapore's National Identity and culture.
One positive example that has been put in place by MINDEF is the change in the RT system. The RT window has been extended from 3 months to 12 months. In this window, NSmen must complete their 20-session RT programme.
In the past, NSMen had to complete their 20-session RT programme in a 3-month period. Due to a rule that there must be a rest day in between each training day, it was unavoidable that NSMen had to utilize at least 2 weekday working days to go for RT. As some companies have hours that finish at 6 pm or 7 pm (as was in my case at my ex-workplace), some bosses think badly of employees whom need to go off early for RT, during the period of the old system. I once did face discrimination from my ex-boss over such an issue, when the old RT system was in place. While most SME bosses support NSMen, there will always be those whom while in public support NSMen but in private, feel that work is affected; my ex-boss, for example, used to sit on one of those NSMen "Recommendation Committees". It is possible that some bosses would find loopholes in legislation to exploit.
As such, I would like to applaud and thank MINDEF for revising and revamping the RT system and make things easier for NSMen, but at the same time, we should also keep a vigilant lookout against potential workplace discrimination against NSMen.