melvyn tan's concert
the mistake made by melvyn tan is not to denounce his citizenship earlier, ie, before he is due for ns. if he had done so and taken up another citizenship then there will not be the need to call him up. he would not be a defaulter and he could return as a visitor or even live here as a pr. the irony is that his delay is probably due to his desire to retain his citizenship, continue to be a singaporean, and that is something he values. while on the other hand some will be quite decisive in giving up the singapore citizenship and prepared to cut off all ties here. as much as the country appreciates his talent and sincerity to return and contribute whatever he has, accepting melvyn tan has and will upset the whole ns system and all the ns men past, present and future. the $3,000 fine was a way of telling melvyn tan that he is welcomed home. but given the reaction to this reception, no one can really tell how bad this will turn out eventually. how could the nation answer to all the ns men to treat melvyn tan as an exception? how could the nation reconcile the return of a prodigal son? any leniency shown to defaulters will have to contend with the feelings of hundreds of thousand of ns men. there must be a way to accept our sons who have made a wrong decision when they were young or when their parents miscalculated. but whatever ways, it must not be seen as to encourage young men to abscond when they are called up for ns and think that the nation will welcome them with open arms, one day. perhaps allowing them to return as prs is not a bad idea. and melvyn tan could just do that if he had denounced his citizenship before he is callup. it is more a technical fault. could there be a formula to allow our sons to return and be singaporeans again without incurring the wrath of all ns men? it is a pity that melvyn tan has to cancel his concert.