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Thursday, June 8, 2023


Please make sure you discuss your future plans as well as the impact of National Service with your kids before signing them up for PR or before their NS.


This is a rant/discussion from the perspective of a PR who went through NS without having the maturity to decide for myself whether I really wanted to at the time along side having parents who didn’t really look out for what I wanted.

Singapore is a beautiful country in its own right, a lot of things many take for granted, but unfortunately it is not a place which I’ve been able to gel into well. I came here when I was 7 and my parents applied for PR as a family which we all got when I was 9. I’ve been in local school since primary 3 and in that long period of time I’ve only been able to make friends with international kids for reasons I also don’t fully understand. I worked hard in local school taking the JC track and getting into local Uni for the course which I wanted. I did what I was told by my parents and teachers; study hard and everything would pan out.

All this time I wanted to one day immigrate out of Singapore to achieve the life I wanted for myself. I blindly trusted the adults in my life and followed their advice and guidance believing they knew everything and had my best interests at heart.

My goal was simple; study local Uni for 4 years then head abroad to experience what else life could offer and eventually retire in my country of birth. But unfortunately that will not happen.


I do take some of blame for not reading the fine print but in my defence I was very focused on my A levels when my enlistment letter came. Furthermore I was in the January intake so I had only 1 month before my enlistment to really think things over. By the time I did get cold feet it was 2 weeks out and probably too late. Whilst my NS wasn’t bad it left a sour taste in my mouth given how much disrespect me and my fellow NSFs received by regulars aswell as the number of vocations available due to my PR status.

The fine print which I missed, which I only found out after A level results where released, was the MOE tution bond. It flew under my radar and I was surprised. I thought the 3 year bond was for international students and not PRs. If I wanted to afford local Uni I would need to push back leaving Singapore until I was 28. I do feel slighted by the bond, having shed sweat blood and tears during my NS to be told I’m basically an intl student in the eyes of MOE.

Currently I am lost, leaving Sg now is probably the only answer and I’ll have to go study in my home country. Which is a shame as I would have been graduating next year if I had just stayed in the first place.

I have become quite bitter as well as pessimistic, which is sad looking back at how I used to be. I’ve also picked up the unfortunate habit of having to overanalyse everything and the need to find every bit of information myself before making a decision. I’ve lost trust in my parents and we argue more than before.

I do want to acknowledge that I do have privilege and my issue pales in comparison to what others face. However, this problem could have been easily avoidable and I wish others avoid it. So for all PR parents please do look out for your kids, mine didn’t and I have to pay the unnecessary price.


Netizens’ comments

  1. To be honest, this sounds like a rather long winded & self entitled post to say that you only want all the benefits but none of the responsibility of being a long term resident of Singapore.
  2. So your plan was to take SG subsidy for uni, then gtfo? Thats the entire reason why SG has the bond
  3. I pay my taxes to fund people like you? Everybody who went to NS shed blood sweat and tears and you’re merely using Singapore as a stepping stone and are now whining because of the 3yr tuition bond? Wow.
  4. Boo hoo! Parents move to another country hoping the child will have a better education and life. Child not happy that parents did not discuss with him. Blame it on parents, MoE and NS.
  5. The bond exists precisely for people like you trying to take advantage of the system and exiting as soon as possible.
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