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Oct 9, 2014

Memories of National Service Registration at Central Manpower Base, Kallang Road


Conscription in Singapore, called National Service (NS), requires all male Singaporean citizens and second-generation permanent residents who have reached the age of 18 to register for national service compulsorily. The NS (Amendment) act was passed on 14 March 1967, as the government felt that it was necessary to build a substantial military force to defend itself.

Then Defence Minister Goh Keng Swee justified the government’s decision to introduce compulsory conscription of male youths on the grounds of establishing a credible defence force and nation-building for Singapore. NS was also seen as the best way to quickly build up Singapore’s defence forces without placing a heavy burden on the country’s financial and manpower resource

As I was born in Singapore in 1948, I was not required for compulsory national service under age group.

However, by virtue of Gazette Notification No. 689 dated 17 March, 1967, I was registered for national service registration in 1965 when I joined the civil service.

An official letter from my Outpatient Services Department, Ministry of Health was handed to me to report to CMPB HQ at Kallang Road, located beside the People's Association Headquaters.  The building was the former Kallang Airport.

The following day when I received the call-up letter, I was given official time-off from work in the morning.

The place was crowded and I had to join the queue at the CMPB HQ office. The single-storey  buildings at Central ManPower Base (CMPB) appeared to be a few disused former army barracks. The old wooden furniture in the CMPB were outdated and primitive designs.  Most of the administration clerical staff were ladies in army uniform.

I produced my pink NRIC (national registration identity card) as proof that I am a Singapore citizen. We had a briefing and then made our national pledge in a hall. Through the process of form filling, I was then instructed to proceed for a medical test, weighing, physical pull-ups and later to be interviewed by the a male army officer. I was required for a blood test; then given a small bottle to collect some urine for me at the toilet.

However, I did not have any urine at the time. I did have an urge to pass urine. So I then bought a bottle of Pepsi Cola at the CMPB canteen for a drink.

About an hour later, urine was naturally produced from my body and collected my urine at the toilet and fill it in the bottle for the medical test.



The registered national servicemen sweared in front of the Singapore national flag for the national pledge as the citizens of Singapore.

The standard proceduce at CMPB was completed and I was informed to wait for the result of my national service registration. The letter was sent officially to my office a few weeks later.

I was selected to serve national service and fixed a date to report to CMPB for the basic military training (BMT) in-camp. We were informed to bring along our personal belongings and toiletries. With about 50 young national servicemen as recruits for the first time, we boarded the 6-tonner truck on our way to the camp.

We were wondering where to go and what would happen to us later until we arrived at the camp. My memories and experience  here .

That was my first experience at CMPB to register my national service over 50 years ago.

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1 Comments:

Blogger Dd Overseas said...

Very clear, nice and informative writing. So much of information who are seeking employment. Thanks.
regards,
john

December 29, 2016 at 6:22 PM  

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