The Singapore government felt that it was necessary to build a substantial military force to defend itself.
for all male Singaporean citizens and second-generation permanent residents to undergo a period of compulsory service in the uniformed services.
Depending on physical and medical fitness, they serve a two-year period as National Servicemen Full-time (NSFs), either in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Police Force (SPF), or the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF).
Singapore is among the list of countries with a national service exceeding 18 months and thereafter a statutory age cap of reservist obligation up to age 40 for WOSEs (Other Ranks) and age 50 for commissioned officers exists.
The NS (Amendment) act was passed on 14 March 1967, making National Service (NS) compulsory for all 18-year-old male Singapore citizens and permanent residents.
Firstly, because Singapore has a population of about five and a half million (as of 2014), an army solely of regulars would not be practical to defend the country.
Secondly, national service is supposed to support racial harmony among the Chinese, Malay and Indian communities.In the late 1960s, the British government had decided to withdraw its troops and bases East of Suez, including troops stationed in Singapore.That prompted the government to implement a conscription program for the country's defence needs.Male Singapore citizens and second-generation Permanent Residents (PRs) who have registered for their NRIC are required to register for National Service upon reaching the age of 16 years and six months, during which they would also be required to undergo a mandatory medical examination (PULHHEEMS) to determine their medical status, known as Physical Employment Status (PES), which determines which vocational groups the pre-enlistee is physically able to be posted to.Male 2nd-generation Permanent Residents (PRs), i.e. Male children who take up permanent residency status under the sponsorship of their Permanent Resident parent, are required by law to serve National Service, just like Singaporean male citizens.The Malays were virtually excluded from conscription from the beginning of the draft in 1967 until 1977 This is mainly due to uncertainties of where their loyalties will lie should Singapore engage in war with Malaysia.