We should halt NS ICT during heightened period

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Jasmine Tan started this petition to Singapore Armed Forces

I applaud the SAF for helping in the preparation of masks for our fellow citizens. In the midst of this potential epidemic, I will like to enquire with the Ministry of Defence on the necessity of ICT during this critical period.

National defence is indeed important and we are grateful for the regular soldiers and full time national servicemen serving the nation. The constant training by our reserve soldiers is just as pertinent in national security.

That said, for peacetime training, I believe it is helpful if ICTs can be suspended just for this period.

I am not saying reservist training is not essential.

However, as WHO declares the Wuhan virus a global emergency, we have our first few local transmission of the virus and the anecdote for this is still unclear, I feel we should put our ICT in the backburner just for the time being, until we have a better idea of what we are dealing with. This will result in appreciation by the soldiers for your care and concern and also is a preemptive measure for what could be a major PR disaster if any ICT soldiers were to catch this virus during in camp training. It would also result in worse national security if that were to happen.

How is this different from going to work?
- Employees may have the option of working from home if their job allows it.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-02/coronavirus-forces-world-s-largest-work-from-home-experiment
- Employees who are really concerned can choose to take no-pay leave
- A reservist soldier will face charges if he were to not attend ICT without leave. He should at the very least have the option of deferring his ICT.

These are what the ministers said and what gov departments are doing:
Singapore remains focused on "minimising" the risk of a community spread of the Wuhan coronavirus, said Minister for Communications and Information S Iswaran on Sunday (Feb 2).

“Despite our best efforts, this is a possibility that we must be ready for,” Health Minister Gan Kim Yong said, while adding that the key to managing this is quick detection and limiting further spread, which calls on social responsibility from all Singaporeans. 

Assemblies, camps, mass celebrations and other large group and communal activities will be suspended at schools here from Wednesday (Feb 5) after the first local transmissions of the coronavirus were reported on Tuesday (Feb 4).

My question is: why are our operationally ready soldiers less important than students?


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