Read this: Opt-out Option for NS by Pandy.
Basically, Pandy discussed the possibility of having an opt-out option of NS (National Service) with certain penalties imposed on him for life. These penalties could include a 30% additional income tax, lower priority in government services and less privileges or entitlements.
Also, there is the suggestion of a flexible service period option where the enlistee have the choice of when he want to serve his NS. This is different from deferment as this option does not require any official reason.
A few thoughts that crossed my mind.
Given this option, most people will want to opt out of NS and there will be a serious lack of manpower in the army. In view of this, the option will not be implemented in the first place. One may argue that the penalties will be a great deterrence to most and will be able to retain most people in the force. Just think about the possible disadvantages that will stick with you for life, 30% increased income tax, etc..
Yet, i think otherwise. There will be some who think of NS as truly hellish and will be the first to raise their hand in support of the opt out option. Who cares about the penalties? Freedom is more important, they say. Then, there will be those who heard rumors/exaggerations from seniors and friends about how disgusting NS could be and thus when given such options, being influence by these opinions and make a wrong decision. Yes its all about decisions. In my opinion, at the age of 18, not all are able to make sound decisions when faced with a choice like this. Are we going to let such a system mess up someone's life just because of a wrong decision made due to that moment of impulse?
The second suggestion is more fleasible. Wouldn't we all love it if we could have the option to complete our studies first? But I would say that there should be a minimum age limit as to when this deferment can extend up to. Dun think there is of much use for a 70 yr old man to serve the army, is there?
Just my 2cents. And you can post yours over at Pandy's.