On keng-ing – with a valid reason.

I received a comment on my previous post which I don’t agree with entirely.

Nevertheless, I’m publishing it because it presents a counter-argument to the topic of keng-ing ICT:

Do consider that people can be held back from obtaining jobs and/or career advancements because of an ICT they have to attend.

Not everybody’s boss is as understanding about ICT and as willing as other bosses to give up their human resource.

Not every line of employment allows for work to be cleared from home, offsite or after a few weeks.

And not every unit is as kind or as understanding when allowing for deferment of an ICT for work purposes.

In the not uncommon case, consider the scenario when – mind you, it’s when, not if – one gets called up for ICT during the period of a major event such as a trade show.

If deferment is refused, one can kiss his advancement or even job security goodbye.

In a much more common scenario, one may just be refused at the point of hire because of an impending ICT or one’s NS liabilities.

So what’s fair and unfair?

What would you do to put bread on the table, especially when you know you need to be looking out for yourself?

Because our country sure ain’t gonna do that and not everyone is in this wonderful position where he can go for 21 days of ICT and expect to come back to the same job and income.

I, too, hope for changes to the NS system but let’s not play the moral police and demonize all who ‘keng’ for their myriad of reasons.

NS is military conscription. The citizen is not provided with an option or choice.

One cannot be faulted for simply wanting to find a way out from this arrangement.


  1. Back to normal programming – but at what price?
  2. Back to normal programming – but at what price? (Part II)

About the author

Laremy Lee

A versatile educator, writer and editor, Laremy Lee (李庭辉) has the uncanny knack of being one of the few among his generation in Singapore who crafts compelling stories in different genres.

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