Saturday, November 8, 2008

Australia's Version Of NS?

As has been widely discussed on a "particular" Singapore forum, one of the considerations faced by those of us who decide to become Singapore permanent residents, is the fact that we are agreeing to our children serving compulsory National Service when they "come of age".

This in my mind, is probably the major factor in the decision-making process. However, it is still our choice whether to become a PR or not. The SG Government are very forthcoming and transparent when it comes to this requirement. It is outlined quite clearly throughout the application process.

As is well known, NS is not a "choice" for male Singapore citizens. It could well be a choice for some Australian criminals in the latest plans put forward by senior police.

From News.com.au:

People convicted of serious assault would be offered two years' army service instead of a jail sentence under a radical plan.

The proposal is being floated by senior police in Victoria, and will be put to Defence Department officials, lawyers and the Justice Department.

It is backed by victims of assaults and their families, who say it's time to tackle the the state's violence head-on.

Victoria Police Assistant Commissioner Gary Jamieson said he was aware of the plan and it had merit.

"I am particularly concerned at the lack of awareness that young people appear to have about the consequences of their actions," he said.

"One punch can cause death, but also years of misery in jail. No good comes out of a young person going to jail."

Under the plan, first-time offenders aged 18 to 30 could plead guilty and accept a non-recorded, suspended sentence that included two years' full-time army service.

The offenders would receive full army pay and conditions, retain their liberty and avoid a criminal record.

They would be trained, taught discipline and subjected to full army life.

Failure to fulfil the two-year service would return them to the courts for re-sentencing.

With a further death last week in Melbourne as a result of a bashing outside a party, there are calls for new policy.

Deepak Haikerwal, brother of former Australian Medical Association president Dr Mukesh Haikerwal - gang bashed in Melbourne's west in September - said army service could be a new strategy to curb the violence.

"We need to teach young people the consequences of what they're doing because there is an attitude that they are invincible," he said.

"There should be an alternative to sending them to jail because that could make them even more angry and they could learn more bad habits in there."

Gwen Tumbas, whose son Michael was bashed to death by youths in Rosebud, said army service could be a solution for first-time offenders who showed remorse.

"I think that would take the pressure off the jail system and allow authorities to concentrate on the repeat offenders," she said.

A senior police source said the move could act as a deterrent.

"One bad decision, one moment of madness, or one punch could see good young people in jail on murder or manslaughter charges," the source said.

"What we need is for these kids to realise they are going to be punished and punished severely, but, rather than wasting two lives and ruining two sets of families and friends, this may be a way of offering punishment and an opportunity for rehabilitation."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Do they give them guns?