If he returns to Singapore, 18-year-old footballer Ben Davis may face imprisonment of up to three years, and/or a fine of $10,000.
In response to queries by Channel NewsAsia, MINDEF said: “He failed to report for NS as required. He is also staying overseas without a valid Exit Permit. Mr Davis has committed offences under the Enlistment Act, and is liable upon conviction to a fine of up to $10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to 3 years.”
The footballer is the first Singaporean to have signed a professional contract with a top-tier English football club- Fulham FC. He signed a two-year contract with the club, but his request for deferment has been rejected by MINDEF.
In the words of Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, “There has been no indication, commitment or plans as to how Mr Ben Davis would help football standards in Singapore if deferred.”
Despite his deferment request being rejected, Davis has unfortunately failed to show up for his enlistment date, which was in February 2019.
According to the Football Association of Singapore, the organisation that had backed his request for deferment, “It is thoroughly irresponsible on the part of Mr Davis, and also reneges on his (and his father’s) assurance to the FAS that Mr Davis would discharge his NS commitments and play for the Singapore national team.”