After it was revealed that the author of the book and now blockbuster Hollywood movie “Crazy Rich Asians”, Kevin Kwan, defaulted on his National Service (NS) obligations, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) said on Tuesday (August 28) records show that the Singapore-born writer has not entered Singapore since 2000.
MHA media relations director Sunny Lee told The Straits Times that travel records before 2000 are archived on microfilm and it would require “a massive manual search through voluminous records to ascertain if he had entered Singapore before 2000”.
“Mr Kwan remains a Singapore citizen who is wanted for defaulting on his NS obligations and will be arrested if he enters Singapore”, Lee said.
Last week, the Ministry of Defence said that the 45-year-old, who was born in Singapore, “failed to register for National Service (NS) in 1990, despite notices and letters sent to his overseas address”.
Kwan had also stayed overseas without a valid exit permit and is wanted for his NS obligations, which explained why he was not present at the Singaporean premiere for the film adaptation of his book.
If he does indeed return to Singapore, Kwan is liable for a fine of up to S$10,000 (US$7322) and/or imprisonment of up to three years, if convicted.
The New York-based author, who left Singapore and moved to Texas with his family at the age of 11, has yet to comment on the NS controversy ever since the news was revealed.