Source Pravda.Ru

Singapore-born pianist cancels concert over draft-dodge controversy

A Singapore-born British pianist canceled a sold-out concert in the city-state after his recent fine for evading compulsory military service in the 1970s triggered a controversy, a report said Sunday.

Pianist Melvyn Tan, 49, stayed in Britain in 1977 to study at the Royal College of Music instead of returning for military service, still required of all qualified Singaporean males, The Sunday Times reported.

Tan became British and renounced his Singapore citizenship in 1978. He did not return to his homeland until earlier this year to face a draft-dodging charge, for which he was fined 3,000 Singapore dollars (US$1,775; Ђ1,520) in April. The maximum penalty is a S$5,000 (US$2,960; Ђ2,530) fine and three years' jail.

The case ignited a debate among Singaporeans over penalties for draft evasion, and whether authorities were too lenient toward the acclaimed pianist.

In a letter published in The Sunday Times, Tan said he was "saddened and dismayed" by the controversy.

"In light of the sentiments prevailing, I have decided it is best I defer my public appearances, for the debate on national service to continue without my further aggravating it," Tan wrote.

Tan's whereabouts were not immediately clear.

He had been scheduled to perform Dec. 21 at Singapore's Esplanade performance center, an elaborate venue that is part of the government's efforts to promote the wealthy island republic as an arts center for Asia.

Tan canceled the performance and his role as a judge at a national piano and violin competition later this month, the newspaper said.

"We are saddened by Melvyn's decision he is a tremendous artist and his piano recital would have been a treat for music lovers," Esplanade programming officer Michelle Yeo said in a statement. "Given the current turn of events though, we understand and respect fully his decision to hold off any performances."

Commenting on Tan's case, Defense Minister Teo Chee Hean has said he was "personally in favor of imposing custodial sentences for people who knowingly and deliberately evade national service."

The Defense Ministry said it was reviewing the adequacy of penalties for draft evasion.

National service of up to 2 1/2 years is compulsory for all male Singaporeans and permanent residents aged 16-40. Last year, the Defense Ministry said it would cut the required length by six months because military technology has improved, AP reports. P.T.

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases

Several years ago, a prominent Indonesian businessman who now resides in Canada, insisted on meeting me in a back room of one of Jakarta's posh restaurants. An avid reader of mine, he 'had something urgent to tell me', after finding out that our paths were going to be crossing in this destroyed and hopelessly polluted Indonesian capital.

Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Comments
Riots spark in Ukraine again, but people will not die for idiots this time
Russian PM Medvedev: USA undermines relationship with Russia for decades
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
North Korea is not a threat to the US
North Korea is not a threat to the US
Saudi Arabia readies to enjoy cinemas and music for the first time in 40 years
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Russian politician says Donald Trump extremely dangerous for Russia
ISIS threatens to conduct large-scale terrorist attacks in USA for Jerusalem decision
American Bioweaponry
Capitalism reduced Indonesian cities to infested carcases
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine
Putin to Sobchak: We will never let them turn Russia into another Ukraine