How To Down PES, and Why You Should Not

How To Down PES, and Why You Should Not


Disclaimer: This article should not be relied on as legal advice. It is solely the amateur opinion of one of your fellow comrade.


PES stands for Physical Employment Standards. Each person’s PES is assigned based on your current health condition, and is used to determine vocation for the National Service (PS) period. PES scores range from A to F, with A meaning you are of superior health, while F means that you are medically unfit to do any kind of service.


The primary reason why people want learn how to down PES is because once they feel that they’re in the army, that it’s much more difficult than they previously thought. Being able to lower your PES score during service is a means of changing your assignment to a much easier job, and one that is less physically strenuous such as doing administration work, but being able to get a down PES before enlistment will also lead to an assignment with an easier role.


How to down PES


How to down PES? Below are the common ‘methods’ chaokengers use to down PES.


  1. Asthma: Go to a polyclinic or government hospital near you and tell the doctor about your concerns. Ask for a referral to see a specialist in a hospital, and when you speak to a specialist tell them that you have childhood asthma. Tell them that running and the IPPT (Individual Physical Proficiency Test) makes you extremely breathless, and you can furnish this explanation by adding certain incidents when this actually occurred during NS.


The specialist may review you then write a memo, but request for them to specify in the memo that you are physically unfit to do activities that require running, and request the SAF MO to excuse you from IPPT. This may down your PES to C2 or lower.


  1. Mental Illness: Before you get enlisted, start visiting the IMH (Institute of Mental Health) or a government hospital to get a diagnosis of depression or anxiety. The most common symptoms of depression are: persistent sadness, loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy, loss of appetite, insomnia, restlessness and agitation, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, feeling worthless or guilty, and recurring thoughts of death.


If a doctor asks about your situation, looking for clues which could explain the cause behind “depression” or anxiety, you can mention certain life events. It’s known that certain life events may contribute or cause depression such as the death of a loved one, loss of a job, absence of friends or family to support you, or childhood trauma.


However, if you’re going to use mental illness as an excuse to down PES, be consistent and show these behaviors in front of the commanders or officers. Fake cry when you are asked to do something. Diagnosis for mental illness will often result in MC (medical certificate) that would excuse you from participating in camp or service. Each time that you feel you need to see the doctor, just bring it up to your camp MO.


  1. Back or knee problem: Go to the gym and overexert your back or knees on certain exercises. When it begins to get sore, go to a government hospital and complain of back or knee pains accompanied by a pinched nerve every time you bend, suddenly stand up, sit down, or lift heavy objects. They may conduct an X-ray and see that this problem can be resolved through physical therapy and medication, although you can complain that the pain is still there consistently and refuses to go away.


Why You Should Not Down PES: section 32 – Malingering (Singapore Armed Forces Act)

If you really want to learn how to down PES, there are many more methods. But I tell you, if you really want to escape, down PESing is not the way. There are many personal and legal uncertainties.


(All statements below in open and close inverted commas from here onwards are taken from the SAF Act)


Personal reasons for not Chaokenging

The SAF Act only applies to “persons subject to military law”. These are mainly NSFs, NSman and regulars. Civilians not in the Armed Forces are excluded. Section 32 does not apply before you enter National Service. But that does not mean you are out of the woods if you do the iffy things above.


There are many reasons why you should not fake any symptoms just to have an easier life – it is really a matter of self-preservation than one of avoiding the scourge of the law.


Reason 1: What would your employer think?

Reason 2: Will your health insurance premium go up?

Reason 3: Might as well do the compulsory 2 years properly (unless you get a PES F, but having that health status makes reasons 1 and 2 even more applicable, and so please, don’t get a PES F)


Legal uncertainties

Even if you fake your medical symptoms before enlistment, you may still be punished by section 32.


Why do I say that? Let’s say you successfully faked your medical symptoms while not enlisted, and successfully attained a medical certificate certifying your medical condition. When you are enlisted, you would be relying on this ungenuine medical certificate to get a low PES. This is essentially chao kenging during enlistment – “falsely pretending to be suffering from any sickness” (section 32 Singapore Armed Forces Act) by relying on an untrue medical certificate.


Of course, many people think the risk is worth taking. Two years of shiokness, why not?, for such a low risk of getting caught. How many cases only have the government prosecuted?


But for the personal reasons above, I sincerely think that you should not do these nonsense. Only my opinion.



Hope you enjoyed reading this article, and that it made your decision whether to down PES or not a little easier. If you have any other ideas or possibly questions of a legal nature, just share them below. I will try my best to reply you.


(Again, I am not a lawyer. But I am ‘just’ a flower seller :-$ So if you ever want to buy some beautiful flowers for your National Service boyfriend, just click here! Even for a girlfriend also can. Nowadays we have more and more women in the SAF..)

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