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Crazy Rich Asians novelist Kevin Kwan wanted in Singapore for dodging NS obligations

SINGAPORE — Singaporean novelist Kevin Kwan, whose book Crazy Rich Asians has been adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster, is wanted in Singapore for defaulting on his National Service obligations.

Crazy Rich Asians novelist Kevin Kwan wanted in Singapore for dodging NS obligations

Kevin Kwan (centre) with the cast of Crazy Rich Asians. Mr Kwan is wanted in Singapore for defaulting on his National Service obligations, the Ministry of Defence said on Wednesday in response to media queries.

SINGAPORE — Singaporean novelist Kevin Kwan, whose book Crazy Rich Asians has been adapted into a Hollywood blockbuster, is wanted in Singapore for defaulting on his National Service obligations.

"Mr Kevin Kwan failed to register for National Service (NS) in 1990, despite notices and letters sent to his overseas address," the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said on Wednesday (Aug 22).

"He also stayed overseas without a valid exit permit. Mr Kwan is therefore wanted for defaulting on his NS obligations."

Mindef added that in 1994, Mr Kwan's application and subsequent appeal to renounce his Singapore citizenship without serving NS were rejected.

"Mr Kwan has committed offences under the Enlistment Act, and is liable to a fine of up to S$10,000 and/or imprisonment of up to three years upon conviction," said Mindef.

TODAY has reached out to Mr Kwan for comment.

News of his default was first reported by The Straits Times on the same day.

Mr Kwan was noticeably absent at the Asian premiere of the movie in Singapore on Tuesday night, which saw the cast and local-born stars such as Henry Golding, Pierre Png, Tan Kheng Hua and Fiona Xie gracing the red carpet.

In an earlier interview with the daily, Mr Kwan claimed that he seldom returned to Singapore.

He also claimed in the 2017 interview that on the few occasions that he did, he would search for a good wanton mee, and his favourite hawker joint is Newton Food Centre, which held fond memories for him when he was growing up in Singapore.

Mr Kwan also recommended visitors to Singapore to visit places such as Bukit Brown and try Hainanese chicken rice at Mandarin Orchard Hotel's Chatterbox in a 2015 interview with The Houston Chronicle.

After spending his early years in Singapore in the Bukit Timah area and attending Anglo Chinese School (Primary), Mr Kwan emigrated with his family to Texas when he was 11.

He later acquired American citizenship and graduated from the University of Houston.

Crazy Rich Asians, which was produced on a modest US$30 million (S$40.99 million) budget, launched above expectations with a five-day tally of US$34 million when it opened in 3,384 locations.

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