Crazy Rich Asians author wanted for ‘skipping national service’

Crazy Rich Asians author is wanted by Singapore authorities for skipping national service and could face JAIL – even though he left when he was 11

  • Kevin Kwan was born in Singapore and left when he was 11 to live in the US 
  • Male Singaporean citizens are required to carry out two years national service
  • Kwan is accused of failing to formally register for national service in 1990
  • He applied to renounce his Singaporean citizenship in 1994 but was rejected
  • The novelist is now liable for a fine of up to $10,000 if found guilty of the crime 

The author of the book that inspired the hit film Crazy Rich Asians failed to register for national service as required, the Singaporean government said.

Writer Kevin Kwan was born in Singapore and left when he was 11, having lived in the US since then.

Male Singaporean citizens are required to spend two years, in most cases, in a uniformed service as young adults.

The government said in a statement that 44-year-old Mr Kwan was wanted for ‘defaulting on his NS obligations’ for failing to register as required in 1990, and for staying abroad without a valid exit permit.

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Author Kevin Kwan and actor Michelle Yeoh at the US premiere of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

The film version of Crazy Rich Asians has been a huge success in the US grossing $35million during last weekend’s opening weekened

It said authorities rejected his application in 1994 to renounce his Singaporean citizenship without serving the mandatory national service.

The ministry of defence said: ‘Mr Kwan has committed offences under the Enlistment Act, and is liable to a fine of up to 10,000 dollars (£7,700) and/or imprisonment of up to three years upon conviction.’

Mr Kwan did not travel to Singapore for Tuesday night’s premiere of the hit romantic comedy based on his book.


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The writer is descended from a wealthy Singaporean family.

Much of Crazy Rich Asians is set in Singapore. The story follows Chinese-American Rachel Chu as she travels with her boyfriend Nick Young to Singapore to meet his family and discovers they are ultra-wealthy.

The 30 million dollar Warner Bros film has grossed more than 35 million dollars since its August 15 world premiere in Los Angeles and topped the new releases in US cinemas over the weekend. It is opening in many Asian cities this week.

Singaporean novelist Kevin Kwan allegedly failed to register for national service as required in Singapore

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