After Singapore fell to Japanese invaders in 1942, we learnt two very painful lessons “quickly and vividly”.
“One, you cannot depend on others to defend Singapore, and second, victors do as they please and the vanquished suffer what they must.” Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen made these sobering points at a ceremony on Pulau Tekong on 7 February 2017 to launch a series of events to mark 50 years of NS.
Dr Ng Eng Hen said that history teaches us time and again that “freedom and independence for any country are never free.” He added: “We seek to be friends with all countries - whether they are big and small – but we, we Singaporeans alone, are responsible to defend Singapore.”
“We can never change the fact that we are a small country, but today, after 50 years of NS, we have built an SAF capable of defending Singapore.”
As part of the NS50 commemorative efforts, an NS50 Recognition Package was also announced where all who have served NS or are serving NS in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) will receive the NS50 Recognition Package. It covers also all enlistment cohorts in 2017.
Every national serviceman will receive $100 worth of vouchers, which can be used to redeem lifestyle privileges.
More details on the NS50 Recognition Package are available on the NS50 portal (NS50.sg).
You can also read the full text of Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen’s speech here.