The first quarter of 2018 began like any other year, packed with activities. We welcomed the New Year, celebrated Chinese New Year and held a memorial ceremony – the fifth since 2014 – at the Konfrontasi Memorial opposite The Cathay Building, located near Dhoby Ghaut MRT Station on Orchard Road.

Our members also joined participants at the 51st War Memorial Service in Commemoration of the Civilian Victims of the Japanese Occupation to mark Total Defence Day on 15 February 2018. President Halimah Yacob was the Guest-of-Honour. The annual event reminds Singaporeans that we should never take our peace and security for granted and we must always be prepared to protect our sovereignty and way of life.

Our Commitment-to-Defence (C2D) Programme is in full swing with MINDEF-appointed C2D Ambassadors reaching out to schools and SAF training institutes and sharing their personal stories as they reiterate the core National Education messages and highlight the importance of Total Defence.

Just in 2017 alone, 42 C2D Ambassadors held close to 300 engagements with students and active servicemen. We anticipate that such engagement sessions will intensify for our more than 70 appointed C2D Ambassadors.

We were particularly pleased to host the Persatuan Veteran Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (PVATM) (Veterans Association of Malaysian Armed Forces) when they visited us in December 2017.

The 31-member delegation was led by PVATM President, Hon. Sen. Adm. Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Hj Mohd Nor (Ret) who is also Deputy President of the World Veterans Federation. The visit is part of an ongoing programme of visits initiated by PVATM in 2016 to maintain the strong bilateral ties between PVATM and SAFVL under the VECONAC Interaction Programme.

On the regional front, we must thank the Ex-Soldiers Association of Brunei Darussalam for hosting a most successful VECONAC 30th Executive Board Meeting and 17th General Assembly in November 2017 in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei Darussalam.

Laos has taken over as VECONAC chair in 2018 as we await news of the next meeting. We will keep members informed of the date for the benefit of those who are keen to attend the meeting as observers.

Our SAFVL AGM is coming up on Saturday, 23 June this year. We hope to see many of our members coming forward to attend the meeting. You will hear more about the AGM soon.

See you all at our next event.

BG (Ret) Winston Toh
President SAFVL