On 7 August 2018, I represented SAFVL for the call by VECONAC on His Excellency Dato Lim Jock Hoi, Secretary-General of ASEAN at the ASEAN Secretariat in Jakarta. The VECONAC delegation comprising presidents of veteran member organisations in ASEAN, was led by President VECONAC BG (Ret) Somphon Keomixay of Lao PDR.

Back at SAFVL, we had our 28th Annual General Meeting on 23 June 2018. This year it was held at The Chevrons, the SAF Warrant Officers and Specialists Club where, after the AGM, our members joined them for a combined Hari Raya celebration.

At the AGM, five Management Committee (MC) members, COL (RET) Lau Kee Siong, MAJ (RET) Peter Soh, MWO (RET) Tye Lee Sun, SWO (RET) William Wee and 2SG (RET) Alfred Chong, were re-elected for another 2-year term.

LTC (RET) Syed Ibrahim, LTC (RET) Jake Wong and MAJ (RET) Puran Kaur asked to be allowed to step down from MC for personal reasons. We thank them for their years of dedicated service to SAFVL.

We also welcomed four new members to the MC at the AGM – LTC (RET) Desmond Ee, LSW (RET) Judy Kong, 1WO (RET) M Haniffa and 2WO (RET) Derek Yeo.

I want to put on record my sincere appreciation to our veteran members who readily came forward to serve. Without them and the many more who step up to help, it would not have been possible to manage the many events and activities we participate in or organise annually.

Our Commitment-to-Defence (C2D) Programme continues to be a key activity for us. We have 72 appointed C2D Ambassadors as at July this year. During the first six months of 2018, they conducted some 180 National Education engagement sessions and shared their personal experiences with more than 21,000 school students, Fulltime and Operationally-Ready National Servicemen.

A 3-member SAFVL delegation was in the ancient town of Luang Prabang in northern Lao PDR for the VECONAC (Veterans Confederation of ASEAN Countries) 31st Executive Board Meeting (EBM) from 25 – 29 June 2018. The city is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Lao PDR is VECONAC Chair in 2018. They will host the VECONAC 18th General Assembly in Vientiane in December where our SAFVL members may also attend as observers.

On 21 July 2018, nine MC members, some with their spouses and family members were guests at a durian feast in Jementah, Johor in Malaysia at the special invitation of the Persatuan Veteran Angkatan Tentera Malaysia (PVATM) (Veterans Association of Malaysian Armed Forces). Our SAFVL party was warmly welcomed on arrival by PVATM President, Hon. Sen. Adm. Tan Sri Mohd Anwar Hj Mohd Nor (Ret).

PVATM is also planning to host us to a visit later this year as 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.

More on the trips to Malaysia and Vientiane later when details are confirmed.

See you all at the next event.

BG (RET) Winston Toh
President SAFVL