NSmen reaffirm commitment to defend S'pore

Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu reciting the pledge at the SAF Day combined rededication ceremony at the Singapore Institute of Technology, together with its president, Professor Tan Thiam Soon (third from left) and Chief of Navy R
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu reciting the pledge at the SAF Day combined rededication ceremony at the Singapore Institute of Technology, together with its president, Professor Tan Thiam Soon (third from left) and Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han (second from right).ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

Representatives from more than 300 companies gathered for the SAF Day combined rededication ceremonies held around the island yesterday.

The ceremonies, which were attended by more than 680 NSmen and their employers, were held to reaffirm the commitment of both employers and employees to the defence of Singapore.

They were held at the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCCI), Safra Punggol, Singapore Institute of Tech- nology and Biopolis.

Minister for Defence Ng Eng Hen, who was at the SCCCI ceremony, urged Singaporeans to support national service.

"On this SAF day, the men and women of the SAF reaffirm their individual pledge to perform their duty to the best of their ability and to faithfully and diligently protect Singapore with their lives," he said.

"What we inherited from our founding generation - our home, our Singapore - is precious and our way of life is worth defending together."

Local training and consultancy firm eLC was one of the companies represented at the Singapore Institute of Technology.

Its human resources executive, Ms Ivy Ang, said as part of eLC's efforts to support NSmen, it rewards those who do well in their Individual Physical Proficiency Test.

"Once they get their awards from the Ministry of Defence, we will match the dollar-for-dollar value," said Ms Ang. "If they need to take time off for extra training, we will give them time off."

Dr Lim Boon Huat, managing director of Rohde & Schwarz, a German electronics company, said it was important for employers to understand and accommodate the needs of employees.

"Although we are a German company, we are still Singapore-based, we still have to respect the culture and society here," said Dr Lim.

"As corporate citizens of Singapore, it's important for us to contribute back to this country that has given us a lot of support."

Besides the rededication ceremonies, the SAF Day Parade was held at Safti Military Institute, where the winners of this year's Best Unit Competition were given awards.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 02, 2016, with the headline 'NSmen reaffirm commitment to defend S'pore'. Print Edition | Subscribe