SAF only as strong as its soldiers: Ng Eng Hen

Recruits undergoing training at the Singapore Armed Forces Basic Military Training Centre in Pulau Tekong.
Recruits undergoing training at the Singapore Armed Forces Basic Military Training Centre in Pulau Tekong. ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) can be only as strong as its individual soldiers - and each national serviceman and regular must give of his and her best to protect Singapore, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said yesterday, ahead of SAF Day.

He said a strong SAF is the most effective deterrence against potential aggressors, as he listed terror incidents in Kuala Lumpur, Jakarta, Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, London and Marawi in the Philippines.

"We cannot promise Singaporeans that no attack will occur here - no country is immune. But we can promise Singaporeans this - that the SAF stands ever vigilant to guard against these attacks and when it happens, to limit the damage and harm," said Dr Ng.

He was speaking at a combined rededication ceremony yesterday at Temasek Polytechnic, where 105 operationally ready national servicemen pledged their commitment to the SAF and the nation.

In an interview this week marking SAF Day today, Dr Ng also revealed a suite of changes from land, air and sea by the armed forces to tackle the terror threat. He also gave updates on moves to beef up cyber defence in the SAF.

Minister for Trade and Industry (Trade) Lim Hng Kiang, Manpower Minister Lim Swee Say, and Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli also officiated at three separate rededication ceremonies yesterday.

Toh Wen Li

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 01, 2017, with the headline 'SAF only as strong as its soldiers: Ng Eng Hen'. Print Edition | Subscribe