The Straits Times
Published on Oct 22, 2012

PM Lee pays tribute to NSmen with $100m of vouchers


National service is a defining part of the Singapore identity, said Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong as he called on younger generations of Singaporeans to do their part to defend their country and understand the strategic realities it faces.

PM Lee on Monday paid tribute to the more than 900,000 men who have served the nation, as he announced $100 million worth of vouchers and free NSmen club memberships to recognise their efforts at a dinner that capped year-long celebrations of 45 years of national service.

He described NS as "a universal rite of passage" for every male Singaporean, noting that it had become a national institution. He also praised NSmen for serving faithfully.

Mr Lee added that he was "cautiously optimistic" that the region will remain peaceful, but warned that Singapore cannot take its present peace for granted, and stressed continued efforts to build up the Singapore Armed Forces and Home Team.