Bouquets: A salute to NS pioneers

A salute to NS pioneers

I salute Mr Tan Teck Huat (Give due recognition to first NS officers, Forum Online, Aug 2, 2017; and Organise reunion for pioneer NS officers, Forum Online, Dec 30, 2017).

His story as a pioneer national service officer is inspiring.

Few will disagree that the Officer Cadet School is one of the toughest programmes offered by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). Officer Cadet Trainees (OCTs) are exposed to an operational tempo that exceeds that of most SAF courses.

That not all OCTs successfully negotiate the programme and, as a result, fail to earn their commissions, is testament to this. Officers also bear heavier responsibilities and stress levels.

I served NS from 1993 to 1995. I used to think I had it bad - we still had log physical training back then for instance, and cookhouse food was barely palatable at times. But the fact is that the NS pioneers like Mr Tan had it much tougher.

Thanks to the sacrifices of NS pioneers like Mr Tan, the way was forged for future generations of Singaporean men.

The stories of these pioneers are valuable contributions to the NS narrative and the Singapore narrative, and are worthy of preservation.

Even though NS50 celebrations have officially ended, let us as individuals continue to honour and show gratitude and appreciation in our own ways to Singapore's NS pioneers, NSmen, and the men and women who labour to keep Singapore safe.

Woon Wee Min

Kudos for enforcing traffic rules

I applaud the Land Transport Authority enforcement officer for reminding the driver of President Halimah Yacob's vehicle of the rule against parking on a road with unbroken double yellow lines (VIPs' security officers reminded to comply with traffic rules; Dec 23).

His action to perform his duty without fear or favour speaks volumes for the integrity, accountability and transparency of his organisation, and of the civil service as a whole.

Living the core values of integrity, incorruptibility, honesty, impartiality and objectivity has always been essential for the trust citizens have placed in the civil service.

Such high standards of professional conduct and integrity have contributed to good governance, combined with a clean and honest government administration.

We should jealously guard these values so as not to go down the slippery road of corruption and mismanagement that many countries flounder in.

There is no place for abuses in our society.

V. Subramaniam (Dr)

Kind assistance after injury

I have been doing yoga exercises for 27 years and have seen an increasing number of senior citizens going to fitness centres to take part too.

Recently, an enthusiastic practitioner sprained her leg during a session and had difficulty walking. A young nurse from Tan Tock Seng Hospital stepped up and helped massage the woman's leg with medicated ointment and the excruciating pain the woman was experiencing appeared to have subsided instantly.

The woman asked how she could repay the nurse. The nurse said there was no need to, and just shook hands politely with the woman before walking away.

I was impressed. There are many healthcare professionals out there who render assistance unconditionally and expect no reward. These kind souls deserve praise.

Baby Mathen Mathews

Good reminder to count our blessings

I was heartened to read 14-year-old Clarissa Ng Ming Yi's comment that "we need to recognise that the things we complain about are often the stuff of other people's dreams" (Singaporeans should count our blessings; Dec 20, 2017).

This statement cannot be over-emphasised. It is only right to compare our way of life with those places where daily living is a struggle. We should not take our good fortune for granted.

With a good attitude, being prepared for any mishaps, and profound thinking from our young people, we can expect our small nation to grow and progress well into the year ahead.

Vivien Tan (Mrs)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 04, 2018, with the headline 'Bouquets'. Print Edition | Subscribe