NS Square reflects central role of NS in Singapore life

The NS Squre marks the contributions of generations of NSmen and signifies Singapore's continued commitment to defence and NS. PHOTO: ST FILE

We refer to the letter by Mr Toh Cheng Seong on the redevelopment of The Float @ Marina Bay, and the link between national service (NS) and the proposed community uses at NS Square (Floating platform not the place for NS gallery, June 24).

During World War II, prisoners of war made their march of defeat from Nicoll Highway to Changi.

Since 2010, basic military training route marches have ended at The Float @ Marina Bay, as a symbolic reversal of the march by the war prisoners.

The permanence and prominence of the NS Square in Marina Bay reflects the central role that NS plays in our lives and our continued peace and prosperity.

It marks the contributions of generations of NSmen and signifies our continued commitment to defence and NS.

In the same vein, embedding the NS-themed gallery in a community space also signals the importance of NS as an integral part of the lives of Singaporeans.

It is why we have worked with the relevant stakeholders, including other government ministries, to conceptualise NS Square as a space for the public to enjoy community, arts, culture, and sports activities at the waterfront all year round.

We agree with Mr Toh that the redevelopment is a good opportunity to enliven the Marina Bay area. We intend to put in an expanded platform and seating capacity, with flexibility to cater to different uses.

We also plan to improve pedestrian connectivity around Marina Bay and provide community-focused sports facilities.

We appreciate Mr Toh's suggestions and welcome members of the public to share their feedback and suggestions on facilities and activities at the NS Square, as well as exhibits at the NS-themed gallery at www.nssquare.sg, or at nssquare@defence.gov.sg

Public feedback and suggestions are important to us, and will be taken into consideration for the redevelopment.

Lee Chung Wei

Director Manpower

Ministry of Defence

Jermaine Loy

Senior Director, Strategic Planning

Ministry of National Development

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 29, 2019, with the headline NS Square reflects central role of NS in Singapore life. Subscribe