As a retired civil servant, I was heartened to read the reports of ministers coming to the defence of our public servants (Ministers defend public servants; March 3).
A job in the civil service is unlike any in the private sector. It is not only a noble profession, but also a huge calling to serve the nation.
When one enters the service, one does not simply belong to or serve in a single department.
Our civil servants bear unusually heavy responsibilities, as they are the ones who silently uphold the qualities and values that represent the nation: integrity, incorruptibility, courage, efficiency and serving without fear or favour.
Our nation has become internationally renowned as a safe city, and is the envy of many because of the excellent work of our public servants, such as our Home Team officers (Singapore police seen as world-class crime fighters: Survey; March 4).
We are known for our integrity and efficiency because our public servants have exemplified these qualities when carrying out their jobs.
In short, civil servants are the de facto front-line "soldiers" who represent the face of the nation.
Without the big hearts, sacrifices and passion of our civil servants, it is not an overstatement to say that Singapore would not be what it is today.
Whenever there are glowing tributes for our country from abroad, the contributions of our civil servants - past and present - are not far off.
Singaporeans treasure the fact that they can sleep in peace every night, feeling secure in the knowledge that there is an extraordinary group of men and women who toil silently and tirelessly in the background to ensure that the country works efficiently and effectively.
If there is to be a uniquely Singapore brand that we should be proud of, it has to be the Singapore Civil Service.
Seah Yam Meng