Investment in defence is money well spent

I echo Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen's statement that the responsibility of defending the nation rests on Singaporeans alone ("Eng Hen: Much more to protect now than before"; Feb 8).

Indeed, Singaporean citizens and permanent residents should do their utmost to defend our country.

We should be cognisant of the fact that Singapore, being the famous "Red Dot", is very susceptible to geopolitics.

We have to be constantly combat-ready. Setting aside a substantial fraction of our gross domestic product every year for this is a good investment and money well-spent.

I am saddened by reports from time to time of Singaporeans and PRs deliberately evading national service.

Their actions smack of irresponsibility, selfishness and dishonesty, not to mention cowardice. Hence, there should be measures to shame these people in public.

Fortunately, these people belong to the minority.

By and large, citizens are compliant in fulfilling their NS obligations. Mature males readily agree that performing NS is a rite of passage in life, akin to a baptism of fire.

NS is the opportune time where loyalty and other values are inculcated in the minds of young men.

Therefore, it is most timely that we commemorate 50 years of NS and the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore.

Past and present national servicemen, including myself, are immensely glad that our contributions are duly appreciated.

Joe Teo Kok Seah