102 honorary aides-de-camp appointed by President Halimah at the Istana

(From left) Major Muhammad Iskandar Dzulfadhli, Superintendent Ong Ruo Cheng and Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravinder Singh were part of the 102 honorary aides-de-camp appointed by President Halimah Yacob. ST PHOTO: MOHD KHALID BABA

SINGAPORE - As a fighter pilot, Major Muhammad Iskandar Dzulfadhli has seen his fair share of action, including scrambling his aircraft within minutes in response to potential air threats several times since he joined the Republic of Singapore Air Force in 2008.

He has also had chances to show off his flying skills, and was part of the team that put up an aerial display for the 2021 National Day Parade.

Now, the staff officer in the Air Operations Department, 34, will also help to ensure that state events and functions run without a hitch, and interact with guests as an honorary aide-de-camp (HADC) to the president.

He was among 102 honorary aides-de-camp appointed by President Halimah Yacob at the Istana on Wednesday. He was also one of the 23 who were newly appointed to the role.

Honorary aides-de-camp support their full-time counterparts in organising and assisting at official events and functions, such as visits by foreign dignitaries and the Istana Open House when people can enter the grounds.

They are drawn from serving officers in the Singapore Armed Forces, the Singapore Police Force and the Singapore Civil Defence Force. They serve at least 60 hours a year in their first two years, and from the third year on, serve a minimum of 48 hours each year.

At an appreciation dinner following the appointment ceremony, President Halimah said: “The past year has seen the resumption of events as Singapore transitions towards living with Covid-19.

“The HADCs adapted quickly and decisively to the changes in safe management measures, with many volunteering their time and service readily for duties.”

Superintendent Ong Ruo Cheng, 33, had helped to organise the first virtual Istana Open House in 2020 as a full-time aide-de-camp, and received her appointment as an honorary aide-de-camp on Wednesday.

On her time as a full-time aide-de-camp, the operations officer at the Yishun South Neighbourhood Police Centre said the team had to pivot quickly due to Covid-19 restrictions.

This gave rise to virtual tours that gave people a sneak peek into places that are not open to the public, as well as interactive activities in collaboration with the National Museum of Singapore.

She added that the experience as an aide-de-camp has broadened her horizons.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Ravinder Singh, 36, who was reappointed, said one of the biggest rewards from seven years as an honorary aide-de-camp is the bonds forged with co-workers from other uniformed services.

“Given my interest in foreign affairs, I appreciate the opportunity to be able to witness how the president’s office maintains diplomatic relations and interacts with foreign delegates,” he added.

DSP Singh said: “I look forward to representing both the Singapore Police Force and the Sikh community in my service to the highest office of the nation.”

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