Accord appoints 18 new members at NDP function

SINGAPORE - The Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) appointed 18 new members during a function held at the floating platform ahead of the first National Day Parade (NDP) preview on July 28.

Accord co-chairmen Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman presented letters of appointment to the new members of Accord and its three Councils for a new two-year term.

They also presented letters of appreciation to thank 22 current Accord members who will step down on Aug 24.

Accord was established in 1984 as a channel for the community to provide feedback on the Ministry of Defence and Singapore Armed Forces' policies and other issues related to defence.

New members include Jurong GRC MP Rahayu Mahzam and Hai Sing Catholic School principal Daniel Ang.

Among those stepping down are Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin and Families for Life Council chairman Ching Wei Hong.

Since its restructuring in 2014, Accord has reached out to employers, businesses, families, community and educational institutions, to encourage and implement ground-up initiatives in support of National Service and Total Defence.

For instance, to help pre-enlistee students get fit for NS, Accord helped Temasek Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic and the three ITE Colleges implement fitness programmes from 2015.

Ahead of the NDP preview, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also interacted with parade performers. Dr Ng, who met members of the choir and drum segments, said: "I'm very happy to meet the participants, we have about 6,000 National Day Parade participants, and they are all geared up to help Singapore to celebrate its 53rd birthday, all very excited and like in every year, they all have personal stories, many personal sacrifices, many life events.

"They go through four months of preparations, but each time I meet these participants I am impressed by how much passion and how much devotion they give to these preparations

"This is something really special for Singapore, so it's very heartwarming and I'm sure whether it's at The Float or at home, I think Singaporeans will enjoy this year's National Day Parade."