SINGAPORE- National Service is not just about the national servicemen or the defence infrastructure - families and employers are also stakeholders in ensuring Singapore is well protected, said MP Halimah Yacob.
The MP for Marsiling-Yew Tee GRC and Speaker of Parliament gave a speech at the Breakfast with Families and NS50 Appreciation event on Sunday (May 7), co-organised by the Marsiling Citizens' Consultative Committee, Marsiling Women's Executive Committee and Marsiling Zone 6 Residents' Committee .
Close to 200 residents, including NSmen living in the area and their families, came together to tuck into a breakfast of nasi lemak. The event was to commemorate the 50th anniversary of National Service (NS50), and to celebrate Mothers' Day which falls on May 14.
Said Madam Halimah: "Without a strong defence, we cannot talk about social economic growth and development... Especially for a small country, we have to tell people that we take our defence seriously.
"We don't have gold, we don't have oil, but we defend the lives of our people. We defend not just the past or present, but the future that is our children and grandchildren."
The commemorative NS50 PAssion cards by the People's Association were also presented to 17 pairs of father-and-son NSmen at the event.
Grassroots leader Abdullah Ali, 68, who was from the pioneer batch of NSman, also shared briefly about the changes that NS had gone through.
While touching on the sacrifices that NSmen made, Madam Halimah highlighted the role of women and other stakeholders like employers in Singapore's defence.
"Even if women don't serve in NS because opinions are quite divided on that, they can give their support and encouragement when family members go for NS... At every moment we must remember never to take our NSmen for granted," she said.
As part of the event, Madam Halimah distributed balloon flower bouquets to the mothers in attendance and there was also a Mothers' Day cake-cutting ceremony.