Generations of NSmen have kept Singapore safe and secure for 55 years: K. Shanmugam

More than 52,000 NSmen remain active today. PHOTO: SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE

SINGAPORE - National servicemen have kept Singapore safe and secure since 1967 when the National Service (Amendment) Bill was passed, said Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam on Thursday (May 5).

Speaking at the first anniversary celebration of HomeTeamNS Khatib, Mr Shanmugam said more than 290,000 NSmen have served in the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and more than 52,000 NSmen remain active today.

Mr Shanmugam, who chairs the HomeTeamNS board of governors, said he visited the Public Transport Security Command on Hari Raya Aidilfitri, and noted that 80 per cent of its officers in the specialised unit under the SPF are full-time national servicemen.

He said that the officers help to keep Singapore's MRT and bus systems safe and secure.

In the SCDF, one of the three-man crew in its ambulances is an NSman.

"In both the SPF and SCDF, our NSmen serve in the front line, patrolling, firefighting, providing emergency services and much more," he added.

The HomeTeamNS clubhouses are one way that Singapore shows that it values its NSmen, Mr Shanmugam said.

"They should be able to compare with the best available and perhaps go even further and the Clubhouses would need to generate a strong sense of pride," he added.

The Khatib clubhouse is one of five operated by HomeTeamNS for SPF and SCDF NSmen and their families, offering sports, fitness and recreational facilities in addition to dining options.

The five-storey Khatib clubhouse was officially opened in April last year.

It features an indoor adventure hub with slides, obstacle courses and climbing facilities, a Peranakan-themed indoor playground, and an indoor airsoft arena for player-versus-player competitive team shooting games.

The four other locations are in Balestier, Bukit Batok, Chinatown and Tampines.

Another clubhouse at Bedok Reservoir Park will be opened in the fourth quarter of this year, while the HomeTeamNS Tengah Clubhouse will be completed between 2030 and 2035 and will replace the current Bukit Batok Clubhouse.

Colonel (NS) Sim Meng San, HomeTeamNS Khatib executive committee chairman, said the celebration is the first large-scale event for HomeTeamNS since the pandemic began.

(From left) Minister of State Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and Law Minister K. Shanmugam touring HomeTeamNS Khatib on May 5, 2022. ST PHOTO: ARIFFIN JAMAR

Over the past two years, everyone has interacted virtually and now they can see each other in-person again, he added.

Mr Shanmugam also said Singapore celebrates 55 years of national service (NS55) with the theme, "Generations of Strength".

"To all NSmen across the generations, thank you for your service, your dedication, your commitment and sacrifices. You have helped to make Singapore a better home for all who live here. And to your families, thank you for your support for our NSmen," he added.

To commemorate the anniversary, all NSmen will receive a NS55 Recognition Package this year.

The slate of celebrations include the NS55 Showcase later this month, the NS55 Roving Heartlands Exhibition in June and the NS55 Week in August.

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