More perks are in store for operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen) from the police and civil defence forces to mark their contributions to Singapore's journey over the past 200 years, HomeTeamNS president Josephine Teo said yesterday at an event for members at Plaza Singapura.
These enhanced benefits are one-for-one weekend movie tickets at Cathay Cineplexes and the chance to win a Skoda Octavia Ambition car in a lucky draw when signing up for or renewing membership. There are about 200,000 HomeTeamNS members now.
Mrs Teo also said that work on the waterfront Bedok clubhouse - the association's sixth clubhouse - will begin later this year.
Bedok was chosen as the location for the new clubhouse as there is a sizeable number of Home Team NSmen living in the east of Singapore. A good location has been found and the association has spent the last few months planning the facility, she said, adding that they want to ensure the facilities of all the clubhouses complement one another.
She said the clubhouses, with facilities for recreation and team-building, are a vital way to make membership benefits tangible for Home Team NSmen.
She thanked the NSmen and their families for their service, saying: "We can never match what you have given to fellow Singaporeans.
"But through the clubhouses, the membership benefits and the many opportunities for you to connect with one another, we hope you can sense our appreciation."
Mrs Teo, who is Manpower Minister and Second Minister for Home Affairs, also launched a year-long "Real Pledge" campaign to commemorate Singapore's bicentennial. This aims to collect 100,000 pledges, both from NSmen to reaffirm their commitment to serve and protect Singapore, as well as from their families and the public to support them. "Real" stands for "Regular Exercise, Active Lifestyle".
"When we look around the world, so many events remind us that we can never take safety and security for granted, " Mrs Teo said.
"Some things can change, such as our uniforms, our equipment, our methods, but some things must never change, for example, how we are steadfast in our commitment to keep each other safe and Singapore secure."
Mrs Teo noted that the Singapore Police Force was formed in 1820, making it one of the earliest government organisations to be established here, while the Singapore Fire Brigade - later named the Singapore Civil Defence Force - was formed in 1888.
Officers have risen to the challenge during major incidents in the past, while last year, many Home Team NSmen also served alongside regular officers during the Trump-Kim summit, ensuring safety and security, she said.
Mr William Tan, 62, who joined the first batch of National Service Probationary Inspectors in 1976 and led his division in the anti-drug exercise Operation Ferret, recalled how he once encountered a grandmother who held on to his legs and begged him not to arrest her grandson.
"All these experiences as a young man, they really mature you," he said.