SINGAPORE - There are more perks in store for 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 on Saturday (March 23).
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 memberships. There are about 200,000 members now.
Mrs Teo also told an event for HomeTeamNS members at Plaza Singapura that work on the waterfront Bedok clubhouse - the association's sixth clubhouse - will begin later this year.
It is one of three new clubhouses that will open over the next 10 to 15 years. A Khatib outlet will be ready next year to replace the Sembawang facility while one in Tengah Forest Town will be built to replace the Bukit Batok centre.
Mrs Teo, who is Manpower Minister and Second Minister for Home Affairs, thanked the NSmen and their families for their service: "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 the recognitions and our appreciation."
She 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 that are taking place remind us that we can never take safety and security for granted. It is a constant challenge that can only be addressed with unwavering vigilance," 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 in her speech 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 such as the collapse of Hotel New World in 1986, the hijack of Singapore Airlines flight SQ117 in 1991 and the Pulau Busing oil storage tank fire last year, she said.
Last year, many Home Team NSmen also served alongside regular officers during the Trump-Kim Summit, ensuring safety and security and making Singaporeans very proud, she said.
Mrs Teo told the media later that said the clubhouses are an important way to make membership benefits real and tangible to Home Team NSmen.
Bedok was chosen for the new clubhouse as there is a sizeable number of Home Team NSmen living in the eastern part of Singapore. A good location has been found and the association has spent the last few months planning the facility, she said, adding that more details will be given when the ground is broken at the site later this year.
"We want to make sure that in terms of the range of facilities that we're able to offer, the clubhouses complement one another, so that ... when you look at all the clubhouses together there's a comprehensive range of activities that support the social and lifestyle needs of Home Team NSmen," she said.
HomeTeamNS is also commemorating the Bicentennial with an 18.19km Virtual Lifesavers Run ahead of its annual REAL Run on Oct 5. Participants can sign up at www.hometeamns.sg/realrun and complete the virtual run at their own time and pace between April and June.