Defence Minister Ng Eng HenWe see nothing wrong in Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen’s views about Total Defence and military defence. If we Singaporeans do not defend Singapore and our love ones, who will? Outsource to others meh?
The importance of having all Singaporeans do their part in building the five pillars of Total Defence was reiterated by Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen on Tuesday evening (Feb 14).
His comments coincided with the 75th anniversary of the fall of Singapore to Japan – on Feb 15, 1942, the British formally surrendered at the former Ford Factory at Upper Bukit Timah Road. Many people suffered under the Japanese Occupation of the next three and a half years.
In a four-minute video clip that was uploaded on his Facebook page, Dr Ng said the period of subjugation and deprivation during World War II taught the pioneer generation two bitter but valuable lessons.
“One, you cannot depend on others to defend you,” he said. “And two, the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”
Dr Ng also said that as a result of this dark chapter in Singapore’s history, it created in the pioneer generation of Singaporeans a deep-seated conviction to keep the country safe and independent. “This is why National Service was introduced when Singapore gained its independence,” he said. “Today, we have a strong and capable SAF because our NSmen are committed and dedicated to Military Defence.”
Emphasising the importance of Civil Defence, Dr Ng said the sirens are sounded on Feb 15 every year to declare Singapore’s resolve for Total Defence. “Indeed, when there is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, civilians will have to take the initiative to save themselves and others first, before the security forces respond,” he said.
And even during threats, Singapore cannot afford a prolonged period of slowdown, the Defence Minister noted. “Economic Defence recognises that without resources, we cannot protect Singapore,” said Dr Ng. “We will have to keep our air and sea ports open, our businesses functioning even under trying circumstances,” he highlighted, adding that it was what the country did during SARS in 2003 and the haze in 2015.
Dr Ng also explained why Social Defence is a key pillar in Total Defence: “In challenging times, tensions will rise and relationships between individuals and community groups will be tested. Those who seek to do us harm will attempt to sow fear, discord and confusion among Singaporeans, to divide us and make us weak. If they succeed, we will lose the will to defend Singapore as one people.”
Lastly, Dr Ng said Psychological Defence will give Singaporeans the resilience to overcome these pressures. “We must anticipate and prepare for emergencies as we do against known threats like terrorist attacks, cyber warfare and biological pandemics,” he said.
“As we mark Total Defence Day on Feb 15, wherever we are, let us stand shoulder to shoulder and with that deep commitment and unshakeable resolve pledge that we will keep Singapore safe, secure and sovereign for the next generation,” Dr Ng added before concluding his message.