Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen was the Guest of Honour for the Gala Night of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) Music and Drama Company's (MDC) performance, "40 Stories: Saluting NSmen", this evening. In appreciation for their contribution to defence, the SAF MDC paid tribute to all NSmen and their families through a musical journey showcasing the best of song, music and dance over two days from 20 to 21 Nov 2013.
Speaking at the Gala Night, Dr Ng spoke about how the performance is a tribute to NSmen and their families. Dr Ng said, "MDC has a very specific mission. At the end of the day, it's about supporting our SAF men and women. Telling them that what they are doing is important. Through supporting them psychologically and entertaining them delivers a very simple message that we care for them just as much as they, in the SAF, care for Singapore." Dr Ng also spoke about how SAF MDC has grown with the institution of NS, playing an important role in engaging National Servicemen and Singaporeans through creative and artistic expression. He added that SAF MDC will continue to celebrate Singaporeans' contribution to defence through quality performances and the entertainment arts. He said, "We think that it can form a very strong basis to support our SAF men and women and we are looking at more meaningful ways MDC can play."
In conjunction with SAF MDC's 40th anniversary, "40 Stories: Saluting NSmen" features past and present artistes from SAF MDC including Dick Lee, Jack Neo, Jeremy Monteiro, Sheikh Haikel, Rai Kannu and Shigga Shay. Past and present talented artistes from the Home Team also joined in the performance including Shabir, the Women Police Pipes and Drums and the Soul Msters.
Formed in 1973 by then-Minister for Defence, Dr Goh Keng Swee, SAF MDC was set up to boost the morale of soldiers and to educate them on the importance of national education through music, song and dance performances. SAF MDC today reaches a wider audience and participates in events both locally and overseas. It has also been a stepping stone for many artistes in the local arts and entertainment scene, with five cultural medallion recipients amongst its alumni, namely, Jack Neo, Dick Lee, Jeremy Monteiro, Glen Goei, and Ivan Heng. Other members of the alumni include Gurmit Singh, Najip Ali, Lin Jun Jie (JJ Lin), Chua En Lai, and Sheikh Haikel.