Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How was the Guest of Honour at the annual Total Defence Awards Dinner held at the Raffles City Convention Centre this evening. This year, 167 NS Advocate Awards were presented to 85 Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), 44 Large Companies, 31 Organisations and 7 Individuals. The NS Advocate Award is the highest accolade conferred on businesses, organisations and individuals in recognition of their exemplary support towards Total Defence and National Service (NS).
Speaking at the dinner, Mr Heng highlighted that the security challenges we face today have expanded to include terrorism, cyberattacks, disinformation and other subversive activities, and that Total Defence remains relevant and is more important than ever to get Singaporeans to work together to protect our nation. Citing the example of cyber threats, Mr Heng said that Digital Defence, an additional pillar to Total Defence, was introduced earlier this year "to give focus and impetus to developing plans and societal capabilities and reflexes in this emerging critical area".
Mr Heng also commended the Total Defence Award recipients for their strong advocacy, and outstanding example and contribution towards Total Defence and NS. "We must stress that individual actions and vigilance make a real difference… There are a myriad ways that each of us can make a difference. The bottom line is, together, we are stronger," said Mr Heng.
Also present at the dinner were Senior Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and Health Mr Amrin Amin, and Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Ms Sun Xueling.