Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD)

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The Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) was established by MINDEF in January 1984 as a channel for the community to provide feedback on issues concerning Singapore’s defence.

Following recommendations from the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) in 2014, MINDEF has reviewed the structure of ACCORD to deepen engagement with employers, educational institutions, family members and members of the broader community, as well as to facilitate initiatives from the community that better support National Defence and National Service (NS).

ACCORD is restructured with three Councils formed under its ambit, namely, Employer and Business (E&B), Family and Community (F&C) and Educational Institutions (EI) Councils.

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ACCORD Main

ACCORD’s proposals

ACCORD submitted 18 proposals to MINDEF in February 2015, aimed at boosting support and recognition for NS. The 18 proposals include initiatives to (a) help ease the transition for servicemen returning to school after full-time NS, (b) encourage community organisations and small businesses to show appreciation for men and women in uniform, (c) strengthen MINDEF’s engagement with women’s organisations, and (d) provide employers and businesses with advance notice of their employees’ In-Camp Training (ICT) call-ups, so that they can plan ahead more effectively. ACCORD also proposed that MINDEF enhances the way it recognises and commends employers, businesses and organisations that go the extra mile to support NS.

By February 2017, all the 18 proposals submitted to MINDEF have been implemented. With the foundation laid by the first term members, the second term members who are appointed in July 2016 are focusing on sustaining the current initiatives, increasing the scale and reach of existing initiatives and exploring new ground-up initiatives.

Membership

The ACCORD (Main) is co-chaired by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman. The members comprise the co-chairpersons from the sub-Councils, Executive Chairman of Asia Resource Corporation Mr Tony Chew and Senior Vice-president of Banyan Tree Ms Claire Chiang, Senior Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Education Mr Chee Hong Tat and the following representatives from various sectors of society:

Mr Heng Chee How Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman
Senior Minister of State Senior Minister of State
Ministry of Defence Ministry of Defence & Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Co-Chairman ACCORD Co-Chairman ACCORD
Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (E&B) and ACCORD (EI) Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (F&C)
   
Mr Chee Hong Tat Mr Tony Chew Leong Chee
Senior Minister of State Executive Chairman
Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education Asia Resource Corporation
Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (EI) Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (E&B)
   
Ms Claire Chiang Ms Sylvia Lim
Senior Vice President Member of Parliament
Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd Aljunied GRC
Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (F&C)
   
Mr Henry Kwek Ms Rahayu Mahzam
Member of Parliament Member of Parliament
Nee Soon GRC Jurong GRC
   
Mr Chris Edwards Mr David Boey
Head of College Defence Blogger
United World College of South East Asia
   
Mr David Chua Mr Douglas Foo
Chief Executive Office President
National Youth Council Singapore Manufacturing Federation
   
Mr Edward Leong Mr Ignatius Low
Chief Executive Office Chief Marketing Officer
SAFRA National Service Association Singapore Press Holdings
   
BG (NS) Ishak Ismail Ms Jeanie Tan
Regional Director (APAC) Group Director (Partnership)
BAE Systems Hägglunds AB People's Association
   
Ms Joanna Portilla Mr Letchumanan Narayanan
Patron Director (Resilience and Engagement Division)
People's Association Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
Women's Integration Network Council  
   
Ms Liew Wei Li Mr Ng Chin Hwee
Deputy Director-General Education (Schools) Executive Vice President (HR & Operations)
Director of Schools Singapore Airlines Limited
Ministry of Education  
   
Mr Peter Lam Kok Wai Mr Roland Ng
Principal and Chief Executive Office President
Temasek Polytechnic Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry
   
Prof Tan Eng Chye Mr Tan Hee Teck
President Chief Executive Officer
National University of Singapore Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd
   
Mr Teo Siong Seng Mr Wee Chorng Kien Kurt
Chairman President
Singapore Business Federation Association of Small & Medium Enterprise
   
Dr Yek Tiew Ming Ms Yeung Shuk Lin
Principal Chief Editor (Singapore News)
ITE College East Mediacorp Pte Ltd
ACCORD EMPLOYER & BUSINESS (E&B)

Background

The Employer & Business (E&B) Council is one of the three sub-councils formed after the restructuring of ACCORD. It serves as a forum for better engagement of the business community on National Service issues, as well as to strengthen collaboration between the community and MINDEF/SAF. The sub-council, which comprises leaders from different sectors of the business community, reflects the strong support from employers and businesses for National Service (NS).

The council members, comprising experts from the relevant industries, will form three working groups to look into three broad areas: (i) identifying the challenges that Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) face in supporting NS, (ii) recognising NS training, skills and personal development, and (iii) the possible areas of collaboration between the business community and MINDEF/SAF.

Membership

The ACCORD E&B is co-chaired by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Executive Chairman of Asia Resource Corporation Mr Tony Chew. The members of the ACCORD E&B are:

Mr Heng Chee How* Mr Tony Chew Leong Chee
Senior Minister of State Executive Chairman
Ministry of Defence Asia Resource Corporation
Co-Chairman ACCORD Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (E&B)
Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (E&B) and ACCORD (EI)  
   
Mr Abu Bakar Mr Chng Kai Fong
Managing Director (Gas & Specialised Vessels) Managing Director
Keppel Offshore & Marine Singapore Economic Development Board
   
Dr Claus Trenner Mr Douglas Foo*
President President
Singapore-German Chamber of Industry & Commerce Singapore Manufacturing Federation
   
Mr Dwight Hutchins Mr Erman Tan
Chairman President
American Chambers of Commerce in Singapore Singapore Human Resources Institute
   
Mr Eugene Seah Hsiu-Min Mr Haslam Preeston
Senior Director (Special Projects) Regional Managing Director
GCEO's Office Jardine Cycle & Carriage
Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd  
   
Mr Ignatius Low* Mr Loh Khai Peng
Chief Marketing Officer Managing Director
Singapore Press Holdings Growth and Emerging Markets
  Hewlett Packard Enterprise Singapore
   
Mr Mahesh Sivaswamy Mr Ng Chin Hwee*
Vice-Chairman Executive Vice President (HR and Operations)
Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry Singapore Airlines Limited
   
Mr Ramasamy Dhinakaran Mr Roland Ng San Tiong*
President President
Singapore Retailers Association Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry
   
Mr Saw Ken Wye Mr Shamir Rahim
President President
SGTech Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce & Industry
   
Mr Tan Hee Teck* COL(NS) Tan Khong Wee
Chief Executive Officer Commander
Resorts World at Sentosa Pte Ltd 5th Singapore Infantry Brigade
  Director
  L-TAC Machine Tools Pte Ltd
   
Mr Teo Siong Seng* Mr Thomas Sim
Chairman Second Deputy Chairman
Singapore Business Federation Singapore Logistics Association
   
Mr Wee Chorng Kien, Kurt*  
President  
Association of Small & Medium Enterprises  

* Denotes members in both ACCORD (Main) and an ACCORD Council

ACCORD FAMILY & COMMUNITY (F&C)

Background

Since its inception in August 2014, the Family & Community (F&C) Council hopes to strengthen Commitment to Defence (C2D) within the community, and fortify support for National Service (NS) and Total Defence (TD) within the family clusters.

The F&C Council recognises that there is a role for everyone to play towards the defence of our nation, regardless of one’s age and gender. The Council employs a four-prong approach to understand the stakeholders, collaborate, engage and enhance communications in the public domain.

Four working groups were formed to study the concerns related to NS and defence, and develop initiatives to better engage families and the community; and enhance the NS landscape.

Membership

ACCORD F&C is chaired by Senior Minister of State for Defence and Foreign Affairs Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, and is co-chaired by Senior Vice President of Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd Ms Claire Chiang. The members of the ACCORD F&C are:

Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman* Ms Claire Chiang*
Senior Minister of State Senior Vice President
Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) Banyan Tree Holdings Ltd
Co-Chairman ACCORD Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (F&C)
Co-Chair of ACCORD (E&B), ACCORD (EI) & ACCORD (F&C)  
   
Mr Anbarasu Rajendran DAC(NS) Charles Ng Kok Wee
Chief Executive Officer NS Commander Mentor, ‘F’ Division
Singapore Indian Development Association Singapore Police Force
   
COL (NS) Edwan Nizar Bin Ahadan Mr Edward Leong*
Deputy Division Commander (NS) Chief Executive Officer
4th SCDF Division SAFRA National Service Association
Singapore Civil Defence Force  
   
Mr Eugene Wee Liang Min Ms Ho Shiong Yee
News Editor Vice Chairperson
The New Paper NTUC Women's Committee
Singapore Press Holding Office Administrator
  Polyolefin Company (S) Pte Ltd
   
BG (NS) Ishak Ismail* Mr Jason Wong Seng Yoong
Regional Director (APAC) Founder
BAE Systems Hägglunds AB Dads for Life Movement and Yellow Ribbon Project
   
Ms Jeanie Tan* Ms Joanna Portilla*
Group Director (Partnership) Patron, People's Association
People's Association Women's Integration Network Council
   
Mr Kelvin Ang Mr Letchumanan Narayanan*
Founder Director (Resilience and Engagement Division)
Cheekiemonkies Blog Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth
   
Ms Lynn Koh Mr Mark Mah
Director Executive Director
Family Support Division Singapore Federation of Chinese Clan Associations
Family Development Group  
Ministry of Social and Family Development  
   
Mdm Rahayu Buang BG (NS) Sarbjit Singh
Chief Executive Officer Senior Formation Officer
Yayasan MENDAKI Republic of Singapore Air Force
   
Mrs Sher-Li Torrey Ms Yeung Shuk Lin*
Founder & Director Chief Editor (Singapore News)
Mums@Work Mediacorp Pte Ltd
Host  
WomenTalk  
   
COL(NS) Zee Yoong Kang  
Brigade Commander  
HQ 9th Singapore Infantry Brigade  
Singapore Armed Forces  

* Denotes members in both ACCORD (Main) and an ACCORD Council

ACCORD EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTIONS (EI)

Background

The ACCORD Educational Institutions (EI) comprises leaders in the educational sector and youth influencers. It aims to raise the awareness of, and boost the support and recognition for National Service (NS) among students, parents and educators in MOE schools/Institutes of Higher Learning (IHLs), as well as the Foreign System Schools (FSSs) and Privately Funded Institutions (PFIs). It also provides reviews and recommendations on measures to support students in their preparations for and transition after NS.

Membership

ACCORD (EI) is co-chaired by Senior Minister of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Senior Minister of State for Trade, Industry and Education Mr Chee Hong Tat. The ACCORD (EI) members are:

Mr Heng Chee How* Mr Chee Hong Tat*
Senior Minister of State Senior Minister of State
Ministry of Defence Ministry of Trade and Industry & Ministry of Education
Co-Chairman ACCORD Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (EI)
Co-Chairperson of ACCORD (E&B) and ACCORD (EI)  
   
Prof Arnoud De Meyer Mr Brandon Lee
President Director-General (Private Education), SkillsFuture Singapore
Singapore Management University Committee for Private Education Group
  SkillsFuture Singapore
   
Prof Cheong Hee Kiat Prof Chong Tow Chong
President President
Singapore University of Social Sciences Singapore University of Technology and Design
   
Mr Chris Edwards* Mr Daniel Ang
Head of College Principal
United World College of South East Asia Hai Sing Catholic School
   
Mr David Boey* Mr David Chua*
Defence Blogger Chief Executive Officer
  National Youth Council
   
Mr Divian Nair Ms Goh Sin Hwee
Founder Associate Editor
"We are Majulah" Initiative LianHe ZaoBao
Chief Executive Officer Singapore Press Holdings
Storyteller Productions  
   
Ms Liew Wei Li* Mr Lim Teck Yin
Deputy Director-General Education (Schools) Chief Executive Officer
Director of Schools Sport Singapore
Ministry of Education  
   
Ms Melissa Maria Mr Ng Boon Kiat
Principal Principal
Global Indian International School Commonwealth Secondary School
Punggol (SMART Campus)  
   
Mr Peter Lam* Mr Puvan Ariaratnam
Principal and Chief Eexcutive Officer Director, Character & Citizenship Education
Temasek Polytechnic Ministry of Education
   
Mr Rob Burrough Prof Subra Suresh
Principal President
Anglo-Chinese School (International) Nanyang Technological University
   
Mr Tan Chun Ming Prof Tan Eng Chye*
Cluster Superintendent, South 6 President
Ministry of Education National University of Singapore
   
Prof Tan Thiam Soon Dr Yek Tiew Ming*
President Principal
Singapore Institute of Technology ITE College East
   
Mr Yeo Li Pheow  
Principal and Chief Executive Officer  
Republic Polytechnic  

* Denotes members in both ACCORD (Main) and an ACCORD Council

ABOUT THE NS MARK

In 2013, the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) recommended the introduction of an NS Mark accreditation scheme to strengthen community recognition and support for NS. The Advisory Council for Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) led the development of the accreditation scheme, through extensive consultations between the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), the Singapore Armed Forces and the various stakeholder groups.

Launched in August 2016, NS Mark is a national-level accreditation scheme that recognises businesses and organisations which have put in place policies and human resource practices that support NS and Total Defence (TD). These include initiatives which support NSmen in better balancing their family, work and NS commitments. The scheme also aims to rally stronger community support for NS with the NS Mark recipients leading by example.

Click here for more information on NS Mark and its application process.

ABOUT THE TOTAL DEFENCE AWARDS

The Total Defence Awards (TDA) were first introduced in 1986 to recognise businesses - specifically employers and civil resource owners - for their contributions towards Total Defence. Both CSNS and ACCORD recommended enhancing awards for companies with pro-NS policies or human resource practices, and individuals or employers who are supportive of NS.

The revamped TDA was launched in 2015 to recognise a broader spectrum of NS advocates beyond businesses, to include educational institutions, family and community organisations as well as individuals. The Home Team NS Awards has also been integrated with the TDA. The revamped TDA, which comprises a single highest tier award - the NS Advocate Award - aims to strengthen advocacy for NS by encouraging others to play their part in supporting our national servicemen.

The TDA consists of the NS Advocate Award across four categories - Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), Large Companies, Organisations and Individuals. The NS Advocate Award is the highest accolade awarded to individuals, businesses or organisations for their exemplary support towards Total Defence and in particular, NS. From 2017 onwards, the top NS Mark (Gold) accredited companies and organisations would be selected for the NS Advocate Award. The NS Advocate Award is conferred for a period of three years, and will be presented at the annual TDA.

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