Minister for Trade and Industry Mr Chan Chun Sing was the Guest-of-Honour at the Total Defence Day Commemoration Event this year, held at The Float @ Marina Bay for the first time. The commemoration event was also attended by Senior Ministers of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman as well as officials from the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Singapore Armed Forces.
In his address, Mr Chan highlighted the significance of Total Defence and how Total Defence keeps Singapore strong amidst the challenges we face today, such as the ongoing COVID-19 (Coronavirus Disease 2019) outbreak. He said "Our strongest defence as a nation is collective defence, when every one of us plays our part. This is the essence of Total Defence." "Our collective spirit and resolve over these past weeks have demonstrated that when every one of us plays our part and helps one another, we fear no challenges. Nothing will set us back. Every challenge is an opportunity for us to once again prove our Total Defence in action and our collective will to transcend all challenges. May we all emerge stronger from this all," added Mr Chan.
Mr Chan and Mr Heng gave out prizes to the top ten designers of the Total Defence Logo Design Competition. The Total Defence logo is revamped for the first time in 35 years, following the inclusion of Digital Defence in 2019, to represent all six pillars – Military, Civil, Economic, Social, Digital, and Psychological Defence. The winner of the competition and designer of the new Total Defence logo, Ms Samantha Alexa Teng Si Min, said that the design reflects Singaporeans' resilience and determination to keep progressing together in an ever-changing world.
Organised annually by MINDEF, the Total Defence Day Commemoration Event included a Weapon Presentation Ceremony for 296 recruits from the Basic Military Training Centre. The recruits received their SAR 21 rifles against the backdrop of Singapore's city skyline, signifying their transition from civilians to soldiers entrusted to bear arms to defend Singapore. "78 years ago on this day – 15 February – was one of the darkest moments in our history. Singapore came under Japanese occupation. Today, we remind ourselves that we must make sure that this never ever happens again, that Singapore will forever remain safe, secure and sovereign," said Mr Chan.
Total Defence Day marks the day that Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942 during World War II and is commemorated annually on 15 February. It is a day that reminds us that we ourselves must defend Singapore, and that together we can continue to strengthen our resolve to keep Singapore safe and sovereign. This year, as the nation confronts COVID-19, Singaporeans can rally together through Total Defence, stand united, contain the spread of the disease, and overcome any challenge that comes our way.