Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen was the Guest of Honour at the annual Total Defence Awards Ceremony 2023 held at the Raffles City Convention Centre this evening. This year, 218 National Service (NS) Advocate Awards were presented to 113 Small and Medium Enterprises, 40 Large Companies, 46 Organisations and 19 Individuals. The NS Advocate Award is the highest accolade conferred on businesses, organisations and individuals in recognition of their exemplary support toward Total Defence (TD) and NS.
Speaking at the ceremony, Dr Ng highlighted the need for TD amid the security challenges happening around the world today. He said, "This year, I think Singaporeans and indeed citizens of countries around the world, need less convincing that TD is vital and needed… unless the citizens of any country can come together to mount a strong total defence, that country is at risk of losing their independence and way of life… if you as a citizen do not protect Singapore, then no one else will and you will lose it."
Dr Ng also emphasised his appreciation for TD Advocates and their contributions towards TD and NS. He said, "We appreciate your contributions greatly. We recognise and thank the NS Advocate Awardees, individuals, organisations, SMEs and large companies for your exemplary support towards Total Defence and NS… If we can keep this message of TD strong for another generation, then Singapore's future will be that much more secure for the future, come what may."
Also present at the ceremony were Senior Ministers of State for Defence Mr Heng Chee How and Mr Zaqy Mohamad as well as Minister of State for Home Affairs & Social and Family Development Ms Sun Xueling.