In a company full of Operationally Ready National Servicemen (NSmen), arranging manpower to cover another man’s job whenever he has to go for his In-Camp Training (ICT) is no easy task.
But local facilities management firm AV One FM & Engineering Pte Ltd manages to do it through being informed of its employees’ ICT schedules in advance and allocating sufficient manpower well ahead of time.
With 39 of its 40 employees being Singaporean males, AV One FM & Engineering Pte Ltd has initiated plenty of National Service (NS)-friendly policies.
For example, employees are given half a day off before their ICT to pack and prepare. Monthly activities such as jogging or football games are organised to encourage employees to keep fit so that they can pass their Individual Physical Proficiency Test (IPPT).
And when they pass their IPPT, the company rewards them with monetary incentives - $100 if they get a gold, $75 if they get a silver and $50 if they pass. This is on top of the IPPT incentive awards from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
“Usually when they finish NS, NSmen find it harder keep fit and tend to fail their IPPT.
“We tell them that if they fail, they will need to spend more time doing Remedial Training, so it’s better to do it once and pass. This is why we give them the (extra) motivation to keep fit,” explained Muhammad Redzuan Bin Abdullah. The 36-year-old is the director of AV One FM & Engineering Pte Ltd.
On his part, Mr Redzuan also constantly reminds his employees on the importance of staying committed to NS.
“There’s no one protecting Singapore except for us. When you’re operationally ready, you’re supposed to be fighting fit.”
AV One FM & Engineering Pte Ltd was among the 152 recipients who received the National Service (NS) Advocate Award during the Total Defence (TD) Awards Dinner at the Raffles City Convention Centre on 4 Oct. A total of 91 Small and Medium Enterprises, 22 large companies, 28 organisations and 11 individuals were recognised this year for their exemplary support towards TD and NS.
During the dinner, Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen emphasised that the message and goals of TD are now more relevant than ever in light of global and regional security challenges such as terrorism, cyber threats and fake news.
“Singaporeans must remain watchful and alert. To respond to these ever-evolving threats, we need a collective will, a Total Defence to stand as one people, united in resolve and action.”
He added that Singapore may need to strengthen the existing TD framework with “Digital Defence”, the details of which government agencies are working on.
Dr Ng also thanked the recipients for their outstanding commitment to defence: “I am confident that this generation of Singaporeans will rally together when threatened… To all the award recipients tonight, be proud that you have done your part as a role model for Singapore's defence.”
Just like AV One FM & Engineering Pte Ltd, the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) also organises monthly health activities to encourage their employees to keep fit.
As a school with a full range of sports facilities such as gyms and swimming pools, NSmen employees find it convenient and easy to exercise and train for their IPPT. In addition, external fitness experts are often invited to share tips with the staff on how to keep fit on their own.
To help prepare their male students for NS, ITE also has a sports and wellness programme. Throughout their ITE studies, students have to undergo a two-hour sports lesson each week. Those who need more help attend extra training sessions to improve their fitness levels.
On the TD front, ITE lecturers often organise class-based activities for students to learn about different cultures and races from one another. These lessons encourage students to celebrate and appreciate social defence. When asked why it was important for ITE to promote TD and NS, Senior Director of human resource Jane Chia, 55, said: “We (believe that we) should start them from young. They need to know that every citizen must play his or her part in defending and protecting Singapore.
“Our citizens must have a passion for our country; to protect and make sure our future is safe.”