Photo of Ng Eng Hen from today

Marking the day of the Japanese Occupation on Feb 15, Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen rehashed the Total Defence concept telling Singaporeans to do their part. Seemingly-reading from a social studies textbook, Minister Ng Eng Hen said:

“Singapore must anticipate and prepare for emergencies, no country can know all the dangers that come its way. As such, the stronger our Total Defence, the more certain we can be that no challenge will overwhelm Singapore.”

The Minister claimed National Service conscripts are committed to the “strong and capable” Singapore Armed Force:

“While the nation now has a strong and capable Singapore Armed Forces because its National Servicemen are committed and dedicated to military defence.”

Minister Ng Eng Hen then continued reading his secondary school script on Total Defence:

“Indeed, when there is a terrorist attack or a natural disaster, civilians will have to take the initiative to save themselves and others first, before the security forces respond. As for economic defence, Singapore cannot afford a prolonged period of slowdown even during threats. We will have to keep our air and sea ports open, our businesses functioning even under trying circumstances. We did this during Sars in 2003 and the haze in 2015 to regain the vibrancy of our economy. During challenging times, tensions will rise and relationships between individuals and community groups will be tested. Those who seek to do us harm will attempt to sow fear, discord and confusion among Singaporeans, to divide us and make us weak. If they succeed, we will lose the will to defend Singapore as one people. This is why social defence is a key pillar in Total Defence. With Singapore being a small country, Dr Ng added, it is vulnerable to external pressures that will test its people’s resolve and tenacity. In defending Singapore, we can be only as strong as our collective will to do so … Psychological defence will give us the resilience to overcome these pressures.”