“Singaporeans must strive to strengthen five pillars of Total Defence. The stronger our Total Defence, the more certain we can be that no challenge will overwhelm Singapore,” said Ng Eng Hen, Defence Minister in his message for the Total Defence Day.
The five pillars of Total Defence are military, civil, economic, social and psychological defence.
Total Defence Day is observed on February 15 every year to mark the day in 1942 when British forces formally surrendered to Japanese army and paved the way for Japanese occupation for next three-and-a-half years.
The Defence Minister applauded the Singaporean Armed Forces for being strong and capable and said, “National Servicemen are committed and dedicated to military defence.”
While laying emphasis on the role of civil defence, he said,“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.”
Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen also spoke on the economic defence and said,“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.”