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Speech by Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam,Minister For Finance, At SAF Day Combined Rededication Ceremony 2008 (West Zone), 1 July 2008, 3.15 pm at ST Kinetics

01 Jul 2008

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen,

I am heartened to see such a good turnout of National Servicemen and employers as we gather here today to mark SAF Day, and to renew our pledge of allegiance and loyalty to the country. Your presence is a reaffirmation of your commitment to the defence of Singapore. Indeed, this rededication ceremony is a good occasion for us to reflect on the importance of defence, the need for National Service, and what we must do to safeguard the peace and security of Singapore.

What we must never do is to take this peace and security for granted. That is why we continue tirelessly to build a strong SAF. And the operational readiness of the SAF draws its strength from every regular and every citizen soldier. While modern equipment and technology are important in building up the SAF's capability, it is ultimately the fighting spirit and commitment of each and every one of you that determines the outcome of any action we are called upon to undertake. On behalf of the Government and people of Singapore, I would like to thank all of you for your service to our nation. You have dedicated yourselves to training hard and preparing for the role entrusted upon you to defend the country and protect our homes. We also recognise and remember the sacrifices of all those who have served.

The SAF also owes its strength to the support of National Service by Singaporeans. In particular, I would like to thank the families and employers of our National Servicemen. Your steadfast support, encouragement and sacrifice have made it possible for your loved ones and employees to carry out their training and operational duties.

Let us continue to play our part to make Singapore a safe, secure, and peaceful home for our children and the generations to come.

Thank you.