Strong support for NS ‘goes a long way’: Dr Maliki Osman
While he was not surprised that the hawkers agreed to be part of the "We Support NS" campaign, Mr Yeo Hiang Meng was delighted that many were happy to offer discounts and benefits.
The president of the Federation of Merchants' Associations Singapore said: "A lot of these hawker centres are either near the army camps or in the heartlands, so it came naturally for them to want to support as they see many national servicemen (NSmen) dropping by for a meal all the time."
To thank the over 540 merchants and businesses participating in the campaign this year, an appreciation dinner was organised by the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence's (ACCORD) Family and Community Council at Suntec Singapore Convention Centre yesterday night.
The guests of honour were Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How and Senior Minister of State for Defence Mohamad Maliki Osman.
Dr Maliki Osman said: "NS continues to be the bedrock of Singapore's defence and the cornerstone of Singapore's prosperity and progress.
"One reason is the strong support by the public in giving due recognition to the many generations of Singaporeans who have served NS with pride and honour… your strong support goes a long way."
The marketing manager for Burger King Singapore agrees. Madam Kym Lee, whose husband goes for in-camp training (ICT) every year, finds the campaign a meaningful one.
"Burger King has been part of the campaign for two years and because we hire so many Singaporeans - from the frontline to the management - I think it is important to show some form of support to these men who tend to be invisible when they go about their regular day jobs."
On coping with her husband's ICT, the mother of two , aged six and 11, said: "But my mantra is to always keep calm, breathe and really educate my kids that their father is at camp and they have to behave themselves."
Colonel (NS) Edwan Nizar , who is also a member of the ACCORD council said he felt appreciated by the gesture.
The father to four kids said: “The discounts we receive also allow NSmen like myself and our families to benefit from the wide variety of discounts and benefits to allow us to save some costs."