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NS Square should inspire pride, confidence in our fighting force

Screenshot 2020-08-26 at 12.00.42 PM
(Source / The Straits Times)

The Straits Times published a forum letter by the public that mentioned that there would be exciting plans for the Marina Bay floating platform. It will be a community space for large-scale events that will also pay tribute to Singapore’s national servicemen.

It was reported that NS Square will have a water sports centre, a swimming pool and a national service-themed gallery.

It is due to be completed by the end of 2025.

There are really good suggestions given by the public, but we must keep in mind that this venue is not just another Singapore Indoor Stadium, Sports Hub or recreational venue.

It carries a far more significant and ambitious vision and responsibility – to bond families and national service personnel, and to remind Singaporeans that NS is critical for Singapore.

It is a reminder that NS is a key part of the Singaporean identity and an existential need for the country.

It also plays a part in preserving racial and social harmony, and in strengthening global and public confidence in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) as a credible fighting force.

The proposed gallery to honour the contributions of national servicemen past and present should reflect the eight SAF core values in a discernible way. These are: loyalty to country, leadership, discipline, professionalism, fighting spirit, ethics, care for soldiers and safety.

It would be good to have meaningful and impactful permanent structures or installations at NS Square.

Policymakers could consider building the largest digital hand-print mural which will allow any visitor to scan his hands and, thereafter, have the print displayed permanently on a screen.

Displaying the palm prints of visitors in that way will signify unity and show that everyone is part of the NS family.

NS Square could also showcase the discipline and professionalism of servicemen by staging formal military march-past ceremonies, just like the changing of the guards that takes place at Taipei’s Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall every hour each day from 9am to 5pm.

This would foster a great sense of pride among the people to see the soldiers all-imposing and smart in their uniforms.