Singapore

Maliki hands over reins of Accord to Ong

New leader at channel for people to provide feedback on Singapore's defence

The Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) saw a change in leadership yesterday, with Second Minister for Defence Ong Ye Kung taking over the chairmanship from Senior Minister of State for Defence Maliki Osman.

Dr Maliki served a two-year term as chairman of Accord, a channel for people to provide feedback on issues concerning Singapore's defence.

During his tenure, he oversaw the implementation of 18 proposals submitted to the Ministry of Defence to boost support and recognition for national service, Mindef said in a statement.

These included ground-up initiatives to commemorate NS50, such as the Dads for Life Camp at the Army Open House this year and a Celebrating NS50 picnic.

Accord now has stronger ties and a wider reach with trade associations and companies, and has been able to reach out to more women to help them better understand NS and defence, Mindef added.

Dr Maliki said: "National service requires the strong support of the community.

"I am confident that under Mr Ong's leadership, Accord will continue to play an active role in raising public understanding, and deepening the support for NS and Total Defence."

Mr Ong said Accord plays an important role in ensuring Singaporeans are ready and prepared at all times to protect the country.

"(Through the platform), we hope to further reach out to employers, schools and the community. We want to build upon the different ways society can contribute to support national service and Total Defence," he said. Accord aims to develop more initiatives to build a deeper sense of commitment for Singapore's defence, he added.

MINISTRY OF DEFENCE (MINDEF)