President honours aide - de - camp with special award

President honours aide - de - camp with special award
For 17 years of service as an honorary aide-de-camp, ME7 Daniel Chua, the longest-serving honorary ADC, received a special award from President Tony Tan yesterday. Honorary ADCs organise and execute state events.

Military engineer officer Daniel Chua is the precision man.

The 55-year-old Military Expert 7 (ME7) ensures that state events proceed with clockwork timing.

He was part of the team that planned the rotation schedule for about 150 vigil guards at founding Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew's lying-in-state in Parliament House when he died in March.

For 17 years of service as an honorary aide-de-camp (ADC), ME7 Chua, who is the longest- serving honorary ADC, received a special award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam yesterday.

Honorary ADCs come from Singapore's police or civil defence forces and they volunteer to organise and execute state events.

Before diplomatic events, ME7 Chua said he does his homework to ensure, for instance, that state leaders are served their favourite beverages.

For Mr Lee's lying-in-state, he ensured four vigil guards were standing next to Mr Lee's coffin round the clock. It was an event where many foreign dignitaries came to pay their last respects.

"It was an honour to serve at this monumental event and ensure that Singapore maintained a dignified image in front of our foreign friends," he said. "Even though we are a small country, we can do things well."

ME7 Chua has organised a range of events, including state banquets and the President's Annual Diplomatic Reception.

"With his attention to details, Daniel helps ensure that events proceed smoothly, with clockwork precision," said Dr Tan at a ceremony at the Istana yesterday.

Yesterday, 84 honorary ADCs were re-appointed and 18 were appointed for the first time. Three full-time ADCs were also appointed. ADCs are usually appointed for one-year terms.

As well as continuing to serve as an ADC, ME7 Chua helps to train the next generation of aides.

"He is very charismatic. When he speaks, everyone listens," said Assistant Superintendent Doreen Seah, 29. She is one of 16 honorary ADCs who will be stepping down this year.

Younger aides are usually more inquisitive.

"They don't only ask how things should be done, they also ask why," said ME7 Chua.

"It's a good thing - we learn from one another."

kashc@sph.com.sg


This article was first published on May 14, 2015.
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