'Recognition and Benefits for NS' Working Group discuss ways to reach out to society

'Recognition and Benefits for NS' Working Group discuss ways to reach out to society
Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman meeting the "Recognition and Benefits for NS" Working Group.

SINGAPORE - The "Recognition and Benefits for NS" Working Group led by Minister of State for Defence Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman met at the National Service Resort and Country Club earlier this evening for their fifth meeting.

The Working Group is part of the Committee to Strengthen National Service (CSNS) and looks at how to promote recognition and appreciation of National Servicemen's contributions.

At the meeting, the Working Group discussed ways to grow and strengthen the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD) in order to deepen engagement with employers, family members and members of the broader community, and facilitate initiatives to better support these stakeholders and servicemen.

Since its formation in 1984, ACCORD has served as a platform for the public to share their feedback on defence matters. 

To more effectively engage stakeholders, the Working Group members suggested ACCORD could reorganise itself into various groups that reach out to specific segments in society, such as employers, families, students and community groups.

It was also suggested that a community space to serve as a hub for ACCORD be created to facilitate the work of the groups. This suggestion will be discussed in greater detail with ACCORD in the next few months.

Speaking after the meeting, Dr Maliki added that "MINDEF and MHA provide support and recognition for national servicemen through the National Service Recognition Award, which can be used in areas such as education and housing. In response to public feedback for more support at the different stages of a serviceman's life, my Working Group is looking into providing more support in the area of healthcare." More details on the Working Group's recommendations will be put up to the CSNS Steering Committee for consideration.

The CSNS is in the midst of the third phase of public consultations, which involves discussing possible proposals in more detail. Members of the public are invited to provide their feedback at www.strengthenNS.sg.

spanaech@sph.com.sg

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