SINGAPORE - The Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) commemorated Total Defence Day on Sunday evening with a weapons presentation ceremony that was held for the first time on board a Landing Ship Tank.
Recruits of the 9th Battalion Singapore Infantry Regiment were presented their rifles on board the RSS Endurance.
The presentation of rifles signifies taking on responsibility of not only their rifles but also the defence of the country as National Servicemen.
The ceremony was held at 6.20pm, which was the time that the British surrendered to the Japanese in 1942. The Public Warning System also went off at 6.20pm on Sunday evening.
According to Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen, the Public Warning System goes off each year at noon on Feb 15. But this year, they decided to do something different.
Dr Ng explained on Facebook: "Instead of at noon, the Public Warning System went off at 6.20pm. The significance? That moment in 1942 marked the beginning of a dark chapter in our history. Subjugation and suffering followed.
"We choose the surrender of Singapore as a grim reminder that if Singaporeans do not or cannot defend Singapore, no one else will."
Present at the commemorative event were Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing, Chief of Defence Force Lieutenant-General Ng Chee Meng, Chief of Air Force Major-General (MG) Hoo Cher Mou, Chief of Navy Rear-Admiral Lai Chung Han, Chief of Army MG Perry Lim, senior SAF officers and pioneers.