As a member of the Singapore Armed Forces Volunteer Corps, Ms Samantha Ng was finally able to unlock the coded talk of her male peers who have done national service (NS).
“Previously, whenever the guys talked about national service, I couldn’t understand anything. Joining the corps helped me to break the code,” she said.
Ms Ng, 31, a youth leader at the National Youth Council’s Inspirit community of young adult leaders, said her experience changed the way she saw her male counterparts.
Yesterday, she was one of 22 new members appointed to a two-year term on the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (Accord) in a virtual ceremony. Ms Ng is one of 23 women in Accord, which has 26 members on its main council.
Senior Minister of State for Defence Zaqy Mohamad, who is the co-chairman of Accord, said: “It is important that we engage the women in our community to engender greater support for NS and defence, as they play a very important role in supporting our national servicemen, whether it is as an employer, a wife, a mother, a colleague or a friend.”
The ceremony was attended by Mr Zaqy and Senior Minister of State for Defence Heng Chee How, who is the other co-chairman of Accord.
Other new members appointed yesterday include Mr Chandra Mohan, 58, the vice-chairman of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Mrs Sher-li Torrey, 44, who is the founder and director of career portal Mums@Work, and a speaker on WomenTalk TV, was also among those reappointed to Accord.
Mr Chandra, who will be on Accord’s Employer and Business Council, said he hopes to improve internship opportunities for full-time national servicemen (NSFs) and operationally-ready national servicemen.
He also plans to organise more career fairs for NSFs, to help them prepare them for employment.
Mrs Torrey, who organised the first NS webinar for mothers during the circuit breaker period, said she hopes to conduct more such virtual events in her new term.
Established in 1984, Accord is a platform to reach out to employers, businesses, families, communities and educational institutions to increase support for NS and Total Defence.
Prominent members of the Accord main council include Sengkang GRC MP He Ting Ru from the Workers’ Party, as well as Singapore Business Federation chief executive Ho Meng Kit and National University of Singapore president Tan Eng Chye.