YCKSS NE Newsfeed Term 1 Week 7

Feature on Total Defence Day

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Each year Total Defence Day (TDD) is commemorated on the 15th of February, commemorating Singapore's fall on this day to the Japanese back in 1942.


The commemoration of Total Defence Day seeks to remind people of the sufferings endured by our forefathers during the Japanese Occupation. It is also an occasion to refamiliarise our people with the modern defence strategy of "Total Defence" which Singapore has adopted to ensure our continued survival and security.


The theme for Total Defence Day 2016 is "Together We Keep Singapore Strong", and explores how we can, as one people, overcome the threats and challenges that Singapore may face in the future.

The Five Pillars of Total Defence

Total Defence requires all Singaporeans to play their part. To help citizens understand how they can be involved, Total Defence is divided into the following five aspects:

Military Defence – Keeping Singapore secure

To defend ourselves when attacked or, more importantly, to deter foreign intervention and prevent ourselves from being attacked, we need a strong Military Defence. This is why we have built up our Singapore Armed Forces (SAF). To remain operationally ready, our soldiers must keep fit, train seriously and keep abreast of the latest military doctrines and equipment.

Civil Defence – Taking care of our family, friends and people around us in times of crisis

During times of crisis or disaster, resources will be strained and we will need everyone to pitch in. If we know what to do, we can save ourselves and our loved ones, help others and ensure that life goes on as normally as possible. We can learn what to do in an emergency before it happens.


The threat of global terrorism will be around for some time. While much has been done to ensure that Singapore is well protected against terrorist attacks, security personnel cannot be everywhere. Singaporeans can help by looking out for and reporting anything that is suspicious.

Economic Defence – Having a strong and resilient economy

Economic Defence is about building up a strong and robust economy that can sustain Singapore through economic challenges and national emergencies. It means that the government and employers work together during peacetime to ensure that we have good infrastructure and our economy is competitive.


Individuals also play a part by retraining and upgrading, and by keeping up with new technologies and new ways of doing things. When we do this, we help ourselves remain employable as the economy changes and old jobs give way to new ones. Saving up for a rainy day and adopting environment-friendly practices are also ways to protect ourselves and our future generations.

Social Defence – Living harmoniously and looking out for one another

Singapore enjoys social and economic stability because Singaporeans have learnt to live harmoniously with people of all races and religions. We befriend, accept and help people of different ethnicities.


We show consideration for one another, respecting and being sensitive to the needs and religious and cultural practices of others. We can also contribute towards a gracious, compassionate society by helping the less fortunate and underprivileged among us.

Psychological Defence – Being a resilient people

While being prepared is the key to Total Defence, it is always the fighting spirit, the will, the resilience of Singaporeans that determines whether or not our nation will overcome a crisis.


Psychologically, each Singaporean must have the resolve and determination to overcome any crisis together. When we are united in pride for our country, we will stand up to defend what is ours and protect our independence as a nation. When every Singaporean feels this way, we can be assured of a secure future, regardless of the challenge.

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Adapted from mindef.

Why is Total Defence still relevant to us?

Watch the following newsclip from Channel NewsAsia to find out more.
23 Feb 2014 Spotlight: Total Defence concept remains relevant for Singapore

Total Defence in the World

Taiwan earthquake: Rescuers in frantic search for missing


Click the link to watch a video and read more about how a strong Civil Defence force has helped rescue hundreds of people trapped in rubble following the collapse of an apartment block in the Taiwanese city of Tainan.

Many in Jakarta Seem to Shrug Off Terrorist Attack


Click the link to read more about how Psychological Defence helped residents in Jakarta, Indonesia, overcome and combat the horrific bomb and gun attacks that targeted their city.

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