I congratulate and honour the teams from the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Mercy Relief and SingHealth institutions who undertook missions to West Sumatra to assist with relief work following the devastating earthquakes there.
There were 80 personnel from the SAF, 42 from the SCDF and seven from Mercy Relief and SingHealth sent in separate missions over the past few weeks.
I strongly support humanitarian missions undertaken by our military and civil defence forces. They not only provide essential logistics, medical and organisational assistance to the victims on the ground, but also serve to cultivate better relations with the Indonesian military, which could prove to be invaluable in future. In addition, they also provide our men and women in green with some much needed operational experience.
Given the fact that we live in a disaster-prone neighbourhood, I hope to see the SAF and SCDF continue to build up their capabilities and readiness to take on more such missions in future. As the most developed country in Southeast Asia, with the most technologically advanced and best trained military, I see it as our responsibility to make these contributions to our neighbours in times of need.