Launch of HomeTeamNS Everyday HERoes - Speech by Ms Sun Xueling, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of Social and Family Development

Published: 14 May 2023

Agnes Eu, Chief Executive of HomeTeamNS,

SCDF Commissioner Mr Eric Yap,

My colleagues from the Home Team,

Distinguished guests,

Ladies and gentlemen,

HomeTeamNS members,

1.   Firstly, a very happy Sunday and a very happy Mother’s Day to all mothers who here today.

2.   I’m delighted to be here to witness and launch a very meaningful campaign that is close to my heart.

3.   First and foremost, I would like to congratulate the HomeTeamNS team on this beautiful clubhouse. This is a beautiful place and what is even more important is that this is a place for families.

The Importance of Families in National Service (NS)

4.   As we all know, since the inception of National Service in Singapore, generations of National Servicemen have kept Singapore safe and secure.

5.   When we think about National Service, we obviously think about men at the frontlines, what they do to keep Singapore safe and secure in times of danger. But what I would also like to highlight to you is that our men from the Home Team do many things to keep our neighbourhoods safe and secure. I would like to give a few examples. Some of us may have experienced neighbourhood disturbances. Often, we have to bring in the Police to restore law and order and to reassure residents that everything is under control. We also hear about SCDF officers responding when there are rubbish chute fires, kitchen fires – all these happening in the neighbourhood. Our Home Team officers are integral, and critical, in ensuring that our residents continue to feel safe and secure in our homes and community.

6.   I would also like to take the opportunity to share about a very special individual. This is Mr Chew Keng Tok, who is the SCDF 2nd Division Commander at Kallang Fire Station. He led a 68-member team when Türkiye was hit by an earthquake. Many of you would have heard about the Lionheart team. They were there for more than a week and they rescued two persons – one child and one adult, alive from the rubble. Our Home Team men and women, they not only keep Singapore safe and secure – they also work with their counterparts outside of Singapore, to protect and save lives.

7.   As we talk about their heroic deeds, let us not forget about the unsung heroes behind our National Servicemen, and that is their beloved family members – many of them are here with us today. Family support is vital in all National Servicemen’s NS journey and it is indeed a shared journey for the family unit.

8.   Sometimes when I tell people that I work at the Ministry of Home Affairs, especially when I talk to persons who may not be from Singapore, they think of home affairs as home economics. I have to tell them that home affairs is not what happens in the family. But at the same time, it is not an inappropriate term to think about the work that women do at home. They are actually in a way, the mistress of the family, and taking care of the “internal affairs” of the family. They are the ones supporting our men. Our heroes outside and the HERoes at home, who are helping our men, standing steadfast behind them so that they can do a good job and continue to keep Singapore safe and secure.

9.   I would like to use a term in Chinese: “修身齐家治国平天下”. Firstly, it means we have to work on ourselves, and unite our families, and then we can think of governing the country and bringing peace to the world. When you think about the first two parts, “修身齐家”, how do we do that? Can any man and woman do that by themselves? No. Men and women work in partnership with each other. So, as we celebrate the heroes in our lives, and in this case, celebrate the heroic, brave and good deeds of our men from the Home Team, let us not forget their wives, their mothers, all the women around them who have made their work possible.

Supporting the Needs of Our National Servicemen and Their Loved Ones

10.   I would like to add that HomeTeamNS’s network of clubhouses around the island are designed and built with National Servicemen and their families in mind. There are plenty of facilities and activities for family members to bond and create new memories.

11.   I am also glad to share that HomeTeamNS will be joining the Ministry of Social and Family Development’s National Family Week activities. HomeTeamNS Khatib will be holding activities during National Family Week.

Empowering our HERoes

12.   As we celebrate Mothers’ Day today, let us make the extra effort to reach out to our extraordinary ladies in our family. As a way of saying special thanks to them, the HomeTeamNS will be re-launching the Everyday HERoes campaign.

13.   This was first launched in 2019 and the Everyday HERoes campaign benefitted over 16,000 families.

14.   In this second edition, themed “Building Confidence Among Women”, HomeTeamNS wants to celebrate the individuality of our HERoes by expanding its membership perks to include more female centric programmes and services such as women’s health and wellness, fashion and beauty perks to support their social, lifestyle, and recreational needs, empowering them and letting their personalities shine through. And also very importantly, taking care of the well-being of our women.

15.   Mothers and wives of HomeTeamNS ordinary members can enjoy these benefits by signing up or renewing their 2-Year HomeTeamNS Family Membership at a nominal fee of just $10. Upon signing up, they will receive a 100% rebate in the form of HomeTeamNS loyalty points, +HPoints, which can be used to offset payments for HomeTeamNS facilities booking and the next membership renewal, or sign up via the HomeTeamNS Mobile App.

16.   As part of today’s launch, you will enjoy a Fashion Show in collaboration with SHEIN. The fashion showcase spotlights themes of empowerment and inclusivity, showcasing mothers and wives of different profiles and at different stages of life. Our ladies, whom you’ll see later, handpicked the apparel they donned, expressing not only their personalities but also their families' on the runway. They will walk down the runway alongside their husband, son, and the whole family, as a way to celebrate the partnerships and support systems between them.

17.   I was told when approached, many of our NSmen actually volunteered and their families also readily volunteered to participate. Their participation has added a special personal touch to this showcase, which had always been at the core of HomeTeamNS’ vision to be the home away from home for our National Servicemen. Seeing this display of camaraderie, togetherness, I am sure we will find the experience a very heartwarming one.

18.   Lastly, I would like to thank our corporate partners for coming on board to support this campaign. We have SHEIN with us today, who have kindly sponsored the apparel for the fashion showcase, giving our NSmen’s wives and moms a chance to shine on the runway today.

19.   I hope to see more partners coming in to support and celebrate the contributions of our unsung HERoes.

20.   In conclusion, I would like to commend HomeTeamNS for spearheading the Everyday HERoes campaign.

21.   To all our lovely mothers here, I wish you a Happy Mother’s Day and let us enjoy the fashion showcase.

22.   Thank you.