Total Defence Day - There's A Part For Everyone

The British army surrendered Singapore to the Japanese forces at the Ford Factory in Bukit Timah on 15 February 1942.

The annual Total Defence Day is picked on this date to remind Singaporeans of the sufferings of our forefathers during World War II and what we stand to lose if we are unable to defend ourselves.

The sirens on the Public Warning System (PWS) will also go off for a minute at 6.20pm - the historical time that the British surrendered to the Japanese.

Total Defence is the name of Singapore's comprehensive defence strategy, based on the understanding that besides military action, aggressors can also attack the country by wrecking its economic systems, tearing its social fabric apart, targeting Singaporeans' beliefs and commitment to defence, and its ability to recover from disasters, both natural and man-made.

The Total Defence concept encompasses five key aspects – military, civil, economic, social and psychological defence – and focuses on the need for each Singaporean to play his or her part to defend the nation.

"Military Defence" consists of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), including its citizen soldiers. Their mission is to "enhance Singapore's peace and security through deterrence and diplomacy, and should these fail, to secure a swift and decisive victory over the aggressor". As part of the mission, the SAF strives to maintain a high state of operational readiness 24/7 
"Civil Defence" is about ensuring Singaporeans know what to do in times of an emergency. The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) supports this aspect of Total Defence. However, if Singapore encounters a nationwide emergency (e.g.: terrorism act or war), the SCDF will not be able to cope with the demands of the situation. Hence, it is crucial to rope in Singaporeans to help their fellow Singaporeans. To facilitate this, the SCDF recruits and trains civil defence volunteers in first aid, rescue and evacuation procedures, and shelter management. 
"Economic Defence" is defined as maintaining the economy of the country and its ability to compete in the world, as well as environmental protection. It also involves helping Singapore (and Singaporeans) stay relevant in the global economy and putting in place economic systems to ensure that the Singapore economy does not collapse in times of crisis. 
"Social Defence" is about keeping the social fabric strong and ensuring that Singaporeans live in harmony regardless of race or religion. This is especially important because Singapore is a multi-racial and multi-religious society. 
"Psychological Defence" is about loyalty, commitment to Singapore, and having the will power and resilience to overcome challenges. This is the component that would determine if Singaporeans will stay to fight or abandon the country when it is in trouble. - Wiki

The theme song, There's A Part For Everyone released in 1984, was one of Singapore's first few national songs. As the name implies, everyone have a part to play in defending our country.

This year, the song got a makeover and has been rearranged to be more upbeat by local band QuickPick.

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