SINGAPORE: Three groups -- representing schools, businesses and families -- will soon be able to participate in discussions on issues relating to national defence.
They will do so through the Advisory Council on Community Relations in Defence (ACCORD).
The committee will also have its role expanded, beyond just being a feedback channel.
ACCORD members represent various stakeholder groups -- such as grassroots and employers.
They meet once every three months to give feedback on issues concerning national service.
They also visit camps, units and facilities to better understand and experience what soldiers go through.
14 members of ACCORD on Friday tried the new rifle range at Pasir Laba Camp.
Second Minister for Defence Chan Chun Sing said: “In the past, ACCORD took on a lot of roles and the groups are very diverse.
“But going forward, we think that we need more focused attention on each of the specific groups, which is why we want to enlarge ACCORD so that everyone of them can discuss the topics in detail and provide good suggestions for us on how to move forward.”
Dr Yek Tiew Ming, principal of ITE (Institute of Technical Education) College West, said: “How (students) view national service, what they fear about national service, or how they look forward to national service -- I think the schools have a lot of influence, and the schools have a lot of roles to play.
“The ACCORD role that we play can influence and engage our students better.”
There are currently 24 members in ACCORD and more details of the new structure will be announced at a later date. - CNA/xq
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