26 April 2013
Mr Lee (third from right) observing officer cadets taking part in a river crossing exercise. (all photos : Sing Mindef
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is in Brunei where he visited Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) soldiers undergoing jungle confidence and survival training. Mr Lee also attended the 22nd ASEAN Summit, which concluded earlier today.
As part of his programme, Mr Lee trekked through the jungle, interacted with troops at a jungle survival training site and witnessed officer cadets participating in a river crossing exercise. During his interaction with the trainees, Mr Lee emphasised the importance of National Service to the security of Singapore. He also commended the soldiers for their professionalism and their perseverance in undergoing tough and realistic training.
Speaking to the media after his interactions, Mr Lee said "Brunei offers us something very special which we can't do in Singapore... it's a different environment, much more challenging, much more physically demanding and I think psychologically, if you go through it, it gives you a lot of confidence." Mr Lee added, "New generations of SAF servicemen are taking their training seriously, they understand the value of it. I think their morale is good and their commitment is there... I think they know there's a job to be done and this is really more than a job, it's a mission."
Singapore and Brunei share a strong and long-standing defence relationship. In addition to regular training which SAF troops conduct in Brunei, both defence establishments conduct a wide range of bilateral exercises and professional exchanges which have enhanced the professionalism and strengthened the ties between the two armed forces.
During the visit, Mr Lee was accompanied by Mrs Lee, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Member of Parliament Low Yen Ling, Chief of Army Major-General Ravinder Singh and other senior SAF officials.