| Singapore | 8 Feb 2017 | Asia Samachar |
Retired Lieutenant-Colonel Albel Singh, who joined the pioneer batch of Singapore’s national service (NS) trainees in 1967, was a guest of honour at the oath-taking ceremony for new enlistees at the Basic Military Training Centre on Pulau Tekong on Tuesday.
The service is celebrating its 50th anniversary.
“It was a real treat meeting up with the first batch of NSmen at Pulau Tekong this morning,” Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen said in an entry on his Facebook page.
SEE ALSO: He’s now Lt-Col Kamal Singh Kalsi
Albel, 68, is celebrated in Singapore as the person who was first in line to register for the NS on 18 March 1967 at the Central Manpower Base in Dempsey Road. At the age of 18 years old, and just eight months after finishing secondary school, Albel had signed up for the Basic Military Training.
The NS pioneering batch were enlisted on 17 Aug 1967 following laws passed in March 1967 to make NS compulsory. They were to serve for two years with an allowance of S$60 every month.
He went on to serve the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) for 32 years, retiring in 1999 as lieutenant-colonel and the commander of the 29th Singapore Infantry Brigade. He then became the general manager of Bintan Resorts.
“I feel honoured that I was the first one (to enlist), and for the opportunity to represent my cohort for their contributions,” he told MyPaper (21 June 2012). “It’s a very significant moment for me. NS is a responsibility. The defence of Singapore is a reality.”
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