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Total Defence Day 2020 Date and Theme: History and Significance of the Day That Defines Singapore’s Comprehensive Defence Strategy


Total Defence Day 2020 (Photo Credits: Wikimedia Commons)

Every year on February 15, the Total Defence Day is observed in Singapore. Total Defence is the name of Singapore’s comprehensive defence strategy. The strategy is based on the understanding that besides military action, aggressors can also attack the nation by wrecking its economic systems, by targeting Singaporeans’ beliefs and commitment to defence, and its ability to recover from disasters. The Total Defence encompasses six key pillars – military, civil, economic, social, psychological and digital defence.

Each year, Nexus, a department within MINDEF, launches a year-long campaign to promote public awareness and generate ground-up initiatives for Total Defence. The day focuses on the need for each Singaporean to play his or her part to keep the country united and strong. The day involves every Singaporean playing a part, individually and collectively, to build a strong, secure and cohesive nation. When we are strong, we are able to deal with any crisis.

History of Total Defence Day in Singapore:

The Total Defence Day is commemorated on February 15 each year which marks the day Singapore fell to the Japanese in 1942, which was followed by three and a half years of Japanese Occupation. In short Total Defence is about everyone playing a part in the defence of Singapore.

Significance of Total Defence Day

The Total Defence Day on February 15 every year acts as a reminder of what could happen to people of Singapore of they cannot defend Singapore themselves, and to strengthen their resolve to keep Singapore safe, secure, and sovereign.

Theme for Total Defence Day 2020 in Singapore

The theme for 2020’s Total Defence campaign is “Together We Keep Singapore Strong”. It focuses on the many ways we can put Total Defence into action in our everyday lives. The day is crucial for people of Singapore to play their part to strengthen the unity, resilience, and resolve in the face of these challenges and threats.

The logo’s outline is significant because it is the outline of a hand, symbolising action and representing unity and completeness. Total Defence will not be effective if any of the five “fingers” is missing. It is the shape of a house, and symbolises Singapore as our homeland. With Total Defence, the security of our homeland is safeguarded.

In 2019, the Total Defence Day Commemoration Event 2019 (TDDCE19) was held at the Fort Canning Green. This location was selected for its historical significance, as the British made the decision to surrender to the Japanese in one of the bunkers at Fort Canning Hill.

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