For Primary Schools

1. Tomorrow marks Singapore's 52nd year of independence. Our National Day celebrations give us an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and also share our hopes for Singapore.

2. Over the years, as a nation, we have overcome many challenges. Regardless of origin and background, older generations of Singaporeans conquered the odds and exceeded expectations.

3. This year's National Day celebrations are special because we commemorate the 50th year of National Service. To date, more than a million National Servicemen and their families have contributed to keeping Singapore peaceful and safe. They have set strong foundations for us to find passion and joy in what we do. By promising to do our best, we are playing our part for Singapore as ONENATIONTOGETHER.

4. I have seen how you, young Singaporeans, are capable of taking good care of Singapore. Over three weekends in July, your Primary five peers attended the National Education shows at The Float. They cheered loudly for the Red Lions. They clapped enthusiastically for the performers. They sang the National Anthem with pride and gusto. At the end of the show, they worked together to leave no litter behind. Some students even went the extra mile to clean up other spectators' areas.

5. Caring for our surroundings and caring for others are indeed important ways we show our love for Singapore. Through your Values in Action projects, some of you are already reaching out to the less fortunate in our community. With threats to our security, many of you have also actively shared the importance of the SGSecure messages of Staying Alert, Staying United and Staying Strong with your families, friends and neighbours. I encourage you to keep up with your efforts in contributing to our community and nation to make Singapore a better home for us all.

6. I wish you a joyous and meaningful National Day.

For Secondary Schools / Junior Colleges / Centralised Institute

1. Tomorrow marks Singapore's 52nd year of independence. Our National Day celebrations give us an opportunity to celebrate our achievements and also reaffirm our shared aspirations for Singapore.

2. This year's National Day celebrations are special because we commemorate the 50th year of National Service. When we became independent in 1965, our pioneer leaders recognised the urgent need to build up a strong defence force of our own. On 14th March 1967, the National Service Bill was passed in Parliament. National Service (NS) became compulsory for all 18-year-old male Singapore Citizens. In the early years of NS, there was a lot of apprehension. Singapore was a newly independent country with little resources. Could we defend ourselves with a citizen military based on conscription?

3. We gradually built up our resources and capacity. Today we have a defence force that keeps our country safe from external threats. Since NS was first instituted 50 years ago, more than a million Singaporeans have served in our Armed Forces and Home Team. It is through the commitment of our NSmen and the support of their families that we have a safe and secure Singapore.

4. Many of your male teachers continue to serve their NS by attending in-camp training (ICT). While they are away, other teachers in school step in to cover their duties. Collectively, we enable NSmen to serve their national duty. We would like to thank all our NSmen and those standing by them, as we commemorate NS50 this year.

5. Your generation will similarly commit yourselves to NS as a very important and special institution of Singapore. Whether you are enlisted to serve as an NSman or you play the role of a family member or a fellow Singaporean supporting NS, you know that this is integral to being a Singaporean. For Singapore to remain strong and free, every one of you plays an important part in keeping our nation united and secure.

6. As we celebrate National Day this year, let us reflect on what it means to be Singaporeans. Each of us must play our part. Let us commit to strengthen our Singapore identity. Let us continue to serve Singapore as ONENATIONTOGETHER.

7. I wish you a joyous and meaningful National Day.

Source: Ministry of Education, Singapore