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Staff Sergeant
Staff Sergeant

Number of posts : 456
Age : 25

PostSubject: THE MINISTRY OF INTERIOR AND DEFENCE   24th January 2009, 11:06

Many of us are familiar with the old Police Headquarters at Pearl’s Hill in Chinatown. However, not many may know that in November 1965, the newly set-up Ministry of Interior and Defence, now known as Ministry of Defence, occupied the site which continued to be its home until 1972.

The Ministry of Interior and Defence (MID) was set up amidst tumultuous political developments in 1965. Following Singapore’s hasty and unexpected separation from Malaysia, Singapore gained independence on 9 August 1965 almost overnight. Of the various nation building problems that confronted our political leaders, one of the most pressing and urgent tasks was to build a defence force from scratch.

Dr Goh Keng Swee was tasked to helm the newly established Ministry in Aug 1965 as the first Defence Minister.

The build-up of the Singapore Armed Forces was no easy task which was made worse by the lack of internal expertise and experience. The period immediately following the set-up of the ministry was one of frenzied but careful planning and groundwork. Large scale recruitment brought the regular Singapore Infantry Regiments and the mobilised Volunteer Forces up to strength. After intensive training, they formed the first Singapore Infantry Brigade. At the same time, People’s Defence Force training camps was set up to train volunteers and to build up new volunteer battalions. In February 1966, the Jurong Military School (now known as the SAF Training Institute or SAFTI) was set up and in June of the same year, the first intake of young men started their Officer Cadet training. By the time Singapore celebrated her first National Day on 9 August 1966, the hard work and dedication of MID were evident in the young but promising Armed Forces.

On 11 August, 1970, the Ministry of Interior and Defence was split into two ministries – the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF) and the Ministry of Home Affairs. In February 1972, MINDEF moved from Pearl’s Hill to Tanglin Complex at Napier Road. The latter served as MINDEF’s headquarters until April 1989 when the ministry shifted to its present site at Bukit Gombak.

Today, MINDEF continues to be the Joint and Service Headquarters for the Army, Navy and Air Force, providing policy direction, managerial and technological support for the SAF.
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