Welcome Remarks by President Tony Tan at the Honorary Aide-De-Camp Appointment Ceremony and Appreciation Dinner on Friday, 5 May 2017 at the Istana

Dr Ng Eng Hen

Minister for Defence

Distinguished Guests

Members of the Honorary Aide-de-Camp Corps

Ladies and Gentlemen

Good Evening.

My wife Mary and I are pleased to be here with you this evening, as we gather to thank the 103 Honorary Aides-de-Camp who have served in the past year, and to welcome those who will join us this year.

Honorary Aides-de-Camp, or HADCs as we call them, are an integral part of the Office of the President. They lend support to the numerous events and functions of the President, working quietly in the background to ensure that the events run smoothly. At the same time, they exude warmth and hospitality as they interact with the guests. Indeed, whether our guests leave the Istana with a positive experience very much depends on how well the HADCs have coordinated the event and how memorable their personal interactions with HADCs have been.

Over the years, the HADC Corps has diversified across the different uniformed services. As the career options evolve in the services, we are now able to draw talent from a wider pool of officers. Last year, I mentioned a young man, Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Jassman Fun, who worked hard to promote himself from the Police Officer ranks to becoming a Senior Police Officer, because he aspired to serve as an HADC.I am heartened to see that this same spirit is very much alive this year as we welcome Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Kayden Chua and Military Expert Four (ME4) Joyce Tan into the HADC family.

Kayden entered the Singapore Police Force in 1999 as a Police Officer. A self-motivated individual, Kayden pursued a degree on his own while in service, which gave him the opportunity for emplacement as a Senior Police Officer later in his career. Soon after that, during his posting with the Security Command, Kayden served alongside the HADCs and was inspired by their professionalism. Kayden therefore applied to enter the HADC Corps at the earliest opportunity. I am glad he was successful in the selection this year.

Like Kayden, Joyce joined the Republic of Singapore Navy as a non-graduate. She showed promise in her vocation and was recommended by her supervisors to pursue further studies. She eventually fulfilled her personal aspirations of obtaining a degree, and was emplaced as a Senior Military Expert 4 upon graduation. Today, she joins the HADC Corps.

We are happy to have more officers like Jassman, Kayden and Joyce, who may have taken an alternative pathway to join us, but whose different journey adds diversity and enriches the collective skills and professional experience of the HADC Corps. 

The diversity of the HADC Corps is also reflected in the background of the HADC. The Corp used to comprise only regulars. Today, we have 19 Operationally Ready NS men (or NSmen) in the HADC Corps. NSmen are a valued group of officers, as they bring with them not just experiences in the uniformed service, but also their corporate experiences in their day jobs. As Singapore commemorates 50 years of National Service this year, let me take this opportunity to thank these NSmen who are serving in the HADC Corps, over and above their NS responsibilities. Mary and I are grateful for the unwavering support, dedication and sacrifice, not just on their part, but also on the part of their families and employers.

Today, I would like to make special mention of the two longest-serving NSMen in our midst – Colonel (NS) Lim Jit Mee from the Singapore Armed Forces, and Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police (NS) Lionel Chai from the Singapore Police Force. Between them, Jit Mee and Lionel have served as HADCs for almost a quarter of a century!  And this is on top of the need for them to juggle their day jobs and family commitments. Jit Mee and Lionel are certainly role models for many HADCs in this hall.

Let me conclude by thanking the Chief of Defence Force, Commissioner of Police, Commissioner of the SCDF and Service Chiefs, for your continued support in selecting your best officers for appointment into the HADC Corps. Mary and I would also like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation to the spouses and supervisors seated amongst us for allowing the HADCs to take time off from family and work to carry out their duties.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Mary and I are truly delighted to be part of this occasion tonight, to acknowledge the contributions that HADC have made in support of my Presidency. To those who are leaving the HADC Corps, we hope that you leave with fond memories of your time served here. We wish you the very best in your future endeavours. As for the rest who will continue to serve in this capacity, we look forward to your contributions in the coming year.

We wish everyone a pleasant evening.