Highlights of 45th SAFRA Annual General Meeting
By Dominic Gabriel
December 5, 2018
The 45th SAFRA Annual General Meeting (AGM) was held on 17 November 2018 at SAFRA Jurong. SAFRA members and their families also participated in a host of fringe activities such as a movie screening, craft workshop, magic performances and enjoyed free entry to Kidz Amaze indoor playground.
Senior Minister of State for Defence and President of SAFRA Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman spoke about the achievements of SAFRA in Financial Year 2017/2018 when we commemorated 50 Years of National Service (NS50) and also celebrated SAFRA’s 45th Anniversary.
Boosted by the NS50 Recognition Package, SAFRA’s membership base more than doubled to over 688,000 during the financial year.
During the year, members also enjoyed more than 50,000 give-aways in F&B and blockbuster movie treats, along with 500 special deals offered with the support of our partnering merchants in commemoration of NS50. These ranged from travel and leisure to sportswear and telco services.
To provide our NSmen with more opportunities to share their NS experiences with their families, SAFRA organised a series of engaging NS-themed activities in 2017 such as SAF-inspired obstacle challenges and exercises introduced at popular events like the SAFRA Singapore Bay Run & Army Half Marathon, SAFRA Sprint Kids Xtreme and various clubs’ open houses.
Several new activities were also introduced to encourage NSmen to reunite with their NS buddies and reminisce fond NS memories such as the NS50 Photography Competition, SAFRA45 TGIF Party and One Nation: 50 Years of Fitness Journey exhibition.
All these initiatives helped annual participation in SAFRA-organised activities to grow by a significant 26% to over 1 million, while our annual club visitation grew by 2% to over 8.8 million.
Beyond these, SAFRA also initiated the ‘We Salute Our NSmen’ campaign to encourage Singaporeans to show their heartfelt appreciation to national servicemen with the simple gesture of a salute. The campaign garnered over 260,000 salutes in photos and videos from NSmen’s families, schools, businesses, grassroots organisations and the community.
Overall, SAFRA’s membership satisfaction rating improved from 85% in the previous year to 86%. A record total of 39 SAFRA staff were also conferred the Excellent Service Award by SPRING Singapore (currently known as Enterprise Singapore), as a recognition for their quality service to customers.
SAFRA Education Scheme
At the AGM, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman also presented the Letters of Acceptance to the recipients of the SAFRA Education Scheme sponsorship.
We caught up with 3 of the recipients to learn about their aspirations and motivations behind applying for the sponsorship.
SAFRA Education Scheme sponsorship recipients (from left): 3SG (NS) Ethan Peter Lim, LCP (NS) Khairilanwar Bin Baharudin and Lieutenant (NS) Sum Wen Jun.
LCP (NS) Khairilanwar Bin Baharudin is currently pursuing a Master of Science in International Management & Human Resource Management at Aventis School of Management. He is a global mobility consultant that provides advice to corporate assignees on issues like immigration processes and taxes.
He commented: “My studies help me to further understand the complex issues underlying global human resources and assignees. The SAFRA sponsorship has motivated me to do better in my graduate studies and I believe it will enhance my career expertise in the eyes of employers.”
Next, meet Lieutenant (NS) Sum Wen Jun who is currently pursuing his Degree in Social Work with the Singapore University of Social Sciences. Wen Jun attained a Diploma in Psychology Studies and subsequently went on to be an Air Warfare Officer during his National Service.
When asked why he chose to go into the field of social work and take up the scholarship, Wen Jun said: “I always knew I wanted to help others. My degree will further equip me with the skills to work with my clients and provide more in-depth support for them. I chose the SAFRA Education Scheme because I am already currently working in the field. The requirements of the sponsorship are more manageable for me as I have to juggle both work and school life. The fact that the sponsorship is bond-free is also a big plus as it allows a young person like to me have more career mobility and room to grow.”
3SG (NS) Ethan Peter Lim is currently taking on his Advanced Diploma in Management at Kaplan Higher Education Institute. He is an entrepreneur and started a business in yacht sales with a friend.
He said: “It is a privilege to be awarded the SAFRA Education Scheme sponsorship. Education goes a long way. I believe in continuous learning. I took on this course to increase my knowledge in management and strategy. I encourage everyone to always evaluate themselves and their expectations and to chart their own personal development.”
What can SAFRA members look forward to?
Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman also conveyed to all SAFRA members during the AGM that members have much to look forward to as SAFRA continues to strive to provide more memorable bonding experiences, improve our facilities and provide better privileges and benefits.
Since July this year, SAFRA Mount Faber has been undergoing enhancement works to transform it into an executive lifestyle club for NSmen by mid-2019. SAFRA Tampines will also undergo sprucing up works to enhance the existing club lobby and other facilities such as the EnergyOne gym, badminton courts and sports programme screening area. By next year, SAFRA Yishun will get a facelift to different parts of the club.
A seventh SAFRA club will be built within Choa Chu Kang Park and will be ready by 2022. Themed as a ‘Fitness Oasis’ and conveniently located within a 5-minute walk from Choa Chu Kang MRT station, the five-storey SAFRA Choa Chu Kang will house many unique fitness and wellness facilities such as a sheltered swimming pool, aquagym, sky running track and futsal court. There will be a dedicated Fitness and Wellness Hub in the club, where a gym, mixed martial arts rings and a fitness studio are integrated within a single level.
SAFRA Choa Chu Kang will also house a good mix of recreational and F&B facilities for families. There will be a preschool and indoor playground to provide learning and bonding opportunities for families with young children and members can expect a host of entertainment and dining options such as a bowling centre, spa and cafe.
All of our achievements and upcoming initiatives to serve our NSmen would not have been possible without our members, volunteers and staff. To encapsulate our appreciation to all of you and our commitment to NSmen, we quote Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman’s address at the 45th AGM:
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all our members for your continued support. I would also like to thank all our volunteers, members of the Management Committee, Executive Committees and Development Committee, as well as the staff for their hard work over the past year. With your support, I am confident that SAFRA will continue to grow and be better positioned to build stronger bonds among the NSmen community and recognise them for their contributions.”
- Senior Minister of State for Defence and President of SAFRA, Dr Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman at the 45th AGM 2018.