Any Singaporean should be well-informed on the island-state’s original 5 pillars of defence, with the sixth added recently by Defence Minister Dr Ng Eng Hen, that has essentially not only guaranteed our security as a nation but also our continued success.
As we take this National Day season to commemorate the Singapore Bicentennial, a look-back into our 700-year journey from a fishing village to the global city today, we ought to think about what we Singaporeans can do to ensure our prosperity can continue.
THE SIX PILLARS OF TOTAL DEFENCE
Celebrated yearly on 15 February, Total Defence traditionally comprises of Military Defence, Civil Defence, Economic Defence, Social Defence and Psychological Defence. The strategy is based on the understanding that hostile forces can attack us not just militarily, but also compromise our economic systems, social fabric and national morale. It also addresses the need to always be ready for mass casualty scenarios, whether man-made or natural. In 2019, a sixth pillar, Digital Defence, was added to address the new reality where future threats can and will come from the digital domain.
While we have robust assets in place to safeguard our sovereignty, what about the resources that power, quench and feed the country?
DEFENDING OUR RESOURCES: UNDERSTANDING OUR RESOURCES ARE NOT FINITE
Anyone who has studied economics should know what scarcity means. It refers to the gap between limited resources such as food, water and certain energy sources and mankind’s limitless wants. Scarcity requires us to decide how to allocate available resources efficiently so to satisfy needs and as many wants as possible.
Sustaining any economy – and Singapore is an advanced one – requires large amounts of resources to upkeep the economic machinery and prepare for the future. Being feckless and squandering away precious resources can make Singapore vulnerable to an uncertain future and forces beyond our control.
Hence, resource defence will require us to adopt a responsible mindset to cherish the resources we have and not be wasteful.
DO YOUR PART FOR RESOURCE DEFENCE
Water has always been one of the most, if not the most, important resource – and Singaporeans understand that.
California’s water crisis, Flint’s water contamination and Manila’s water shortage are some reminders that we cannot rest on our laurels. Weather, environmental and geopolitical causes will continue to present themselves as possible threats to our water security. Therefore, Singapore places great emphasis on water security by securing favourable agreements with our neighbours to ensure supply, maximising rainfall catchment, developing new technologies to generate freshwater, regulations on water usage and public education.
To help Singaporeans understand the importance of saving water, the Public Utilities Board details how you can save every little drop and achieve sustainability.
How you can save water:
- Turning off the tap when not in use, even if it’s for a few seconds, goes a long way towards saving water and your bills. Imagine how much you can save over a year! Fixing a leaky tap can also save you what could be 60 litres a week.
- Keep your showers short and opt for an efficient showerhead to maximise your time in the bath.
- Only wash a full load of laundry!
- Get a dual-flush toilet where you can choose to use less water to do minor flushing.
Necessary to power any country’s infrastructure – from streetlamps to transportation to homes, the resources and technology that generate electricity such as natural gas, oil, and renewable sources like water, wind and solar needs protection too. Besides, when we use electricity responsibly, we help to use our sources efficiently, keep the costs of generation low and reduce pollution and other environmentally harmful emissions.
Over the years, Singapore has been exploring adopting renewable energy technology to do its bit for the environment as well as tap into infinite ‘free’ energy like solar and wind. However, as they can incur high costs to develop and deploy, responsible consumption is still needed to keep renewable energy sustainable.
Saving electricity can be easy and less disruptive to your comfortable lifestyle. Read our article here on how you can adopt some of our Green Tips!
Unlike countries with larger landmass, agriculture in Singapore cannot feed the population sufficiently and so we import most of our food. With climate change that threaten our food sources, rising food costs and the dependence on economic and social stability in countries from whom we import from, we need to adopt and maintain a responsible mindset for food as well.
Food waste has become a global crisis and Singapore’s food waste account for more than 20% of our annual total waste – and the number is growing. Not only does it strain the environment as we demand more from the land, but we also cause economic and social strain when food costs go up and people struggle to afford basic meals.
Eat what you need, shop smart, save what leftovers you can and repurpose discards into compost and you can not only keep your costs low but also do your bit for the environment!
Start your sustainable journey with Geneco’s Get it Green plan today.
- By Geneco
- 08 August 2019