Total Defence exhibition 2021 at SDC

I will be sharing my recent visit to Total Defence exhibition 2021 (at SDC).

Most of us should know about Total Defence. Singapore recently added a new pillar for Digital Defence. Singapore’s Defence cannot count on military efforts alone, but requires a whole of country approach.

How many of us know the significance of remembering Total Defence on every 15th Feb? That is the day Singapore fell to Japan during World War 2, during Chinese New Year!

Curiosity brought me back to Singapore Discovery Centre’ latest Total Defence exhibition.

Now that the kids have grown up, I might have more time to explore more museums 🙂 Hope they will join me more frequently too.

You can role-play as “agent” and travel back in time to discover more history too. Or you can scan for more details with SDC app.

Visitors can also participate in some photo-ops and stand to win attractive prizes.

Back to the exhibition… You will go through different period of Singapore’s crises and learn about how the nation pull through

(1) Today’s generation might remember Tokyo and Hokkaido as a must-visit during school holidays. But the Japanese imperial army was merciless during WW2.

The photos and artifacts are quite visual, but history is never kind. For three years, Singapore and many other countries suffered under Japanese rule.

And I  heard that Japanese educational materials are still trying to brush away this piece of history. We definitely hope that Singapore will not fall under another country anymore (and no one own Singapore a living).

Total Defence exhibition 2021
Total Defence exhibition 2021

(2) Besides the war atrocities, visitors will go through Konfrontasi and the period post-independence when communism threatens our livelihood.

How does Singapore manage to house her population in HDB flats in such a short time?

And yet deal with internal and external challenges?

Many will know MacDonald house at Dhoby Ghaut MRT (not related to fast food), but how many remember Konfrontasi’s bombings?

That was the period when Indonesia threatend new Malaya (Malaysia and Singapore). Terrorists infiltrated Singapore and set off bombs!

Not fiction But real facts!

(3) Another episode during my growing up years is the cable car incident at Sentosa. 

Kids recite their pledge every morning, but do we understand the significance behind? Or are we so used to a peaceful Singapore already, and take everything for granted?

(4) Do catch the short clip about Japanese occupation of Singapore too.

(5) Another section of the exhibit showcases Singapore’s milestone.
I am sure not many have fond memories of ERP! (or for that matter COE)

Hey, the little ones can even be part-time broadcasters haha. Choose your favourite Singapore top stories.

Do take note the studio setup is for folks under 1.75m as I could not fit onto the screen.

(6) The last segment is about Covid 19, known as Coronavirus in the early stages. How did Singapore stand together against an unknown enemy?

Covid19 is the best CIO to elevate Digitisation and productivity for Singapore. We could not have imagined an empty causeway, nor Religious services via Zoom, or working-from-home facility.

There is a small segment on Supermarket run too (did not mention toilet paper :p)

And we have been wearing our masks for one year already! Thank you to the Healthcare and frontline staff for keeping Singapore safe!

Total Defence exhibition 2021 will run till end March, and entry is free. You should be able to cover the ground in 1 hour, I took longer as I really read all the exhibits.

More details at SDC website.

Families For Life Picnic and NS50 celebration

We had been to a few Families For Life picnic (FFL) before (Istana and Punggol), but this edition is different. We are celebrating NS50 too 🙂

Families For Life Picnic


Organised last weekend at Singapore Discovery Centre and Army Museum, there was plenty of activities to keep families busy. The Safti-MI bus tour must be one of the highlights 🙂



Kids did not like the combat rations. Funny, I used to love the desserts (especially red bean and or2 bee2 bur2) when I was still in green :p


Families who registered for “Families For Life Picnic” will get a picnic goodie bag. Just lay out the mat, enjoy the cookies and fruits, and watch a movie in the evening #IchooseFamilyTime


I brought the kids into one of the corners to QR code Singapore’s history.

The highlight for many would be touring Safti MI (old name is SAF Training Institute, wiki). It is a different feeling when you are sightseeing, and when you are running up Peng Kang hill in fatigues.


Our narrator shared the history of Safti. The old colonial-like buildings, parade square. Not many will see real “cooks” in today’s army camps.


The iconic Safti Tower, with 265 steps to symbolise number of days before an officer cadet pass his course.

The triangle tower is symbolic for training all three services of SAF (Army, Air Force and Navy).Safti tour s


The sergeant standing outside SCS (ex SISPEC). He or she has to lead the men from the front.

Skyhawk, another relic. Kids grew up with F16 and F15.


Pedal boat was popular with families, but long queue.


We noticed many mini-SOC (Standard Obstacle Course) in recent events, but this one at Army Museum is the original.

Kids like mini SOC now, not sure whether they will like the real-size low wall and Jacob ladders (applies to the Cheekiemonkies too hee hee) .


That ended our trip to SDC and Army Museum. I told the kids they can alway visit SAFTI MI again, just join OCS or Sispec.

Do pop by links below for more FFL and NS50 events.

Families for Life
NS50 (50 years of National Service)