21 September 2001
The Home Team Joint Promotion Ceremony for National Service Senior Officer at CDANS Country Clubhouse - Speech by Associate Professor Ho Peng Kee, Senior Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, 21 September 01
Commissioner of Police,
Home Team Officers,
Ladies and Gentlemen
In any rescue and search operation, skilled personnel are crucial. Every moment counts. Similarly, in investigation and law enforcement, time is of the essence. Skilled personnel able to act under stress can make a critical difference.
2 You are these key personnel. In a crisis, we will need to recall you - ready trained and personnel who can augment the regular forces, to help protect Singaporeans and maintain law and order in Singapore, even when under duress. With a combined strength of about 70,000 active Home Team NSmen, you are a vital component of our overall strength in such a crisis.
Recognising NSmen's contribution
3 I congratulate those of you who are promoted tonight Thank you for your contributions. I ask you to continue to show by example the exemplary conduct of officers.
4 Many of you have gone beyond your National Service - or NS responsibilities. You have volunteered your expertise, time and energy as members of the Specialist Advisory Groups and Management Committee of SPANs. In SCDF, we also see the involvement of NSmen in helping the Fire Safety & Shelter Bureau clear building plans on fire safety matters. Others actively chip in to guide CDANs to realise its goal of becoming an organisation all CDNSmen can be proud off.
5 As NS Senior Officers, you shoulder heavy responsibilities. Despite the competing pressures on your time managing your career and looking after your families you have contributed significantly to Singapore through good performances in the Home Team.
6 Promotion is only one of the many ways in which we recognise your NS good performances and valuable contributions. The Home Team has implemented several measures in the last five years to recognise the contributions of our NSmen. For instance, we have held several joint Police-SCDF functions and events for our Nsmen such as award presentation ceremonies and feedback sessions over tea with the Minister and myself. The administration, welfare and training aspects involving Home Team NSmen have also been enhanced.
Implementation of RECORD IIIs Recommendations
7 First administration. To further acknowledge the contributions of NSmen to Total Defence, we have already implemented several of RECORD IIIs recommendations this year. These include relaxing exit control measures so that it is more convenient for NSmen to travel overseas by means of extending the validity of NSFs passports to 10 years and de-centralising the application of exit permits to Divisions and Units.
8 Another RECORD IIIs recommendation which has been implemented is leveraging on information technology to enhance the efficiency of NS administrative processes through the issuance of NS Smart Cards to all Home Team NSFs in July this year. The NS Smart Cards will be extended to Home Team NSmen by next year.
9 As for welfare and recreation, we have developed more leisure facilities for our NSmen and their families. Currently, there are a total of 4 clubhouses for PNSmen and CDNSmen and their families. Two more clubhouses are coming your way - the new SPANs-JOM clubhouse at Jalan Rajah, off Balestier Road and CDANS new town club at Smith Street. The Jalan Rajah clubhouse will be opened next month. The new CDANS town club, to be called the CDANs Home Team Club and located at the heart of Chinatown, is expected to be ready by year-end. Through feedback and dialogues, many NSmen have expressed their wish for a golf course. A golf driving range will soon be constructed on the land adjacent to the existing CDANS Country Club at Bukit Batok. Together with SAFRA, SPANS and CDANS are developing a new golf course at Kranji.
Restructuring Of Nsmen Organizational Or Training System
10 As for training, both Police and SCDF have restructured their NS organizational or In-Camp Training System to achieve maximum effectiveness to ensure that our operationally-ready Nsmens time during In-Camp Training is well-spent.
11 Since the re-organization of the Police NS units in 1994 to enhance operational efficiency and readiness, PNSmen now operate in 5 specialist functional groups. They are the Service and Support Group, Strategic Reserve Group, Emergency Light Strike Force Squads, NPC Reinforcement Troops and the Key Installations Units.
12 Similarly, to keep up with the changes in its operational environment, SCDF has introduced a holistic 4-module cyclical approach to its In-Camp Training system. This new approach heralds a new phase on training development of the NS units as it focuses on the enhancement of the core competency skills of the individual CD NSmen at different phases of their training. The feedback to this new ICT system has been positive and encouraging.
13 Needless to say, MHA, working with our NS officers, will continue to upgrade and improve administrative, welfare and training aspects of our Home Team NS units. My congratulations to all the 103 NS Senior Officers promoted tonight. I am sure that you will continue to contribute actively and perform well in your new responsibilities.
14 Recent event in the US brings home in a poignant manner the need for us to be always ready. We can never take Singapores peace and tranquility for granted. Let me say that all of you - regulars and HT NSmen - play a vital role in maintaining the high level of operational eadiness of the SPF and SCDF during peacetime and in the event of emergencies. Thank you for doing your part to keep Singapore safe and secure.
15 Thank you.