Our Heritage

The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) was set up in 1959 when Singapore attained self-governance. Housed at the Empress Place Building, it remained there until 1963 when Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia and internal security became a federal responsibility.



Former Empress Place Building which now houses the Asian Civilisations Museum.
Photo: Preservation of Sites and Monuments

Former Empress Place Building

The former Empress Place Building was constructed in 1865 and officially gazetted a national monument on 14 February 1992. Previously known as Government Offices, it housed the British government during the colonial period and, post-Independence, continued to operate as a government office up till the 1980s when it closed for renovations. In 1989, the building reopened as the Empress Place museum and, from 2003, became known as the Asian Civilisations




In 1963, internal security became a federal responsibility when Singapore joined the Federation of Malaysia.



Pearl's Hill Former Upper Barracks,
circa 1945 Photo: National Archives Singapore

Pearl’s Hill Former Upper Barracks

The former Upper Barracks, together with the Lower Barracks, located at Pearl’s Hill were completed in 1934 to accommodate the Sikh Contingent of the Straits Settlements Police. After the Second World War, the buildings continued to serve various government agencies, including MHA, the Police and the Criminal Investigations Department, right up to 2001. The former Upper Barracks was marked as Singapore's 93rd Historic Site in November 2012.




Front View of Block A, Phoenix Park, Tanglin Road, Circa 2003
Photo: Internal Security Department

Phoenix Park

Completed in 1949, Phoenix Park was the seat of power for the British administration in Singapore and East Asia. In August 1977, MHA moved in, locating its Headquarters at Block A. Due to the role they played in our nation’s history, Phoenix Park at Tanglin and Block A were respectively marked as Singapore's 91st and 92nd Historic Sites in August 2012.


Official Launch of the Home Team Concept

The Home Team concept was officially launched on 24 February 1997. The Home Team comprised ten agencies: Ministry Headquarters (MHQ), Singapore Police Force (SPF), Internal Security Department (ISD), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), Singapore Prison Service (SPS), Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), Singapore Immigration (SI),National Registration Department (NRD), Commercial and Industrial Security Corporation (CISCO), and Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE).


Launch of the Home Team Sector Concept

The Home Team Sector concept was established to deepen collaboration between Home Team Departments operating in the same region of Singapore.

Since 2000, all Home Team ground units, such as police stations and fire stations, have operated together within four geographical sectors – North, South, East and West. A fifth Maritime Sector was added in 2010.

Home Team Sectors enable ground officers from different Home Team Departments to work together on joint operations, training, and community engagement initiatives.


Twin Towers of New Phoenix Park at Irrawaddy Road, circa 20044

Photo: Singapore Police Force

Photo: Singapore Police Force

New Phoenix Park

On 18 August 2001, after 24 years at Phoenix Park, MHA moved to New Phoenix Park at 28 Irrawaddy Road. MHA brought the word "Phoenix" over to its new home from Tanglin. The Phoenix was the emblem chosen by Lord Louis Mountbatten on his appointment as the Supreme Allied Commander of the South East Asia Command during the Second World War. New Phoenix Park still houses the headquarters of the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Police and the Internal Security Department (ISD) today.


Revised Home Team Values and Mission Statement

Home Team Values:Honour and Unity

Home Team Mission:We work as a team, in partnership with the community, to make Singapore our safe and secure Best Home.


Formation of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority

The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) was formed on 1 April 2003 by merging the Singapore Immigration & Registration Department – itself the product of a merger between Singapore Immigration and the National Registration Department – and the enforcement work of the Customs & Excise Department.


Dissolution of the Industrial Security Corporation Formation of the Home Team Academy

The CISCO Inauguration Ceremony marked the corporatisation of CISCO after 33 years (since 1972) as a statutory board under MHA. Corporatisation of CISCO came about due to the CISCO Dissolution Act.


Formation of the Home Team Academy

The Home Team Academy (HTA) began operations in April 2006 and was officially opened on 2 September 2006.

Launch of Home Team Plus Concept

The Home Team Plus concept highlighted the role of the community in keeping Singapore safe and secure. It involved engaging and developing strategic stakeholders in the community, such as grassroots organisations, business communities, Home Team National Servicemen and Home Team volunteers. The aim was to build the community’s capabilities and capacities so that it could play an active role in building social resilience to safety and security threats.


Formation of Casino Regulatory Authority

The Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore (CRA) was formed as a statutory board under MHA on 2 April 2008 to administer and enforce the Casino Control Act.


Home Team Convention Introduced

The Home Team Convention was introduced to showcase Home Team Departments one consolidated public platform.


From Home Team Sectors to Home Team Operations Clusters

The Home Team Sector concept recently evolved into the Home Team Operations Clusters framework, as Home Team collaborations have been restructured along MHA’s key functional areas for greater operational synergy. The four Clusters are: (i) Public Security; (ii) Maritime Security; (iii) Border Security; and (iv) Drugs Control. The existing North, South, East and West Home Team Sectors have been subsumed under the Public Security Cluster.

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