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All About the Mission (2022 – Part 1)

Six recipients of the National Day Awards Investiture share their commitment in keeping Singapore safe and secure.
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GRAPHIC: Joash Tan


CI (2) Wardah Binte Abdul Raub
Deputy Team Leader, Woodlands Command, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA); recipient of the Efficiency Medal & Long Service Medal

Having served at both the air and land checkpoints, CI (2) Wardah shares what 25 years of service has taught her about good leadership.

PHOTOS: Elaine Lee

When and why did you decide to join ICA?
I joined the then-Singapore Immigration and Registration (SIR) in 1997 as I was looking for an exciting non-conventional career that required one to work shift hours and offered opportunities for both personal and professional growth.

I was first posted to Airport Command where I performed immigration clearance at Terminals 2 and 3 of Changi Airport. Following my airport stint, I was posted to Woodlands Command where I am currently deployed as a Watch Officer and Team Leader at the Woodlands Command Operations Room (WCOR).

What is a typical day like for you at work?
No two days are the same. As a Watch Officer, I look out for any suspicious activities to prevent undesirable goods and persons from entering our borders. Incidents that arise are unpredictable and we must remain alert and be ready to respond to any unexpected situations that could happen at the checkpoint.


Besides overseeing operations at the checkpoint, I also lead a team and provide guidance to the ground officers. My team members assist me in the redeployment of resources, traffic management, as well as incident and crisis management.

What is one thing that not many people know about what you do?
Not many people know about WCOR as we are out of the public eye. As ICA officers, we not only safeguard Singapore borders. We also ensure that Singapore remains connected to the rest of the world and that the movement of people and supply of goods flowing in and out of Singapore remains undisrupted. 

To do this, we leverage technology to monitor various zones simultaneously in the checkpoint, ensuring traffic flows smoothly and identify any potential hazards or concerns that may have implications on the safety and security of our borders.


What were some challenges you’ve encountered throughout your career, and how did you overcome them?
One of the biggest challenges I’ve encountered is people management.

There was once my officer was upset that his leave request was denied. When faced with such situations, I would first listen to the officer and validate their concerns before explaining my rationale behind my decision. In this case, I explained to my officer that the selected date was over-subscribed and offered alternative dates for his leave instead.

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Welfare starts by empathising with officers. Being open about our decisions and listening to officers’ concerns can reduce misunderstandings between the supervisors and team members. I also constantly check in with my officers during every shift, make sure that they get sufficient rest, and keep a look out for concerns they might have. In doing so, I strive to ensure that the morale in the team remains high.

- Interviewed and written by Elaine Lee

Jaya Ganase s/o Jaya Paul
Senior Crime Scene Specialist, Forensics Division, Home Team Science & Technology Agency (HTX); recipient of the Efficiency Medal

Recovering useful evidence to deliver justice for victims is what drives Jaya Ganase to constantly improve techniques to enhance HTX’s forensic capabilities. 

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Jaya Ganase. PHOTO: SPS

Why did you decide to join the Home Team? 
I was inspired by how Crime Scene Specialists could piece together crucial forensic evidence to generate investigative leads and support Police officers in solving crime. 

When did you join HTX and tell us more about your career thus far. 
I joined the Forensics Division under the Criminal Investigation Department of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) in 2012. In 2019, HTX was established, and Forensics Division was subsumed under the Forensics Centre of Expertise in HTX. We continue to be deployed to SPF to support forensics work.

What’s your day-to-day work like? 
I work closely with investigators to oversee the forensic examination of crime scenes to recover evidence, and ensure that crime scenes are processed in accordance with legal and scientific requirements.

Apart from crime scene processing, my colleagues and I conduct forensic training for our fellow colleagues as well as the investigation fraternity in other agencies. 

We also constantly strive to upgrade our technical skills by researching cutting edge forensic technology that we can adopt. We work on innovation projects that can further improve the Forensics Division’s work processes, one of which is bloodstain pattern analysis (BPA) – an important discipline in crime scene investigation – for which I am part of several innovation projects.  

Tell us more about your BPA projects!
The presence of blood and patterns cast by bloodstains are important clues that tell us the story of what happened at crime scenes. For a long time, it’s been challenging for us to photograph bloodstain patterns on dark substrates (i.e. surface where the blood is found) using conventional DSLR cameras. 

Through literature research, I learnt that infra-red (IR) cameras allow the visualisation of blood on dark surfaces and is also being used by the Institute of Environmental Science and Research in New Zealand to document BPA. 

I then tinkered with my DSLR camera out of curiosity and found that I could replace the internal IR blocking filter with one that allows IR to be detected, thereby allowing us to capture bloodstains without having to use an external IR light source at crime scenes. We have successfully conducted in-house experiments and the results have been encouraging. 

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Jaya at a mock crime scene. PHOTO: SPS

I also spearheaded the project on Mixed Reality (MR) Training System for BPA, a simulation that can curate virtual bloodied crime scenes against a physical environment for trainees to learn the steps on processing different crime scenes. 

Traditional BPA training is done by physically recreating bloodstain patterns on various surfaces (e.g. walls) using synthetic blood for trainees to analyse these patterns thereafter. Training preparation was time-consuming and labour-intensive, which limits scalability.

With the MR System, trainings can be scaled from introductory to advanced levels and allow multiple trainees to exercise what they have learnt in theory, build their skills and confidence prior to processing a bloodied crime scene.

What do you love most about your job?
My work is meaningful, and it brings me satisfaction that I can recover useful forensic evidence to pinpoint perpetrators, deliver justice and help victims’ families find closure. I am also grateful for my team and bosses who are extremely supportive of my innovation efforts. Receiving medals and awards does not define one’s success; what matters is the journey and not the destination.

- Interviewed and written by Joash Tan

Read Part 2 and Part 3.

Ministry of Home Affairs National Day Awards 2022 Investiture
The Ministry of Home Affairs’ National Day Awards Investiture is an annual event to recognise deserving Home Team officers for their contributions and commitment in keeping Singapore safe and secure. A total of 918 awardees received the medals this year. Read the speech by Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Communications and Information & Second Minister for Home Affairs.

Written by

Elaine Lee and Joash Tan


15 December 2022

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