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Be A Guardian: When Values and Vocation are Aligned

As DSP1 Tan Weiren’s parents were both teachers, it was natural for him to choose a vocation that helps others make meaningful changes in their lives.
GRAPHIC: Phylicia Poon

Be A Guardian showcases fulfilling career, scholarship and sponsorship opportunities in the Home Team.

A sense of conviction in helping others – according to Deputy Superintendent of Prisons 1 (DSP1) Tan Weiren of the Singapore Prison Service (SPS), this was what drove him to choose a career in the Home Team.

Why did you want to join the Home Team?
My parents were both teachers, so I was naturally inclined towards teaching, the social service sector or work related to helping families. While I was on the search for jobs, I came across SPS as a career. The nature of the job drew me in – there’s much more meaningful person-to-person interaction than a typical desk-bound job, coupled with a powerful vision to restore the lives of ex-offenders through inspiring change in them. This resonated with my personal values, and I joined SPS in 2014 after I graduated from university.

Tell us about your Home Team journey.
My first posting was as a Housing Unit Officer with SPS. I led a team of officers to oversee operations, ensuring the safe and smooth conduct of activities and programmes in the Housing Unit I oversaw.

Following that, I served with SPS’ Rehabilitation and Reintegration Division where I assisted in the planning and provision of in-care and aftercare programmes. It’s very humbling to be able to interact and work with offenders. Hearing from them about their past – and, often, about their broken family backgrounds – I’ve learnt to be grateful for what I have, and to carry out my duties with compassion and determination.

Having completed two operational postings at SPS, DSP1 Weiren (left) is currently working on planning-related matters at MHA. PHOTO: Phylicia Poon

I’m currently serving with the Planning & Organisation Division at the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) where I work on budget and manpower resource planning for the entire Home Team, as well as on project approval processes.

What would you say are three important qualities for Home Team officers to have?
Teamwork, humility and positivity. When you lead others and work in a team, humility is key to earning the trust and respect of others. A positive spirit will also make one a beacon of hope to those around you.

What advice would you share with those considering a Home Team career?
If you want to join the Home Team, embrace the possibilities and expect the unexpected in your own journey. Break free from preconceptions about the work and explore areas that truly interest you. Ultimately, what keeps you going is that your personal values are aligned to those of the Home Team. That’s a powerful and beautiful thing to experience, and I hope each of you will find that sense of conviction in what you do.

Be A Guardian of Our Home
A recipient of the Singapore Government Scholarship (SPS), DSP1 Tan Weiren studied Economics and Geography at University College London.

PHOTO: Ashley Tuen

Keen to become a Home Team Guardian? Visit the MHA Careers webpage to find out more about available Scholarship and Sponsorship opportunities.
- Be A Guardian: Building Up the Home Team
- Be A Guardian: A Focus on People, from the Ground to Policymaking
- Be A Guardian: More than Just Investigations
- Be A Guardian: At the Forefront of Life-saving Innovation

Written by

Ashley Tuen


15 January 2020

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