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Choosing to Serve the Home Team (Part 1)

Young hearts with a passion for keeping Singapore safe and secure – four Scholarship recipients explain why they’ve chosen to become Home Team officers.
Committed to keeping Singapore safe and secure. PHOTOS: Home Team News


Inspector Alden Tan, 19, SPF
SPF Scholarship Recipient

For Inspector Alden Tan of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), it all began with a childhood fascination with Police officers. But it took a memorable ground attachment at the Marina Bay New Year Countdown to cement his desire to join the SPF. 

What type of role do you hope to take on in the SPF? 
I’m open to different roles as the whole spectrum of policing appeals to me – crime prevention, detection, community engagement and so on. It’s been a childhood passion of mine. 

Tell us about your attachment experience.
As part of receiving the SPF Book Prize in 2017, I did an attachment with various operational departments and specialist units. One of the events I assisted with was the Marina Bay New Year Countdown in 2018. I was attached to an officer who shared with me that, for many years, he hadn’t spent the New Year with his family because of his work. Yet every year, whenever he was called up for duty, he never failed to respond. And this was very inspiring to me. 

Later, we were walking the ground when we came to a pavement that was being blocked by many bicycles. This created a bottleneck for the crowd on the pavement. What the officer did was to step forward and start moving the bicycles one by one. I went to help him, and then another officer joined us. After that, members of the public started to pitch in too. 

Soon we’d cleared the pavement of bicycles and the traffic became much smoother. This made me realise that one person’s actions, though small by themselves, can create a chain reaction or ripple effect that can benefit many. 

A childhood fascination turned career: Inspector Alden Tan of the SPF. PHOTO: Home Team News

It sounds like it was an eventful night for you.
And it wasn’t over yet. After the Countdown, at around 12.30pm, I was at the entrance to Bayfront MRT Station as the crowds were leaving. It was very congested and a member of the public got frustrated and started scolding a Police officer who was on duty. But the officer kept his cool, calmed the man down and continued performing his duties. His sense of professionalism – and that of all the officers that night – really inspired me. 

What will you be studying? 
I’ll be studying Economics, Statistics and Data Science at Yale University. I chose these subjects as I’m very interested in how we can use them, together with technology, to overcome manpower limitations and develop new capabilities for the SPF.  

Share with us something personal about yourself.
I enjoy working with others and learnt Malay because I want to reach out to more people in our community. Also, I’ve never missed an episode of Crimewatch! ☺

Eager to make a difference: Inspector Stefan Liew of the SPF. PHOTO: Home Team News


Inspector Stefan Liew, 19, SPF
SPF Scholarship Recipient

A ground attachment at a Neighbourhood Police Centre showed Inspector Stefan Liew the meaningful and very real impact that Police officers have on the community. 

What inspired you to join the SPF?
It was an internship with the SPF’s Operations Department in December 2017. At that time, I knew I wanted to join the Public Service, but didn’t know much about the work of the SPF, or how it had a very direct impact on our everyday lives. 

I was with the Major Security Events Division, which oversees events such as the National Day Parade, Car-free Sunday and the Marina Bay New Year Countdown. I saw how the SPF collaborated with other public agencies, and this inspired me to join the Home Team because of how its work impacts the whole of Singapore. I want to contribute towards making Singapore the safest place in the world.  

What was the most memorable moment of your internship? 
It was at a Neighbourhood Police Centre where I got the chance to follow an officer on a night patrol. We drove around and responded to a fight in a bar, and also attended to a case where someone had been locked out of his flat, and was worried about his elderly father inside. 

It was an ordinary patrol, in many ways. But I got to see a very real side of what Police officers do – if anyone ever needs them, they’ll be there. And this is something I really want to be a part of. 

What will you be studying? 
I’ll be studying Liberal Arts at Yale-NUS College. I chose the Liberal Arts because it offers both breadth and depth across many academic disciplines, with a focus on the connections between them. I hope to stay grounded and also gain new perspectives from interacting with students of all backgrounds.

For Lee Wei Ting, a career with the ICA brings together many of things she cares most deeply about. PHOTO: Home Team News


Lee Wei Ting, 19, ICA
Local Merit Scholarship Recipient

“Excited!” – That’s’ the word that came up numerous times during our chat with Lee Wei Ting, one of the bright sparks who’ll be serving with the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) after graduation. She explains why she can’t wait to begin her Home Team journey.

Why did you want to join the ICA? 
It represents a lot of the things I care deeply about. First, I’ve always been keen to join the Public Service. I also have a passion for the Law and, coupled with the fact that one of the Home Team’s focus areas is law enforcement, joining the ICA was a natural choice for me, as it brought together all of my interests. 

What will you be studying? 
I’ll be reading Law at the National University of Singapore. The cool thing is that, during certain school breaks, I’ll be on attachments to learn more about the ICA’s operations. I have a great interest in border security, which is an important function for national security, so I’m very excited to get started. 

What does receiving the Home Team’s Local Merit Scholarship mean to you? 
I’m grateful to be exposed to the opportunities that come with it. I’ll be the first Home Team officer in my family. My parents have been very supportive of me, and proud that I’ve achieved my aspirations. The ICA is undergoing a transformational change, with many new plans to enhance our checkpoints. I’m excited to be part of this journey!

Becoming a Home Team officer marks a new chapter of service for Muhammad Firdaus Bin Eddie Yusof. PHOTO: Home Team News


Muhammad Firdaus Bin Eddie Yusof, 24, ICA
Home Team Local Study Award Recipient

If there’s one thing that defines Firdaus’ approach to life, it’s service. While studying for a Diploma in Aeronautical &  Aerospace Technology at Nanyang Polytechnic, he devoted much of his free time to volunteering for community service projects in Singapore and overseas. According to Firdaus, joining the ICA is simply the next step in his journey of service.  

Tell us about the community service projects you worked on during your polytechnic days.
I was a member of the Boys’ Brigade Primers Programme, which is based on the themes of service and leadership. I volunteered for many community service projects like collecting hampers for those in need and old folks’ homes. I also led a team to Cambodia to build water-tanks for rural communities, as part of a Youth Expedition Project

What did you do after you graduated? 
I did my National Service (NS) with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) as a Public Affairs Officer. It was during an SCDF roadshow that I met an ICA officer who shared about his work. That’s how I became interested in joining the ICA. I’ve always respected the role of the Home Team in keeping Singapore safe and secure. The ICA is very much a frontline agency, and that’s where I want to serve.  

How do you feel about receiving the Home Team Local Study Award? 
It’s a great honour as I’ll get to contribute to the Home Team’s efforts. My family has been very supportive of my choice; they encouraged me to join the Home Team because they know how much I love to serve.

In August, I’ll be starting my studies in Mechanical Engineering at Nanyang Technological University. I completed my NS in 2017 and have been doing relief teaching at Marsiling Primary School, so it’s really good to get back on the learning path after so long!

SPF Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship Award Ceremony 2018 
The Home Team Scholarships comprise the SPF Scholarship, Singapore Merit Scholarship, Singapore Government Scholarship, Singapore Government Scholarship (Home Team Science & Technology), Singapore Civil Defence Force Paramedic Scholarship, Local Merit Scholarship and Home Team Local Study Awards. 

These scholarships are awarded yearly to students who have excelled in their studies and co-curricular activities, displayed outstanding leadership qualities and have a keen interest to pursue a career with the Home Team uniformed services. They will pursue studies in a range of disciplines at local and overseas universities. 

Read the speech by Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam at the SPF Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship Award Ceremony, held at the Istana on 14 August 2018. 

A Career in the Home Team
If you’re keen to learn more about becoming a Home Team Guardian, visit the MHA website.

Written by

Mike Tan


14 August 2018

Immigration and Checkpoints Security
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