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Choosing to Serve the Home Team (Part 2)

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


Inspector Cammy Chua Carin, 19, SPF
Singapore Merit Scholarship Recipient

As the first female recipient of the Singapore Merit Scholarship Recipient, Inspector Cammy Chua Carin of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) is glad to show that with heart, determination and drive, there’s no limit to what we can achieve. An avid athlete, she explains how she found her calling with the SPF. 

Why did you decide to join the SPF? 
I grew up in a household that prioritises safety and well-being. I also have an active background; I’ve done karate, judo, Muay Thai, gymnastics and touch rugby. So I was naturally drawn towards work that isn’t deskbound, and which involved being in touch with and giving back to the community. 

Tell us about the experiences you’ve had on your SPF journey.
One of the prerequisites for the Singapore Merit Scholarship is good performance at the Officer Cadet School (OCS), so I did my Basic Military Training (BMT) before completing 3.5 months at OCS. 

I was a little apprehensive before the training, but then it just clicked for me one day: Why should I shy away from challenges that my fellow officers have faced? I like to push myself to the limit, and the struggle in itself was very rewarding. 

I also hope that being the first female recipient of the Singapore Merit Scholarship will inspire other women to step out of their comfort zone, and show that we’re just as capable. 

Ready to push the limits: Inspector Cammy Chua Carin is the first female recipient of the Singapore Merit Scholarship. PHOTO: Home Team News

How did your parents respond when you told them about your interest in joining the SPF? 
They were very supportive of my choice; my dad was a fighter pilot in the Air Force, and the uniformed service is something he’s really passionate about. So when he learnt that I wanted to become a Police officer, he was like, “Yes, go for it!” 

Tell us about the experiences you’ve had on your SPF journey.
I completed an internship with the SPF’s Operations Department, with many opportunities to go on the ground. I did a night patrol at Rochor Neighbourhood Police Centre, was on the scene at the Marina Bay New Year Countdown 2018 and followed officers of the Central Narcotics Bureau on a raid. And right now, I’m interning with the SPF’s Criminal Investigation Department. 

Through these experiences, I came to understand and appreciate that it’s the little things that Police officers do that have an impact on the community in the long run. The officers I met shared that policing isn’t only about solving major crimes; it’s also about creating trust with the public so that they know they can rely on us for safety and security. 

What will you be studying? 
Psychology has always been an interest of mine, and I’ll be studying the subject at University College London

What are you looking forward to in your career as a Home Team officer?
The work isn’t static and I’ll be rotated around different departments. That’s something I look forward to – changing things up and adapting. 

Lifesaving mission: Han Ming Xuan is the inaugural recipient of the SCDF-Paramedic Scholarship. PHOTO: Home Team News


Han Ming Xuan, 20, SCDF
SCDF-Paramedic Scholarship Recipient

While serving his National Service (NS) as a Medic in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Han Ming Xuan got the unprecedented opportunity to do a three-month attachment with the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). He now has the distinction of being the first recipient of the SCDF-Paramedic Scholarship. 

How did you come to serve an attachment with the SCDF during your NS? 
I was part of a pilot programme that was launched in 2017 to raise the skills of SAF Medics and address the growing need for civilian emergency medical services. I was one of 12 SAF Medics to be selected for the programme, and I was posted to Alexandra Fire Station for three months, as a member of an ambulance crew. 

What’s the difference between your usual role as an SAF Medic and your attachment with the ambulance crew? 
The operational context is very different. As a Medic at Pulau Tekong, I attended mostly to training-related incidents. On an ambulance crew, however, we dealt with the entire spectrum of cases, from medical emergencies (such as cardiac arrests and traffic accidents) to complaints due to chronic health issues.

Why did you choose to join the SCDF? 
During my attachment, I saw the values shared by the SCDF officers – Pride and Care. I was inspired by how dedicated they were, even though it isn’t easy for officers on the ground to do this job. 

It was a privilege to work with many different paramedics. I learnt that they had to be as mentally tough as SCDF firefighters, because if they crumble, others will too. And they really have a heart for the people. 

On a personal note, my dad had a cardiac arrest in 2016. He was attended to by SCDF personnel and rushed to Changi General Hospital in an unconscious state. When my mother and I arrived, the doctor told us the prognosis was poor. But my father woke up after five days and, two months later, was back to work. 

This incident really impressed on me the very direct impact that SCDF officers have. If a medical emergency were to happen to any of us, we must have capable, medically trained officers to help us.  

Tell us about your studies. 
I’ll be studying Paramedicine at Monash University. Paramedicine is about making sure that a patient’s condition doesn’t get worse before he or she reaches the hospital. To do this, we use advanced protocols, skills and equipment to save lives. Paramedicine is a new track at the SCDF and offers many new possibilities. I’m excited to be able to contribute to the SCDF, and to Singapore. 

All for one: An NS stint with the SCDF’s Special Rescue Unit demonstrated to Muhammad Syukri the importance of team spirit. PHOTO: Home Team News


Muhammad Syukri Yeo Bin Muhammad Yusri Yeo, 21, SCDF
Singapore Government Scholarship Recipient

Serving alongside his fellow officers and knowing he could count on them when things got tough – this was how Muhammad Syukri knew that he’d found his vocation in the SCDF. 

Why did you want to join the SCDF? 
Because I know about the good work that it does on the ground. 

During my NS, I did my BMT in the SAF, but was then posted to the SCDF as a Fire and Rescue Officer. After completing the Rota Commander Course, I joined the SCDF’s Special Rescue Unit, which specialises in decontamination, large-scale fire-and-rescue operations and other specialised tasks. That’s where I served the remainder of my NS. 

The thing I love most about the SCDF is that when it comes to saving a life or fighting a fire, it isn’t about us; it’s about the person we’re trying to help. We’ll put aside everything else to achieve our common goal. 

As an NSman, I experienced this for myself many times. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to count on any one of your fellow officers. And that’s why I chose to join the SCDF. 

What was your most memorable NS experience? 
I remember responding to a warehouse fire at Tuas with my team. This was the first time that I’d led the team by myself. We arrived at the scene, checked in with the other SCDF units and got to work. It was a challenging operation but we performed well as a team. After this first firefighting experience, we trained even harder to improve our fitness and raise our bunker gear skills, to prepare ourselves for the next emergency. 

What will you be studying? 
I’m very interested in the field of hazardous materials and that’s why I’ll be studying Chemical Engineering at the National University of Singapore. I’m looking forward to applying what I learn to my work as an SCDF officer. 

How did your parents respond when you told them you wanted to join the SCDF? 
It was actually my mum who first encouraged me when I was posted to the SCDF after my BMT, so they’re really excited for me. My grandfather has served with the National Environment Agency for decades; he’s very proud of his work as a public officer, and this has inspired me as well. 

Higher purpose: For Gina Farm, joining the SPS will allow her to help ex-offenders find the right path. PHOTO: Home Team News


Gina Farm, 19, SPS
Singapore Government Scholarship Recipient

Though Gina Farm had her heart set on joining the social sector, a one-week attachment with the Home Team in 2017 showed her an alternative path which could also fulfil her desire to serve those in need. 

Why did you choose to join the Singapore Prison Service (SPS)? 
The mission of the SPS resonates with me – the idea that we’re Captains of Lives. It isn’t only about steering inmates and ex-offenders back onto the right path, but also being there for them and inspiring change from within. I believe in the principle that we shouldn’t be defined by our past mistakes. 

How did you first learn about the work of the SPS? 
It was at a career fair at my school, Hwa Chong Institution, when an SPS officer shared about his work. This made me realise how closely the SPS worked with the community. 

Then in June 2017, I did an attachment with the Home Team and got to visit many Home Team Departments to learn about their work. We visited Changi Prison Complex, and it was very heartening to see the effort that had been made to involve the community in rehabilitating the inmates, and to provide them with relevant skills. 

As I went through the scholarship application process, I also got the chance to speak to other SPS officers. One supervisor shared that when he graduated in 2009 and joined the SPS, the Yellow Ribbon Project was still in its infancy. Through our conversation, I could see his passion for his work, even after 10 years, and also began to understand how each little action counts and can make a difference to ex-offenders. 

How did your parents respond when you told them that you’d be joining the SPS? 
I was uncertain about what they’d say, but they were supportive of me. I explained my decision and they understood that I’d chosen a career with meaning and purpose. 

What does it mean to you to receive the Singapore Government Scholarship? 
It’s a reminder that I must stay grounded and true to the values of being a Home Team officer. 

Tell us about your studies. 
I’ll be studying Sociology and Psychology at the University of Edinburgh. It’s a bit of a change for me as I’d previously studied Chemistry, Mathematics, Economics, China Studies and Chinese. But I really love to observe interactions between people, and how our environment can affect the way we grow and develop. 

During my summer break, I’ll come back to the SPS for an attachment. I’m very excited to start this groundwork. ☺ 

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


15 August 2018

Community Engagement
Prisons Management and Rehabilitation
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