The Ministry of Home Affairs
(MHA) Scholarship and Sponsorship Awards are presented to Home Team officers to acknowledge their outstanding service, commitment and passion in keeping Singapore safe and secure, and to affirm their potential to further contribute to the Home Team. We spoke to three of this year’s award recipients to learn why they’re driven to give their best.
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
SHIM CHEK LIN, Senior Manager, Policy, Planning & Research Division, Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB)
MHA Postgraduate Sponsorship Award Recipient: Master in Business Administration, University of Manchester
Tell us about your journey as a Home Team officer.
I started my Public Service career as an educator before joining the Home Team as a civilian officer. I’ve served with CNB for three years and my current portfolio involves supporting CNB’s Transformation efforts. Through various initiatives, we engage with our officers, keep them updated on CNB’s Transformation journey and address their feedback and concerns.
What does this work involve?
There’s much to share with our officers about our Transformation progress. We try to seek out creative ways of communication and engagement, such as videos and quizzes. Some of our initiatives include dialogues with Senior Management and engagement sessions with officers. My team also developed CNB’s Transformation microsite and produce regular content to support our Transformation efforts.
Why did you decide for apply for the Postgraduate Sponsorship Award?
It will allow me to acquire a different perspective and strengthen my analytical and management skills. I’ve gained much insight into how organisations can navigate and thrive in an uncertain, fast-moving environment. Drawing parallels with our own Home Team Transformation efforts, I believe there’s much I can apply to my own work, such as “future-proofing” our operating models so that we can better respond to disruptions.
I’m very grateful to CNB and my supervisors for their endorsement, and am honoured to receive this Award.
How have your classes been so far?
The MBA is a 1.5-year programme and we started classes in July. Our lectures and workshops have been conducted online, with our instructors speaking to us from overseas.
If there’s one skill that I’ve been able to apply to my work from my lessons, it’s critical thinking. We constantly analyse and challenge different ideas, and then come up with our own proposals.
It has been an exciting and insightful experience, one that required me to exercise discipline to balance my work and part-time studies. The demands of time management are now even stronger, in light of the COVID-19 situation. I’m appreciative of the strong support and encouragement of my supervisors, and this has definitely spurred me on to do my best!
A CHILDHOOD DREAM TO SERVE AS AN OFFICER
SENIOR STAFF SERGEANT HIZAMI BIN MOHAMAD RAFI, Singapore Police Force (SPF)
MHA Graduate Sponsorship Award Recipient: Bachelor of Public Safety and Security, Singapore University of Social Sciences
Tell us about your journey as a Home Team officer.
I come from a humble background and am an only child. I remember how, when I was growing up, my parents constantly displayed grit to ensure our needs were met. During the 2001 recession, they weren’t spared from layoffs, but that didn’t hinder them from conscientiously looking for new employment opportunities. So my parents are my source of strength and motivation.
As a child, I enjoyed watching crime dramas like Triple Nine
, and I remember rushing through my homework so that I could join my parents to watch Crimewatch
when it aired. I was intrigued by how Police officers solved cases and caught the bad guys, and I recall telling my mother after each episode that I wanted to be like those officers. She’d jokingly reply that someday she hoped to see me host the show!
As I was about to complete my National Service (NS) with the Army, I considered continuing my studies or applying to become a Police officer. My parents reminded me of my aspirations, and so I joined SPF in 2014 after my NS. I am now a Ground Response Force (GRF) officer at Clementi Neighbourhood Police Centre
Share with us a memorable moment from your days as a GRF officer.
Once, my partner and I were on patrol when we were approached by a young man who asked if I remembered him.
It turned out that I’d previously issued a summon to this man for possessing contraband cigarettes, and had also advised him against smoking.
I was concerned that the man might bear a grudge about this incident. Instead, he thanked me and shared what I’d said to him then, which he still remembered: “Let this be the first and last time I issue a summon to you. Think of your mother, please.”
This was very meaningful for me as it showed how, as an officer, I was able to have a positive impact on someone else.
Why did you decide to take up the Graduate Sponsorship Award?
I wanted to pursue the Public Safety and Security
programme as it will allow me to learn more about security-related issues, leadership, human behaviour, cyber-security and so on. It’s important that I pursue such knowledge to better equip myself as a Home Team officer.
On a personal level, I hope to make my family proud through my personal development and contributions to society as an officer. Three years ago, my mother suffered a stroke that left her paralysed on the right side of her body. She also had to undergo treatment for cancer. It was a challenging period for me as I had to balance my duties at home with my responsibilities as an officer.
Thankfully, my mother’s condition has improved. I’ve also done well at work and remain motivated to challenge myself. That’s why I decided to apply for the Sponsorship Award in 2019. Naturally, when my mother heard that I’d received it, she cried tears of joy.
How have your lessons been so far?
It’s been enjoyable! Due to the COVID-19 situation, we attend classes online, so learning is pretty much going on constantly. We also have a support network of fellow students and we remind one another about upcoming lessons and deadlines, and cheer one another on.
What does receiving this Award mean to you?
It’s an honour and I’m grateful for the opportunity. At the end of the day, I hope to be able to contribute as much as I can as an officer and to help SPF achieve its mission and vision.
DESIGNING LEARNING TO HELP OTHER LEARNERS
SEE PEI JUN, Senior Executive (Curriculum Planning, Evaluation & Analytics), Centre for Learning Systems, Home Team Academy (HTA)
MHA Postgraduate Study Award Recipient: Master of Training and Development, Griffith University
Tell us about your Home Team journey.
I’ve been with HTA for four years and, at the Centre for Learning Systems, I assist with designing curricula and methodologies that help Home Team officers learn the necessary competencies and be more effective.
Why did you take up the Postgraduate Study Award?
As I work in the field of Training and Learning, I wanted to further my knowledge of adult learning and education, so that I can contribute better to the Home Team. I’m grateful to receive the Study Award, and for HTA senior management's faith in me.
I also appreciate the support of my supervisor and team. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to attain the Griffith Award for Academic Excellence for two academic years.
What’s been the highlight of your studies?
The Master programme comprises both distance learning as well as face-to-face lessons with our instructor on alternate trimesters. I liked that we could learn independently if it suited us, while also getting support from other students, as our class was very close-knit.
For my capstone assignment, I also got to do a deep dive into how our Home Team Trainers have leveraged technology and used smart classrooms, taking into account the experiences of Trainers from SPF, the Singapore Civil Defence Force
, the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority
How have you applied what you learnt to your work?
The programme has helped me to deepen my knowledge in the areas of vocational assessment, digital culture and the use of games in education. It has also allowed me to meet like-minded professionals who have a passion for training and learning. Through this network of industry practitioners, I’ve picked up best practices in deploying training and learning initiatives.
These lessons are all directly relevant to my work at HTA, and have helped me to enhance our curricula and methodologies in order to meet the Home Team’s learning goals.
MHA Scholarship and Sponsorship Awards 2020
The MHA Scholarship and Sponsorship Awards are presented to Home Team officers to acknowledge their outstanding service, commitment and passion in keeping Singapore safe and secure, and to affirm their potential for excellence and further contributions to the Home Team.
This year, 156 Home Team officers were awarded MHA Scholarships and Sponsorships to pursue degree or postgraduate studies in a range of disciplines at local and overseas universities. Learn more about the MHA Scholarship and Sponsorship Awards
. Read the Annexes-MHA-Scholarship-and-Sponsorship-Awards-2020
- Committed to Serve; Eager to Learn (Part 1)
- Committed to Serve; Eager to Learn (Part 3)