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 award recipients to learn why they’re driven to give their best.
TO CONTRIBUTE AND SERVE
SERGEANT (SGT) SHERINNYA CHANDRASEKARAN, Ground Response Force officer, 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.
When I was young, I developed a keen interest in joining SPF. It has been my lifelong goal to contribute and serve as a uniformed officer, and to do my part by helping to maintain the peace and uphold our laws. I’ve been a Ground Response Force officer for four years at Woodlands Checkpoint.
Why did you decide to apply for the Graduate Sponsorship Award?
Learning about Public Safety and Security will equip me with the necessary knowledge to take on challenges of the future. I’d previously received a Home Team Diploma Sponsorship as a student at Nanyang Polytechnic
and, with the support of my peers and supervisors at Jurong Police Division, Woodlands Police Division and Checkpoints Command, I decided to apply for the Graduate Sponsorship Award this year.
What does receiving the Sponsorship mean to you?
It will allow me to upgrade myself holistically, and I’ll do my best during my studies before returning to SPF to contribute to the organisation.
How have your classes been?
I feel like a student again! I’m studying full-time and my online lessons and assignments started in July. We’ve had to toggle between online platforms but it’s been manageable so far. The Home Team officers in the Programme are supportive and we’ve formed our own study groups, to motivate one another. I’m enjoying the whole experience!
APPLYING PSYCHOLOGICAL INSIGHTS TO FIGHT CRIME AND SAVE LIVES
JEFFERY CHIN, Senior Assistant Director (Extremism & Terrorism Psychology), Home Team Behavioural Sciences Centre (HTBSC)
MHA Postgraduate Sponsorship Award Recipient: PhD, Institute of Criminal Justice Studies, University of Portsmouth
Tell us about your journey as a Home Team officer.
I’ve always been passionate about law enforcement and security matters. I’m especially keen to understand why crime occurs, how criminals think and operate, and how Psychology and the Behavioural Sciences can support law enforcement in tackling crime and keeping the community safe. I’ve served MHA as a Psychologist for the past 14 years, and have had the honour of working alongside our dedicated Home Team officers in keeping Singapore safe and secure.
What does your work with HTBSC entail?
A significant portion of my work at HTBSC involves applied research in the domain of crime, investigation support, violent extremism and community resilience after a crisis. I’m particularly interested in the domain of investigative interviewing and have been involved in several related projects over the years.
As much of HTBSC’s research efforts translates into Home Team training content, I've spoken at several Home Team training events on a variety of topics which support Home Team investigations. These topics include behavioural profiling, deception detection, investigative interviewing, threat assessment and public order management.
I also contribute to HTA’s milestone leadership courses by assisting in command and crisis leadership training, as much of the content is derived from HTBSC’s ongoing research in the domain of command and crisis leadership.
What does receiving this Postgraduate Sponsorship Award mean to you?
It will allow me to broaden my perspective and gain greater knowledge in a field that I’m passionate about, Investigative and Forensic Psychology. I look forward to applying what I learn to support the Home Team in the years to come.
What topic did you choose to conduct research on for your PhD?
I’m focusing my research on the psychological aspects of suspect investigative interviews. A significant aspect of enforcement in the Home Team involves interacting with people to elicit information in order to fight crimes and save lives. Through my research, I hope to help enhance our effectiveness in this area.
TOWARDS A SMARTER – AND SAFER – NATION
SGT (3) LIM JUN MING, Ground Response Force officer, SPF
MHA Graduate Sponsorship Award Recipient: Bachelor of Criminology and Security (with Honours), Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT); MHA Book Prize Recipient
Tell us about your journey with SPF and why you decided to apply for the Graduate Sponsorship Award with SIT.
I’ve served with SPF for six years and am currently a Ground Response Force officer at Hougang Neighbourhood Police Centre
. I applied for the Graduate Sponsorship in 2017 because I wanted to expand my horizons and contribute to improving SPF’s Policing capabilities.
How did you find the Criminology and Security Programme?
It has helped me to develop an understanding of the sociological factors related to our rapidly changing operating environment, and how we can deal with them through our day-to-day interactions with the community. During the final phase of our studies, we attended lessons from home due to COVID-19, but we quickly adjusted to our online lectures. I completed my full-time studies earlier this year and am now back on duty with SPF.
You received the MHA Book Prize this year for the best dissertation. What was your research project about?
My dissertation was about the potential harm of immersive technologies in cyberspace. This is my passion. I looked at the trend of “loot boxes,” which is becoming prevalent in video games, and made recommendations to safeguard youths from becoming exposed to elements of gambling in such games.
My proposals included introducing a tax on excessive in-game spending on loot boxes, removing audio-visual cues when players open loot boxes, establishing an ethical framework for monetising video games, having alternatives to loot boxes and introducing age limits for the purchase of loot boxes.
It wasn’t an easy topic to research and I worked hard to ensure that my proposals were relevant and addressed issues that we’re facing now. I’m thankful that the faculty and my course-mates supported me by offering critiques, so that I could improve. It’s an immense honour to receive the MHA Book Prize and I see it as an acknowledgment of my efforts, with the assistance of SIT, my friends and family.
How have your studies made you a better officer?
As officers, we must be sensitive to our environment in order to be effective in our daily engagements with the public. The Criminology and Security Programme has helped me to better appreciate the importance of serving the public with empathy and integrity, and how the Home Team can support Singapore’s transition to a Smart Nation.
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 congratulatory note to this year’s award recipients from Mrs Josephine Teo, Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs.
- Committed to Serve; Eager to Learn (Part 1)