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Committed to the Cause (Part 2)

Seven newly promoted Home Team guardians speak about their passion for keeping Singapore safe.
Home Team Promotion Ceremony Part 2 01
GRAPHIC: Joash Tan

This year, over 7,000 officers including NSmen from across the Home Team were promoted. We caught up with two officers who share with us their reflections as members of the Home Team.

Pushing the Boundaries of Border Security 

SUPT Nur Diyana Ahmad
Head, Projects Office, Operations Division, Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)

ICA Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2022 Part 2 02

PHOTO: Dayana Yakob

Tell us more about your work in the Operations Division.
I’m responsible for overseeing the planning, development and implementation of the Woodlands Checkpoint (WCP) redevelopment project. I work closely with multiple government agencies and various strategic partners to conduct feasibility studies to determine the optimal design of the redeveloped checkpoint. This is to ensure that the redeveloped WCP alleviates traffic congestion, improves travel time and enhances security to meet the projected increase in traffic volume by 2050. 

In 2015, I was also part of the project team that trialled the use of iris and facial technology as part of our New Clearance Concept (NCC). My team and I conducted trials to identify the technology most suited to screen and authenticate the biometrics of travellers in ICA’s unique operating terrain. We faced many challenges as the technology was relatively new. 

After years of experimenting, iris and facial biometric scanners were deployed across all passenger halls at Singapore’s checkpoints in July 2020.

What were some memorable moments in the Home Team?
It was meeting my husband during our Basic Training course, and we now have a four-year-old daughter. While work can get hectic at times, I’m thankful that my husband, who is also in ICA, understands the demands of my work and this deepens our bond to each other.

I remember during my first stint as a Team Leader at WCP, there were times when I had to assist travellers who faced non-immigration issues, for example when their cars broke down at the checkpoint. What made it memorable was the appreciation we received from the travellers and knowing that I have helped someone, no matter how small the issue was. 

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt in the Home Team?

I’ve learnt that in whatever we do, we will always have the support of a whole team. Each one of us can make a difference, but with the entire Home Team behind us, we can move mountains.

Leveraging Technology for a Safer Singapore
Dr Daniel Teo
Deputy Director (Interactions, Intelligence & Inter-ops), Robotics, Automation and Unmanned Systems Centre of Expertise (RAUS CoE), Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX)

HTX Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2022 Part 2 03

PHOTO: Joash Tan

When did you join the Home Team, and why?
I joined HTX in April 2019. After spending more than a decade with A*STAR developing technology and solutions for local SMEs and MNCs, I wanted to do more by developing technologies beyond commercial purposes.

I always believe that technology can enhance the quality of life. The idea of leveraging robotics and automation for the Home Team to overcome declining manpower and increasing operational demands prompted me to commit the next phase of my professional career to HTX. I am excited to play a part in contributing to Singapore’s safety and security.

What’s the most rewarding experience you’ve had as a Home Team officer?
I am pleased to be able to work on several key technology development projects such as the Prison Automated Screening System (PASS) that automates the process of obtaining urine and screening of illicit drugs for supervisees under Prison’s Community Based Programmes, and the motorised stretcher that improves the operational efficiency and well-being of SCDF Emergency Medical Service crew.
Home Team Promotion Ceremony Part 2 04
Dr Teo has been working on these two key development projects - PASS and the motorised stretcher. PHOTO: Joash Tan

As one of the pioneering members of HTX, I was privileged to have developed the storyline for the HTX official launch ceremony’s holographic opening performance. It showcased HTX’s vision of leveraging technology to achieve force-multiplying effects for HTDs in the foreseeable future. 

For each project, having a hand to transform a concept to a reality was fulfilling. It is also rewarding to gain new knowledge from the process.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt in the Home Team?
I’ve learnt that teamwork and trust are extremely important. With multiple internal and external stakeholders involved in each project, and working through the uncertainties due to the novelty of each proposed solution, it is impossible to manage every single detail alone. Delegating and assigning tasks among team members, and trusting each member to do his or her best to complete the task, has strengthened the team and our spirit of camaraderie.

Read Committed to the Cause (Part 1).

Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2022
Across the Home Team, a total of 7,206 officers are promoted this year, comprising 4,088 regular officers from the Home Team Departments and statutory boards, 3,029 Operationally-Ready National Servicemen (ORNSmen) from the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force, as well as 89 members from VSC and CDAU. Read the speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, at the Promotion Ceremony.

Written by

Elaine Lee


14 June 2022

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