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Passion and Dedication (Part 1)

It’s all about leadership and commitment – two Home Team Guardians share their most meaningful moments as officers.
Home Team News Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021 01A
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

We spoke to two officers who were part of this year's Home Team Promotion Ceremony to learn more about their most meaningful experiences as Home Team Guardians.

Home Team News Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021 01B

For Colonel (COL) Shaiful Herman Bin Shali, it’s the incidents where lives are at stake that truly stand out.  

COL Shaiful Herman Bin Shali
Commander, 1st SCDF Division, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF)

When did you join the Home Team?
As a youth, I enjoyed Chemistry and watching crime scene investigation shows. I was offered the Home Affairs Uniformed Services Scholarship in 2002, and this allowed me to marry these interests in supporting SCDF’s operations. I completed the Basic Officer Course in 2005 and have been with SCDF for 16 years.

What’s your current role, and what’s a typical day of work like for you?
I’ve been the Commander of 1st SCDF Division since the beginning of 2021. This is the largest land Division in SCDF, spanning the Central Business District to Jurong Island, with eight Fire Stations. By and large, a lot of the incidents on the ground are well-managed at the Fire-Station-level, but If there are major incidents, I’ll lead the Fire Stations during operations. Training and community engagement are a big part of what we do too.

What’s the most affirming experience you’ve had as a lifesaver?
Rescue incidents where lives are at stake are the moments you remember very well. When I was a ROTA Commander at Alexandra Fire Station in 2006, there was one case where a lady was hanging on to a bamboo pole with her legs dangling. A crowd of onlookers had formed below us, and I was getting worried that she wouldn’t be able to hold on much longer. So, I just reached out my hand and pulled her to safety. 
How do you overcome the challenges you face at work?
By knowing what’s within my control and not being overly affected by things that aren’t within my sphere of influence. 

How do you feel about receiving your promotion?
Very grateful and pleased that the Force recognises the efforts of our officers. I’m also happy to see a number of my colleagues being promoted as well as it’s an affirmation of their efforts. Several of them were my subordinates so I’m very glad to have been part of their career development.

What’s the most important lesson you’ve learnt during your career?
It has made me realise how important family is. I was previously the Commander of SCDF’s Fire Investigation Unit, which attends to cases where homes have been ravaged by fire. I saw how families can be affected by an emergency, especially if it involves fatalities. We do our best to help grieving families by getting to the truth of such cases. I’m glad that I can help people who are in distress. – Interviewed by Joash Tan

Home Team News Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021 01C

As the first SPF officer to be seconded to INTERPOL’s Financial Crimes Unit, Muhammad Imran Mohamad Ayub works with enforcement agencies in partner-countries to fight transnational crime.

Muhammad Imran Bin Mohamad Ayub
Criminal Intelligence Officer, INTERPOL Financial Crimes Unit, seconded from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) 

Why did you decide to join the Home Team?
My dad was an officer with the Police Coast Guard for 27 years, so I knew a lot about SPF prior to joining. I recall the times he brought my family out to Police events like the annual Family Day at the old Police Academy. 

I also served with SPF during my National Service. My two-year stint with Bedok Police Division confirmed that policing was right for me. As I’d also studied Business Administration in my university days, it was a natural transition for me to go into finance-related investigative work. I joined SPF in 2010, the same year my father retired from the Force. I’ve never regretted my choice. 

What’s the most meaningful experience you’ve had as a Home Team officer?
My first case, when I was with SPF’s Financial Intelligence Unit in 2011, was one of my most memorable. Putting the case together, building it and finally seeing the suspect convicted for his offences – it was very affirming for me. It showed me that, despite the challenges of our work, we can make a difference. 

Another memorable experience for me came in representing SPF in a high-profile case meeting overseas that involved more than eight countries. This was one of many financial investigations that I handled as an officer of SPF’s Commercial Affairs Department between 2014 and 2019. The case showed me the importance of international cooperation, and the crucial role played by SPF’s International Cooperation Department and INTERPOL in combating transnational crimes.

What do you love most about your work?
The challenge of intercepting fraudulent funds and tracking the main perpetrators behind cyber-enabled fraud, which is a rising type of crime in Singapore. These criminals often operate in other countries, but the fraudulent funds typically flow through Singapore. Given my current role at INTERPOL, I’m now in a better position to assist my SPF colleagues and counterparts from other countries in intercepting fraudulent funds and tracking perpetrators. These little successes spur me on as a Home Team officer.

The job can be demanding at times. I always tell myself that every difficulty will soon pass, and there will be moments that make it all worthwhile. 

What does this promotion mean to you?
It’s never about individual accolades. I like to use a football analogy since I’m an avid player myself. On every team, strikers often get the fame for scoring goals, but a team also needs to have hardworking midfielders, reliable defenders and an agile goalkeeper. These other players represent our family, friends, colleagues and supervisors. I may be the one scoring on this occasion, but ultimately, the team wins. – Interviewed by Samantha Fuentes

Read Passion and Dedication (Part 2) and Dedication and Passion (Part 3)

Home Team Promotion Ceremony 2021
This year’s Home Team Promotion Ceremony was held on 19 May and saw 6,280 officers from across the Home Team receiving promotions. They comprise regular officers from the Home Team Departments and statutory boards; Operationally-Ready National Servicemen from the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force; and members of the Volunteer Special Constabulary and Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit. Read the speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, at the Promotion Ceremony.

Written by

Joash Tan and Samantha Fuentes


21 May 2021

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