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Service Before Self: Home Alone, But Not for Long

Honouring our Home Team Guardians for their everyday acts of selflessness and bravery.
It’s easy to take what we have for granted. Every day, our Home Team Guardians perform a myriad of duties that are little remarked upon, but are critical to keeping us all safe and secure. From protecting the most vulnerable among us to putting their lives on the line, our Home Team Guardians are always there, ready to serve. 

Here's the story of a Home Team officer who was recognised for his efforts at the Minister's Awards Presentation Ceremony on 24 Sep 2018.

Home Alone, But Not for Long
It was in the early hours of a Thursday morning when Staff Sergeant (SSGT) Mohamad Farhan Bin Mohamad Suhaili, a Ground Response Force Officer from the Singapore Police Force (SPF), responded to a call from a housing unit in Toa Payoh. 

The call came from a resident who reported a quarrel in the unit next door. “When my partner and I arrived, we found a three-year-old boy who’d been locked in the house and two other young children – a two-year-old girl and a two-month-old baby,” recalled SSGT Farhan. “The boy told me that the baby was on the bed by himself, unattended.”

Putting others first: SSGT Mohamad Farhan Bin Mohamad Suhaili of the SPF. PHOTO: Desmond Ang

Not only were the children locked inside the unit without supervision, their windows were also wide open, and the baby was crying to be fed. 

“As a father myself, I knew I had to do something,” said SSGT Farhan, 31. “I know how children behave when they’re left unattended; it wasn’t safe. That’s why we decided to cut the padlock on the gate immediately.”

As he waited for his partner to get the cutter, SSGT Farhan taught the oldest boy to make milk for the baby. A check with neighbours also confirmed that the children’s mother, who was a single parent, had left the unit after an argument with her boyfriend. 

“We didn’t know if anyone would come back to look after the children,” said SSGT Farhan. “So we did a background screening and found the contact number of their maternal grandfather, and called him.” 

The grandfather arrived just as the Police officers broke the padlock and entered the unit. “I was very sad to see the baby alone on the bed,” said SSGT Farhan. “I carried him out and handed him to his grandfather.”

But the case was far from over. The grandfather told the officers about his daughter’s relationship struggles. “After listening to him, I explained how he could contact a Family Services Centre (FSC) to get the necessary support,” said SSGT Farhan. “With this information, they went to a FSC the next day.” 

He also referred the case to the Ministry of Family and Social Development, which agreed to take over custody of the children the following Monday. In the meantime, they would stay with their grandfather.

Having made all the necessary arrangements for the children’s care, SSGT Farhan also gave the grandfather his phone number. That very weekend, the children’s mother showed up at their grandfather’s place, demanding the children. 

“The grandfather called me for help,” recalled SSGT Farhan. “So I spoke to the mother over the phone and also got a patrol car to go to the unit, to make sure there were no further disputes.”

The mother eventually left, accepting SSGT Farhan’s assurance that everything had been done according to the law, and that the children would be cared for. 

Not long after, SSGT Farhan received another call from the grandfather – not about a dispute, but out of gratitude. “He thanked me for what I’d done for the children, and said he appreciated my help,” said SSGT Farhan. “As Police officers, we don’t only attend to criminal cases; we also have the opportunity to really help people. That’s what I love about being in the SPF.” 

For his willingness to assist those in danger and for going beyond the call of duty, SSGT Farhan received the Star Service Award during the Minister’s Awards Presentation Ceremony. 

The Minister’s Awards Presentation Ceremony 2018
The Minister’s Awards recognise Home Team officers for their professionalism, dedication and achievements in safeguarding Singapore. This year’s Ceremony took place on 24 September 2018 and saw 132 awards presented to outstanding Home Team officers, teams and agencies. To read the opening address by Minister for Home Affairs and Minster for Law Mr K Shanmugam, click here.

Written by

Desmond Ang


28 September 2018

Law and order
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