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Tomorrow’s Guardians (Part 1)

It’s all about purpose and passion – three Home Team Scholarship recipients share their aspirations.
GRAPHIC: Cheryl Soh

Singapore Police Force (SPF)
First female recipient of the SPF Scholarship, studying History at the University of Oxford

Why did you decide to join SPF? 
I was inspired to join the Force after a conversation with a female Police officer at a school event at Hwa Chong Institution. I’d asked her what working in a male-dominated environment was like, and she explained that gender didn’t make any difference as all Police officers care about the same cause, which is to keep Singapore safe. She also shared that if you’ll be given the opportunities to do things if you’re capable. That was what struck me. 

PHOTO: Nicolle Chua
One of the requirements of the SPF Scholarship is a stint at Officer Cadet School. How was the experience?
There were moments when I felt anxious, but my section mates encouraged me, and that kept me going. At one point, I was tasked to give instructions to my Cadet Wing and to ensure that we met our timings. It was quite hectic and I had to learn how to be firm. Our instructors also coached me to work towards my goals.

How do you feel about being the first female recipient of the SPF Scholarship, and what are your aspirations? 
I’m very thankful to receive the Scholarship and hope to play my part in ensuring the safety and security of our country. I want to contribute by providing a different perspective and being a good team player and leader. We have many female officers who believe in this work, and that’s why we’re here!
PHOTO: Cheryl Soh

Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB)
Recipient of the Local Merit Scholarship (Home Team), studying Chemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS) 

What inspired you to join the Home Team?
I served my National Service as a Patrol officer with SPF’s Airport Police Division. My daily interactions on the frontline, meeting members of the community and knowing the impact I can make – all of these factors really inspired me to join the Home Team. 

I also had the opportunity to take part in a career preview session at CNB in June 2019. This experience gave me a better understanding of what CNB officers do, and opened my mind to Singapore’s comprehensive anti-drug policy. 

Why did you choose to pursue Chemistry at NUS? 
It’s my favourite subject!

What are you looking forward to doing as a Home Team officer? 
My goal is to help Singapore become drug-free. Regardless of whether I serve in enforcement or in a policy-related field, I hope to make a real difference. 
PHOTO: Cheryl Soh

Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA)
Recipient of the Local Merit Scholarship (Home Team), studying Economics and Psychology at NUS

How did your family respond when you told them you’d be joining ICA? 
They were very proud that I’d be contributing to our nation's border security and keeping Singaporeans safe.

I understand you’ve always been curious about immigration legislation. Tell us more.  
Yes, I’ve always been curious about the inner workings of immigration law and enforcement, especially when I travelled overseas. That’s why I interned with ICA in early 2019. This helped me to learn more about how ICA’s operations ensure the safety and security of our borders. In particular, I was taken by ICA’s multi-pronged approach against immigration offenders through tough laws, stringent border checks and inland enforcement. That’s when it struck me – ICA officers aren’t only the custodians of our borders; they also uphold Singapore’s security image at our checkpoints. 

What do you hope to achieve as an ICA officer after you complete your studies? 
I hope to learn the “A to Z” of ICA’s operations before considering transformational change. But generally speaking, I’d like to be part of Singapore's broader efforts against terrorism by safeguarding our borders. I also hope to learn more about how Home Team Departments such as ICA can help members of the public be more vigilant against terror threats, as well as immigration offenders at our checkpoints and in the heartlands. Finally, I’m keen to learn how technology can expedite how ICA delivers services to the public.  

SPF Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship Award Ceremony 2019 
Home Team Scholarships are awarded annually to students who have excelled in their studies and co-curricular activities; displayed outstanding leadership qualities; and have a keen interest to pursue a career with the Home Team. Read the speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, at the SPF Scholarship and Home Team Scholarship Award Ceremony 2019.

Read Part 2 of Tomorrow’s Guardians.

Written by

Ashley Tuen, Cheryl Soh and Jade Tan


4 October 2019

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