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A Bond Like No Other: Meet the “J” Family
In our Mother’s Day Special, we talk to a strict but motherly “Tiger Mom” and her two sons who followed in her footsteps.

Seeing his mother in her Police uniform for the very first time left such a big impact on Station Inspector (SI) Jonathan Kang that he told all his friends at school about how cool it was.

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A family in Blue (from left): SSS Jade Mah, 55; SI Jonathan, 31; and SGT Jameson, 24. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair 

“When I finally got to see my mom in her working environment, I felt so proud and aspired to be an officer one day,” he said, recalling a visit to the iconic Old Traffic Police Headquarters when he was about six years old. “I still look at her with the same admiration and pride as I did that day; she’s been my main inspiration to join the Police.”

Now 31, SI Jonathan has been an officer with the Singapore Police Force (SPF) for 10 years, and is currently with the Digital Transformation Department where he works on improving apps for the Police Smartphone.

His brother, Sergeant (SGT) Jameson Kang, 24, also became an SPF officer. He’s currently a Ground Response Force officer at Sengkang Neighbourhood Police Centre.

Embarking on Her Career, and then Motherhood
The SPF has undergone many changes since Senior Staff Sergeant (SSS) Jade Mah, a Traffic Police Armoury Supervisor, joined the SPF 36 years ago. Aside from the fact that everything was done with pen and paper, female officers were uncommon.

But 1983 proved to be a fortunate moment for SSS Jade. That year, the SPF began hiring more officers to support its newly introduced Neighbourhood Police Posts. “I’d wanted to join the SPF for quite some time,” shared SSS Jade. “In those days, job advertisements only appeared in the newspapers – you had to look out for the advertisements and cut them out. There was no Internet!”

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A beaming SSS Jade as a Trainee in the Old Police Academy at Thomson Road. PHOTO: Jade Mah

Then, while serving as a ground officer, SSS Jade became a mother. Due to her shift duties, she worked irregular hours, which meant that spending time with her children took a little more effort on her part, and a great deal of understanding from her children, who were very young at that time.

“I had to juggle my work and family commitments,” she said. “Sometimes I missed out on my children’s school events, concerts and graduation ceremonies.”

Seeing other parents with their children on such occasions could have been a let-down for most children. But this was just part and parcel of growing up for SI Jonathan and SGT Jameson.

“I felt disappointed sometimes but I knew that she was doing her job as a Police officer,” said SI Jonathan. “She’d assure me that she’d try to come for some events, but if she couldn’t make it, she’d make it up to us with a good dinner or toys.”

A “Tiger Mom” with Heart
Because of their mother’s irregular working hours, SI Jonathan and SGT Jameson learnt to be independent from a very young age. “She taught us how to cook, buy our own food and look after ourselves,” said SI Jonathan. “After school, we’d cook, do our chores and study by ourselves.”

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A gift of flowers. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

“She’s a ‘Tiger Mom’,” said SI Jonathan as SSS Jade laughed sheepishly. “She was strict because she wanted us to excel. She made sure we ate and handed in our homework on time – we had a schedule to follow.”

“Strict but motherly,” SGT Jameson chimed in.

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SSS Jade smiles as her son helps to adjust her beret. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

A Mother’s Greatest Accomplishment
SSS Jade is delighted that her sons are in the SPF, but like most mothers, she says that she’ll always worry about them. But it seems that it’s her two sons who are constantly fussing over her – making sure her beret is worn correctly, and that her hair is neat.

“Motherhood is a sacred duty to me,” said SSS Jade. “Watching them become independent adults and achieve their own successes – that’s one of the best things about being a mother. They’ll always be my greatest accomplishment.”

Home Team Mums
A Bond Like No Other: Thank You, Ma!
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Muhamad Khair
  2. 09 May 2019
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