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A Bond Like No Other: Thank You, Ma!
In our Mother’s Day Special, we find out how serving in the Home Team has brought a mum and son closer.

They say that mothers never retire because no matter how old their children are, they’ll always be there to support them.

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Work-family balance: Zhiheng feels that serving in the Home Team with his mother has made work and family one. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

And that’s why Ms Grace Goh Sew Kee, 64, who has served with the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) since 1976, has always strived to be a pillar of strength for her son, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) Cai Zhiheng, 31, of the Singapore Police Force (SPF). The duo shares how being Home Team officers has strengthened their bond.

Tell us about your relationship.
Ms Goh: He’s the youngest of my three children, and we’re best friends. We talk about work and update each other on what goes on in our lives.

ASP Cai:
Our relationship has always been about open communication. If I need any advice, or just a listening ear, my mother will always be there for me. Whenever I come across difficult situations, I have her to talk to.

When I was in my previous posting in Central Police Division, there were days when I had to manage extended cases, the longest of which was two weeks. I’d leave for work early and come home late. During those times, my mother was always there for me.

Ms Goh: Of course I was there for him, because I always wanted him to focus on his work.

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PHOTOS: Natasha Razak

ASP Cai, what’s one thing you admire about your mother?
ASP Cai: Her resilience. I've seen my mother constantly pushing herself to be a better person throughout the course of her career. She used to bring me on visits to her workplace during the Bureau's "Bring Your Family to Work" Day. It left a lasting impression on me, and I've always had an inclination for the uniformed services. That’s why I chose to join the SPF.

Ms Goh, what’s one thing about Zhiheng that makes you proud?
Ms Goh: His independence. He has always been able to handle things by himself very well. When he was in primary school, he came home once after school and cooked lunch all by himself, instead of having lunch in school. I’m also proud that he joined the Home Team. I love working in CNB, so I’m happy that he’s part of the Home Team too.

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Ms Goh says that she has always had a soft spot for Zhiheng, the youngest of her three children. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Did you expect Zhiheng to become a Police officer?
Ms Goh: No, he decided for himself. When he told me that he’d been accepted into the SPF, I was very happy, but also worried. As a Home Team officer, I understand that our work involves certain risks and the hours can be long. The work of a Police officer isn’t easy, especially given how crimes have evolved. However, in the five years that Zhiheng has been in service, I’ve seen his professionalism and commitment. That puts me at ease.

ASP Cai, how do you feel about serving in the Home Team with your mother
ASP Cai:
It feels like family support is always there, even though it's work. Because my mother is also a Home Team officer, she’s able to provide a listening ear. I’ve always appreciated the care and kindness she has shown me. It’s this environment that has allowed me to grow, and to explore new ideas and experiences. Happy Mother’s Day, Ma!

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© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Janani Sivalingam
  2. 08 May 2019
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