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My Buddy and I: A Friendship for the History Books
In this last article of the series, Deputy Assistant Commissioner (NS) Jonathan Wan and Colonel Kadir Maideen talk about how their friendship has endured.

Deputy Assistant Commissioner (DAC) (NS) Jonathan Wan, 49, and Colonel (Col) Kadir Maideen, 50, became buddies when they both chose the same double decker bed on their first day of training at the Old Police Academy during their National Service.

The two friends trained together as Police Officer Cadet Trainees (OCTs) from March to December 1987.

Thirty years later, they still fondly recall the experiences of their nine months of training.

Most of their training days were occupied by drills practice, studying for their law exam and frequent runs that took them through the surrounding Gymkhana Avenue and Onraet Road.

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 Col Kadir Maideen (left) and his buddy DAC (NS) Jonathan Wan (right) standing on the field at the Old Police Academy where they used to do physical training and sports games. PHOTO: Syed Khidir
 

“Back then, we were not just close to our buddies but also to our whole bunk. We took it as an extended part of our buddy relationship, everybody was our buddy, our friend,” Col Kadir said.

The two friends happily recounted stories of past matches and victories when they represented their squad in sports such as rugby and boxing.

“We faced a lot of competition from other squads, especially in full-contact sports, but learnt how to work together and lead our team by example. Training in the Old Police Academy was at a slower pace than the Army, there was more time to get to know one another,” reminisced DAC (NS) Jonathan as he shared a smile with Col Kadir.

After they were commissioned as National Service Probationary Inspectors, DAC (NS) Jonathan and Col Kadir were posted to different vocations in the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

Nevertheless, the two still found time to catch up over the years.

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 The two buddies at the Old Police Academy’s shooting range, where many hours were spent perfecting their shooting skills. PHOTO: Syed Khidir
 

“I used to come back to the Old Police Academy to swim in the evenings and meet Jonathan quite often. We spent a lot of hours in the swimming pool and had a common circle of friends so we tended to meet each other,” Col Kadir said.

“Kadir was involved in biathlons and triathlons, he did a lot of running and cycling and he got me to participate with him. I’m still doing it today, just on my handphone!” DAC (NS) Jonathan exclaimed.

Today, DAC (NS) Jonathan is the NS Commander of the SPF’s Public Transport Security Command while Col Kadir, who joined the Singapore Civil Defence Force in 1994, is the Director of the National Service Training Institute.

“Kadir’s name came out in the newspapers quite a few times back then and it really made me proud that my buddy managed to achieve many things,” remarked DAC (NS) Jonathan.

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 DAC (NS) Jonathan (middle row, third from left) and Col Kadir (front row, first from right) with the rest of their squad in 1987. PHOTO: Col Kadir Maideen
 

When asked if they saw any differences between the training during their time and today, the two friends were quick to respond.

“In those days, we had pretty much no distractions because the only chance to report to your girlfriend was on a public phone which was in high demand in camp!” recalled Col Kadir.

“In the absence of this distraction, we guys had the chance to really talk and bond, that’s how we spent our evenings. We actually exercised and played real sports games, not handphone games!” DAC (NS) Jonathan said, bursting into laughter with Col Kadir.

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


  1. by Jaiesh Sachi
  2. 31 January 2017
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