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Celebrating Our Everyday Heroes: Public Sector Transformation Awards 2018
Going the extra mile in the line of duty and service.

Small Ideas, Big Changes
Sometimes, big changes can come from small ideas – you just have to be willing to try. 

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CW1 Jasni has been with the SPS for 23 years. PHOTO: Muhamad Khair

At work, Chief Warder 1 (CW1) Jasni S/O Abdul Rayman of the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) often sketches out ideas whenever he encounters a problem, from improving the working conditions for inmates to saving precious resources such as water. 

When he was working in one of the kitchens, CW1 Jasni realised that some of the inmates were suffering from back pain and were at risk of scalding themselves while transporting cooked rice from one container to another – and that’s when the Turnover was born. The Turnover is one of CW1 Jasni’s many inventions; it allows heavy trays of rice to be transferred mechanically.
CW1 Jasni (right) scraping rice from the Turnover. His colleague is pushing a lever that decreases the effort needed to transfer hot rice from one pot to another. PHOTO: Public Service Division

“To ensure the safety of the inmates, I knew that we really needed to do something. From there, we came up with ideas to steprevent accidents from happening,” said CW1 Jasni. “Through these solutions, we’re able to take better care of the inmates.” 

As a member of a Work Improvement Team at the SPS, CW1 Jasni meets with other Prison officers to develop solutions that improve work conditions and processes. He has proposed at least seven solutions to various problems, all of which have been implemented. 

This week, CW1 Jasni received the Distinguished ExCEL Innovation Champion Award at the Public Sector Transformation Awards Ceremony for developing a water-saving system for washing rice known as the Recycle and Reuse (R2) Ricewasher. Made of stainless steel, the R2 Ricewasher can hold two 50kg bags of rice and 16 litres of water; the water used to wash one batch of rice is reused for other batches. Since it was implemented, the R2 Ricewasher has cut water usage by 80%, saving 320 litres of water daily. 
Going Deeper
“We’re a part of this neighbourhood,” says Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) Iswan Bin Mohamed, 40, with a note of pride in his voice. 

United in service: ASP Iswan (sixth from right) and his fellow CPU officers from Ang Mo Kio NPC. PHOTO: SPF

A member of the Community Policing Unit (CPU) at the Ang Mo Kio South Neighbourhood Police Centre (NPC), ASP Iswan has walked the beat here since 2006, and knows the area like the back of his hand. 

“We understand the community well – the residents, businesses, schools and so on,” he explained. “The rapport between us is very important. When we engage with elderly residents, for example, we’re mindful of how to best reach out to them, to help them.” 

These instincts were put to the test in July 2016 when an elderly man was brought to the NPC by a member of the public. “The old man needed help; he seemed disoriented; lost,” recalled ASP Iswan. 

Having established his identity – Mr Lim – and residential address, the CPU officers took the elderly man home to his family. 

But then later that week, Mr Lim came to the NPC two more times, in the same state of confusion. “We considered Mr Lim’s situation and knew that if it wasn’t managed properly, he’d continue to wander away from home, and put his safety at risk,” said ASP Iswan. “We knew we had to go deeper.” 

Speaking with Mr Lim’s family, the CPU officers learnt that Mr Lim often insisted on leaving his flat to cool himself at the void deck. If he wasn’t allowed to do so, he’d become belligerent. The family was at a loss as to what they could do. 

The CPU officers quickly engaged external partners such as TOUCH Community Services and Ang Mo Kio Family Service Centre (FSC) for assistance. Representatives of Ang Mo Kio FSC also got a medical team from the Institute of Mental Health to meet Mr Lim, and he was diagnosed as suffering from dementia. 

“With our continued engagement, Mr Lim’s family finally accepted that he needed assistance, and engaged a caretaker for him,” said ASP Iswan. “During this period, we also monitored Mr Lim and shared with his caretaker how to better manage his safety and welfare.”

For their unstinting efforts, ASP Iswan’s CPU team received the Distinguished Star Service Team Award at this year’s Public Sector Transformation Awards Ceremony. “We were very surprised to learn that we’d received the award,” said ASP Iswan. “We feel a sense of pride. But our work isn’t about getting awards; it’s about being sincere in serving others.”
Responding to an Emergency at the Border 
When an elderly woman on a ventilator needed to clear Tuas Checkpoint quickly and get home before her oxygen supply ran out, Inspector (Insp) Tan Wan Lin of the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) knew that she had to act fast. 
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According to Insp Tan, working as an ICA officer is unlike any desk-bound job - at times, it can be really unexpected.

This was in December 2016 and Insp Tan was the Operational Room Duty Officer. After speaking with the woman’s son, who contacted Insp Tan through the Tuas Arrival Bus Zone Hotline, Insp Tan called the woman’s daughter, who was driving the car with the elderly woman in it. 

Insp Tan deployed a ground officer at the International Boundary to identify the car and direct it into a special bypass lane. Another ground officer was tasked to escort the car through the bypass lane to the immigration counter for clearance. 

With the quick action of the ICA officers, the car was cleared within 10 minutes, allowing the elderly woman to get home safely. After this episode, the woman’s son wrote a note of thanks to the team: “My family and I are truly grateful [and] no words can fully describe our appreciation.”

Such emergency situations don’t happen very often, said Insp Tan, though they do occur “once in a while”. 

“Being an ICA officer is unlike any desk-bound job. You never know what you’re going to encounter for the day,” she says. “Work can be challenging, but never boring! You have to be flexible, think fast and act quickly.”

For her quick thinking and excellent service, Insp Tan received the Star Service Individual Award at this year’s Public Sector Transformation Awards Ceremony.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Muhamad Khair and Mike Tan
  2. 06 July 2018
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