Our Community
Justice, Service, Heart
Meet two newly appointed Justices of the Peace with a special Home Team connection.

Home Team News JP2020 01
GRAPHIC: Home Team News
Going beyond to serve our community – two newly appointed Justices of the Peace with a heart for the Home Team share their aspirations and motivation to make a difference.

DR PREM KUMAR NAIR, Chief Executive Officer (Singapore), Parkway Pantai; Vice-Chairman, Board of Visitors (Community Rehabilitation Centre), Singapore Prison Service (SPS)
A physician by training, Dr Prem Kumar Nair brings purpose, insight and heart to his duties as a volunteer. 

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PHOTO: Darren Ng
Share with us your journey as a Home Team volunteer.
I have close to 24 years of experience with various Home-Team-related Boards. Starting in 1996, I served on the Anti-Inhalant Abuse Centre Review Committee. My fellow Committee Members and I would attend meetings to review cases involving inmates, to consider their suitability for returning to the community. 

In 2019, I stepped down from this Committee. However, I'm still serving as the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Visitors (Community Rehabilitation Centre). The Community Rehabilitation Centre houses first-time drug offenders and I visit the Centre regularly, to ensure residents are well-supported in their rehabilitation, with living conditions that are conducive. I’m also a Member of the Executive Committee for the Singapore After-Care Association.

How do you balance your professional role with your community service?
People often ask me why I’m involved in so many kinds of community-related work. This comes from my personal goal since I was young to help others. It also stems from my professional training as a physician. Although I manage a private sector healthcare organisation and have teaching duties at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, my inclination as a physician is first and foremost towards helping and healing people. 

How do you feel about your appointment as a Justice of the Peace? 
It’s a privilege and an honour. I’ve spent almost 25 years with SPS, and feel really grateful. Within SPS is a very good group of officers who are strongly committed, and it’s heartening to know that they’ve given thought to our contributions and efforts. 

The scope of work for a Justice of the Peace has to do with the community at large. It’s a role that comes with great responsibilities. For example, if we serve on an SPS-centric Board or Committee, we must ensure the interests of inmates are well-looked after. So for me, being a Justice of the Peace is a continuation of the work I’ve previously done. I hope that this appointment will give me a greater opportunity to interact with and help people at different levels of society.

MR HENRY BAEY, Managing Director, American International Industries; Vice-Chairman, Employment Release Advisory Committee & Home Detention Advisory Committee 1, SPS
As the Managing Director of a group of businesses serving the oil & gas and petrochemical sectors locally and in the region, Mr Henry Baey is building on the pioneering work of his father, the noted entrepreneur Dr Baey Lian Peck. In his private life, Mr Baey brings the same commitment to his father’s other abiding passion – helping others change their lives for the better. 

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PHOTO: Darren Ng
Tell us about how you’ve volunteered with SPS. 
I served as a Member on the Board of Visitors (Drug Rehabilitation Centres and Anti-Inhalant Abuse Centres) from 2009 to August 2020. I joined the Employment Release Advisory Committee & Home Detention Advisory Committee 1 as a member in 2014, and was appointed Vice-Chairman in 2018. In these roles, I work with my fellow Board and Committee Members to support SPS in the rehabilitation of inmates.

Why is it important for you to be a volunteer? 
I’ve found that to give and serve is enriching from within; what we get in return isn’t a material or tangible reward, but happiness that rises from inside us. I also believe it’s our duty to reach out and make a difference to others. 

I've been a regular volunteer with the Singapore Cheshire Home for nearly 20 years, and lead a group of friends and colleagues to visit the residents monthly. They're a little-seen group of people on the periphery of society, and even as we bring cheer to them, in actuality, we're are the ones who receive joy, from seeing their smiles and appreciation. I've also served in various capacities with the Singapore Scout Association, the Infocomm Media Development Authority, Brahm Centre, the International Buddhist Confederation and the Buddhist Fellowship.

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Mr Henry Baey (right) with his late father, Dr Baey Lian Peck, the noted industrialist who stepped forward in many different capacities to support the community. PHOTO: Mr Henry Baey

How did you feel when you learnt of your appointment as Justice of the Peace? 
It’s a privilege and honour for me to be nominated for a role that fits with what I’m very happy to do. 

I’m also very glad to follow in my late father’s footsteps. Throughout his life, my father actively served as a Justice of the Peace, up to the day of his passing in 2019. He was also the Chairman of the Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (now Yellow Ribbon Singapore) from 1976 to 1986, and was the President of the Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association from 1977 to 1996. My father made the act of giving and serving – what he called his “National Service” – a natural one for his family, and I’m glad to continue this.

As a newly appointed Justice of the Peace, what are you looking forward to the most?
I look forward to helping to ensure the welfare of inmates. Having served in various capacities for 11 years, I’m happy to continue this duty and serve in other capacities.  

Justices of the Peace Appointment Ceremony 2020
Justices of the Peace are outstanding Singaporeans who have made significant contributions in their professions, the public service, social services and the community at large. As Justices of the Peace, they serve as Visiting Justices of our prisons, Court Volunteer Mediators in the State Courts, or marriage solemnisers appointed through the Registry of Marriages. They may also perform the duties of the Magistrate conferred on them by any written law. Justices of the Peace are appointed for a term of five years by the President under Section 11 of the State Courts Act.

Home Team News JP Ceremony Group 2020 1

On 1 September 2020, President Halimah Yacob appointed 64 new Justices of the Peace; there are now 173 Justices of the Peace. Learn more about the Appointment Ceremony here.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Vivian Moh
  2. 04 September 2020
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