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Love in the Home Team (Part 3)
Guardians with a heart for the Home Team, and each other – bonding over work and channelling a shared love of good food into something deeper.

Home Team News ICA Vday 02 (1)
ASP Phua Ren Feng (left) and ASP Ye Yiqin (right) bonded over work, food and a common sense of purpose. PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

Office romances are a staple of movies, drama serials and novels. Closer to home, we’ve put our own spin on this romantic trope, with Assistant Superintendents (ASPs) Ye Yiqin, 32, and Phua Ren Feng, 29, of the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) drawn together by a shared love for gastronomical delights. 

The pair first met during their posting at Tuas Checkpoint almost five years ago. They had different job roles and work schedules, with ASP Ye working shifts and ASP Phua having regular office hours, but would bump into each other from time to time.

“Yiqin's role then was to conduct ‘red-teaming’ exercises to test security responsiveness at the Checkpoint, and I’d collate and process his team’s findings,” said ASP Phua. “My only interactions with him were when I liaised with him for the reports.”

One day, however, a work assignment brought them closer together. “Yiqin was helping me with an assignment and, when we were done, he suggested having dinner together,” recalled ASP Phua. “I agreed!”

Home Team News ICA VDAY 04
ASP Phua didn’t anticipate her husband’s proposal, or his novel way of putting the question to her. PHOTO: Fatris Bin Jasmin

Over time, it became the norm for the pair to explore various eateries around Singapore. These outings gradually expanded to movie screenings and long chats. “Who doesn’t enjoy good food, right?” recalled ASP Ye with a chuckle. “But while we both liked dining, what we enjoyed best was each other’s company.”

One day, ASP Phua went for a picnic at the Botanic Gardens with a friend. Unbeknown to her, ASP Ye had enlisted his family and sprung a surprise proposal on her. “I was surprised to see words printed on their T-shirts,” she recalled. “Together, the words spelled ‘Will you marry me?’”

The couple got hitched in July 2018. ASP Ye is now deployed at Airport Command while ASP Phua is in ICA’s Policy, International Relations & Legislation Division. "As fellow officers, we appreciate and understand each other’s responsibilities," said ASP Ye. “We’ve always had open conversations and devoted much effort to making our relationship work. I’m glad it has paid off!”

Love in the Home Team (Part 1 - SCDF)
Love in the Home Team (Part 2 - SPF)
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Fatris Bin Jasmin
  2. 14 February 2019
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