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National Day Awards 2019: Serving from the Heart (Part 1)
From policymaking to reaching out to inmates – how Home Team officers play a part in the rehabilitation journey of offenders.

Home Team News NDOC Main
PHOTOS: Jade Tan, Cheryl Soh
Foong Wai Lumn
Assistant Director (Rehabilitation), Policy Development Division, Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)
Recipient of the Minister for Home Affairs National Day Award (Team)

Tell us about your role with MHA.
I’m a member of the Rehabilitation desk at MHA’s Policy Development Division. I mainly work on policy issues relating to drug abuse and rehabilitation, and work closely with colleagues from the Central Narcotics Bureau, the Singapore Prison Service (SPS) and the Attorney-General’s Chambers on policy reviews and legislative needs. It’s about ensuring our laws and policies keep pace with the evolving crime environment and best practices in rehabilitation.

Home Team News NDOC MHA 02
PHOTO: Jade Tan

What excites you about your work?
Our mission is very clear – we want to make sure that we reduce drug abuse and trafficking in Singapore. Once we’ve established that as our priority, the rest is about asking how we’re going to get there. I am motivated because I know what we’re doing culminates in really helping people.

What advice do you have for those considering a career in policy development?
In policy development, we have to make sure that different ideas are given careful consideration. If there’s one idea that takes precedence over another, then we have to make sure that it has been considered properly, and not taken lightly.

We’re civilian officers and our work supports the operations of Home Team officers on the ground. All of us have the same interests and trust one another. Building this relationship is important, and this is something to always keep in mind.

Staff Sergeant Muhammad Khaifiroz Bin Rozlan

Singapore Prison Service (SPS)
Recipient of the Minister for Home Affairs National Day Award (Individual)

Tell us about your role with SPS.
As an Institution Control Centre (ICC) officer, I oversee the day-to-day operations of the institution.

Home Team News NDOC SPS 01
PHOTO: Cheryl Soh

What are some of the challenges of your role?
At the initial stages of serving their sentences, inmates tend to be a bit reserved, and it’s difficult to reach out to them. It takes time and patience, and we really have to sit down, listen to them and be patient in hearing what they’re trying to convey.

Share with us a memorable moment from your work.
Previously, I served as a Personnel Supervisor. We had a group of inmates under our charge and it was hard to engage them as they didn’t want to open up. One inmate also had issues receiving clearance for a loved one to visit him.

I encouraged him to submit his request and be patient. Eventually, his request was approved. That’s when he started opening up more to me about his background and the issues he faced.

What’s your advice for those who are considering a career with SPS?

Each Home Team Department has a different set of challenges. To me, being a Prison officer is meaningful because we’re here to help inmates change and become better people. It’s about passion, being patient and showing integrity.

Minister for Home Affairs National Day Awards 2019
The Minister for Home Affairs National Day Award recognises Home Team officers who have distinguished themselves through significant and commendable contributions in their respective areas of work. This year, there were 105 Individual Award recipients and 14 Team Award recipients. Read the speech given by Minister for Manpower and Second Minister for Home Affairs Mrs Josephine Teo.

Read National Day Awards 2019: Serving from the Heart (Part 2).
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Jade Tan
  2. 16 August 2019
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