2015 MHA Sponsorship Presentation Ceremony – Speech by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry

Published: 25 July 2015

Award recipients, family members and guests,

Home Team colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen




1.     Good morning.  It gives me great pleasure to join you for this year's MHA Sponsorship Presentation Ceremony. 


2.     This morning, we will be presenting sponsorship awards to 192 Home Team officers.  This comprises 180 officers who will be sponsored for undergraduate studies, 11 officers for masters and one officer for PhD studies.  They are all thoroughly well-deserving of the sponsorship. They have worked hard, done well, and have the potential to contribute even more in the future to make Singapore our safe and secure home.  Do join me in congratulating all of them.  Well done.

MHA Book Prize 


3.     This year, we are introducing the Ministry of Home Affairs Book Prize for officers pursuing the BA (Honours) in Criminology and Security offered by the Singapore Institute of Technology (SIT), in collaboration with the University of Liverpool.  


4.     A few years ago, MHA worked with SIT and the University of Liverpool to develop this undergraduate programme.  Our Home Team officers who attend this 3-year programme are on a full scholarship ie they are on full pay and their tuition fees will be fully covered.  As part of the programme, they will also spend a month in their final year attending classes at the University of Liverpool campus in the UK.  Our first batch of Home Team students joined the programme in 2013.  I am pleased to note that for the upcoming 3rd batch, 37 Home Team officers will be admitted for undergraduate studies, when the new academic year starts in September. 


5.     The Book Prize will encourage and recognise Home Team students who do well in the programme.  The Book Prize will be awarded to the top two Home Team students in each cohort and the top three Home Team students with the best dissertation paper. 


6.     This morning, we will be presenting the Book Prize to five officers who have excelled in their studies.  I hope it will motivate more of our officers to strive for excellence in their academic pursuits.


One Home Team, One Mission


7.     The key strength of the Home Team is our people.  In the last five months, we have witnessed how our Home Team officers have come together with a common mission to ensure the safety and security of Singapore and to render humanitarian assistance overseas.  In March, during the period of national mourning for our founding Prime Minister, the late Mr Lee Kuan Yew, our Home Team officers worked hard round the clock so that the many hundreds of thousands of Singaporeans from all walks of life could pay their last respects to Mr Lee.  In May, we sent our largest ever Home Team contingent, comprising 126 officers, for disaster relief efforts in earthquake-hit Nepal.  And only last month, our officers worked tirelessly to ensure Singapore delivered a safe and memorable SEA Games' experience for the more than 7,000 overseas athletes and officials, 500,000 spectators, and all Singaporeans.  All this would not have been possible without the dedication and commitment of our Home Team officers.


Developing our People


8.     The operating environment that the Home Team works within is becoming more complex with new and evolving security threats.  It is critical that we adopt a flexible mindset and adapt our skillsets to stay nimble and ahead of the challenges.  Hence, it is important that we continually invest in the professional development and growth of our Home Team officers.  We will continue to place emphasis on upgrading our officers' capabilities and deepening their specialist skills so that they can perform more effectively at work.  


9.     We offer many pathways for our officers to enhance their skills and to advance in their career.  Our various academic sponsorship programmes from diploma to postgraduate levels reflect MHA's commitment to support our officers in their quest to acquire knowledge and upgrade themselves.  


10.     I would like to highlight two recipients whose tenacity and strength of character has brought them to where they are today.


11.     Senior Staff Sergeant Cheok Yiyang did well in his 'A' Levels and was admitted to the Nanyang Technological University in 2008.  He took up a study loan and worked part-time to support his studies.  Unfortunately, his mother fell ill in that period and his sister became the family's sole breadwinner.  Yiyang had to give up his undergraduate studies to support his family.  In 2010, he joined the Singapore Police Force (SPF) after quitting his studies.  Five years on, with his good work performance Yiyang was awarded a full scholarship to pursue the BA in Criminology and Security Programme offered by SIT in collaboration with the University of Liverpool.  When he graduates, Yiyang will resume his career with the SPF, this time as a Senior Police Officer.


12.     The second recipient I would like to highlight is Staff Sergeant Nurliyana Binte Mohamed Idros.  She joined the Central Narcotics Bureau in 2008 with a Diploma in Biomedical Informatics and Engineering from Temasek Polytechnic.  In 2011, she developed a passion for forensics work and joined the CNB's Forensic Response Team.  A year later, she went on to broaden her knowledge and obtained a Diploma in Applied Science (Forensics) from Temasek Polytechnic under CNB's sponsorship.  Her efforts to upgrade herself do not stop there.  In recognition of her exemplary work performance, MHA and CNB are awarding her a Home Team sponsorship to pursue a part-time degree in Cyber Forensics and Information Security to acquire deeper knowledge in Digital Forensics.


13.     Senior Staff Sergeant Cheok Yiyang and Staff Sergeant Nurliyana Binte Mohamed Idros are just two examples of Home Team officers who exemplify the grit and resilience we seek in our people.  We are fortunate to have many more officers like them in the Home Team.  And we are proud of each and every award recipient here today, not just because of your past accomplishments, but also because of your strong desire to continue to strive for excellence in your career and personal development.  




14.     MHA is committed to providing our Home Team officers a meaningful and challenging career, one that will help you grow professionally and personally, to work as a member of a team to contribute to a safe and secure Singapore.


15.     I wish all our recipients every success in your studies and career.  I would also like to thank the spouses and family members for the strong support and encouragement they have given to our officers.  And I look forward to the continued contributions of our award recipients after their studies, to the mission of the Home Team to keep Singapore safe and secure.


16.     Thank you.