Minister's Awards Presentation Ceremony 2021 - Opening Speech by Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law

Published: 28 October 2021

MOS Faishal,

MOS Desmond,

Home Team Colleagues,

Ladies and Gentlemen,


1.   Good afternoon to all of you.

2.   I am happy to be here to recognise the exemplary work of our Home Team officers in safeguarding our country.

3.   Today, we will be recognising over a hundred teams with exceptional operational outcomes and performance in major operations; and more than twenty officers who have displayed outstanding service and innovation. 

Home Team Must Stay Vigilant to Keep Singapore Safe and Secure

4.   Last year and this year have been extremely challenging. We saw the emergence of COVID-19, and then the Delta variant this year. It has been a tremendous strain. Our officers have had to put in extra effort.

5.   We thank you all for your commitment and sacrifice.

Leveraging Technology to Enhance Effectiveness

6.   Now, let me move on to our work in the Home Team. I usually talk about technology. It’s a key enabler for us.  

7.   We set up, as many of you know, the Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) two years ago, in 2019, and we are investing heavily in technology.

8.   For example, the PolCam 2.0 project that has won the Home Team Achievement Award. This PolCam project has enhanced our sense-making capabilities, and reduced the time taken to search for wanted persons.

9.   PolCam 2.0 is the first large-scale deployment of over 10,000 cameras with video analytics capabilities in our towns and neighbourhood centres, as well as food centres and linkways. We aim to have about 200,000 cameras in place by 2030.

10.   Tapping on this system, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) initiated a Police Gazette Watchlist operation, and partnered the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) and Singapore Prison Service (SPS) to detect drug abusers and prison inmates on community supervision programmes, who had absconded.

11.   Between September and December 2020, 15 wanted persons were arrested, with a few of them having absconded for between 1 to 2 years.

12.   Another recipient of the Home Team Achievement Award is the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s (SCDF’s) Responders’ Performance Vehicle (RPV).

13.   The RPV is the first vehicle in the world which provides comprehensive rehabilitation facilities for on-site responders such as firemen.

14.   The RPV has three unique heat management zones to provide the appropriate cooling rate to responders, preventing severe heat injury.

15.   This enables the quick turnaround of responders during major operations.

16.   The RPV has been deployed for several major incidents as well as training incidents.

17.   Firoz Ramjan and his team from SCDF have also won the InnovA award for the development of the RPV.

18.   Congratulations to the team, for pushing the boundaries and establishing SCDF as a thought leader in the field!

19.   Another winner of the InnovA award is the team from the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) led by Nam Liang Chia, for operationalising the Multi-Modal Biometrics System (MMBS) at our checkpoints.

20.   The MMBS utilises three biometric identifiers – fingerprints, facial, and iris.

21.   This system improves border security by enhancing the accuracy of identity verification, while maintaining clearance efficiency.

22.   The MMBS will support ICA’s New Clearance Concept that will be rolled out in 2022, and that will allow travellers to enjoy contactless clearance.

23.   These are just a few examples.

24.   There are many more projects where the Home Team has been tapping on technology to carry out our mission.

Building Partnerships

25.   Second, we need to build strong partnerships across the Home Team agencies, and across the Government.

26.   We will be bringing together the Home Team’s resources and capabilities to respond to major incidents through the Home Team Operations Centre.

27.   In the interim, we have the Police Operations Command Centre, which includes officers from SPF, SCDF, ICA and CNB.

28.   This collaboration has helped to improve sense-making capabilities and facilitated joint responses.

29.   Beyond collaboration within the Home Team, we need to work with other Government agencies.

30.   For example, SPS has been working closely with Muis’ FITRAH Office, to enhance support for inmates and their families.

31.   SPS has facilitated FITRAH’s development and implementation of a revised curriculum for religious sessions for inmates, and works closely with FITRAH to recruit community volunteers.

32.   SPS has been awarded the Operational Excellence Award for this collaboration.

33.   Another example is ASP Ho Shinq Chyuan from SPF, who is a winner of the Star Service Award.

34.   He has worked hard to engage other agencies to tackle crime concerns and community issues. 

35.   He worked closely with the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF), Housing & Development Board (HDB) and Family Service Centres to devise a joint operation to render assistance to an elderly lady who was confined in her unit without water or electricity.

36.   Congratulations to Shinq Chyuan and the other Star Service Award winners!

Investing in Our People

37.   We also push for investing in our officers, which means training.

38.   One of the winners of the Operational Excellence Award this year is the Home Team Simulation System (HTS2) Satellite Centre at Tanglin Police Division. It was launched in April 2021.

39.   The HTS2 is a training capability developed by the Home Team Academy (HTA), in collaboration with other Home Team Departments. It provides realistic training in incident and crisis management.

40.   The HTS2 has been received positively by our officers.

41.   And, HTA has collaborated with SPF to develop a scaled-down satellite centre at Tanglin Police Division, which is linked up with the main system at HTA, to enable officers at both sites to train together. 

42.   SPF can now conduct smaller-scale independent simulation exercises as well. 

43.   For civilian officers, HTA has established the Home Team Civilian Milestone Programme (CMP), which provides leadership and development opportunities at key stages of a civilian officer’s career, and the Civilian Training School (CTS), which oversees the CMP and the learning and development needs of about 3,000 Home Team civilian officers.

44.   The establishment of the CMP and CTS has been awarded the Home Team Achievement Award.

45.   We will continue to improve our training ecosystem to ensure that all Home Team officers are well equipped with the skills needed to fulfil our mission.

Upholding Public Confidence in the Home Team

46.   There are many more award recipients who have performed outstandingly. Congratulations to all of you.

47.   Your excellent performance and initiatives have helped to keep public confidence high in the Home Team. We have to strive to keep up to this.

48.   And, to all Home Team officers, thank you for your tireless contributions in a challenging year.

49.   Let us continue to work together to keep our country safe and secure.

50.   Thank you.