Published: 30 April 2018
Commissioner of Police, Mr Hoong Wee Teck,
Commissioner of the Royal Brunei Police Force, Dato Paduka Seri Haji Mohd Jammy,
Graduating Trainees and Cadets,
Parents and Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. A very good evening and a warm welcome to everyone. To our graduating officers, congratulations on successfully completing your training. Your parents and loved ones must be very proud of your achievement today. I am very pleased to be here to witness your last graduation parade.
National Service: An important Singaporean Institution
2. The majority of the graduates today are National Servicemen. We just celebrated 50 years of National Service (NS) last year, in 2017.
3. NS remains an important part to Singapore today as it was in 1967, when it was first introduced. NS provides a credible and indispensable deterrent against security threats.
4. In addition, NS is also an integral part of our nation building. Over many generations, it has brought men from different races, religions and social backgrounds together. All of us go through a shared experience, united by a common responsibility to protect Singapore. This experience forges strong bonds between us, and helps us endure and overcome difficulties as one people.
Many evolving challenges ahead
5. This sense of unity and resilience will be crucial to guide you as you perform your duties as a Police officer.
6. We face a number of challenges that continue to evolve. To name a few: the threat of terrorism remains at its highest level since September 11 and the complexity of crime has increased – crimes committed across national boundaries, criminal syndicates exploiting the internet and new technologies. On the other hand, with a declining birth rate, the Police Force will face increasing manpower constraints. We need to invest more in technology, as a force multiplier.
7. As you graduate and transit from the training field into operational domains, you are entering a dynamic, uncertain environment. You play a critical role in bringing a sense of security and confidence to this environment.
8. As first responders, you must take command of the situations you encounter, protect the weak and vulnerable, and ensure that justice prevails.
9. As protectors of the community, your words and actions can help to build trust between the public and the Police, and restore a sense of safety and security to victims with each case that you attend to.
10. In our fight against transnational crime, we must build strong partnerships with our friends in this region and beyond. Training exchanges, such as our partnership with the Royal Brunei Police Force (RBPF), are crucial to helping our officers build close personal friendships and trust between our Forces. At the same time, there is cross-sharing and exchange of best practices. I am pleased to note that the RBPF have been sending their officers for training in TRACOM since 1980; we must continue to build on this and keep our relationship strong.
Rising up to the task
11. For new Senior Officers and NS Probationary Inspectors, you will soon be leading units and departments in the Force. Your leadership is key in ensuring that your team performs well, maintains high morale, and keeps Singapore safe from crime and terrorism.
12. To graduating NSmen and regulars, you will soon be undergoing deeper and more specialised vocational training to prepare you for the work ahead. Some of you will undergo the three-month Ground Response Force course, and be deployed as Neighbourhood Police Centre officers, others will be posted to Specialist Units such as the Police Coast Guard, Special Operations Command, TransCom, and many others, where you will undergo intensive and specialised training. Regardless of where you are posted, you play an important role in keeping Singapore safe and secure.
13. Being a Police officer is a special calling. You will face challenging situations at work, and you will bear heavy responsibilities. But as long as you stay guided by the Police Core Values of Courage, Loyalty, Integrity, and Fairness, you will not waiver.
14. You must uphold the law and conduct ourselves professionally, and have the courage to protect others from harm. You must be loyal to the Force, the community, and the country. You must uphold the highest standards of integrity, never seeking personal advantage, and never abusing the authority vested in you as an officer of the law. Finally, you must be fair-minded in your dealings with the public, regardless of race, language or religion.
15. Once again, I congratulate you for successfully completing your training. Wear your uniforms with pride and discharge your duties with distinction. We are counting on you to keep our country safe.
16. I wish you every success. Thank you.