SPF Graduation Parade and Dining-in 2019 - Speech by Mr Amrin Amin, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs
Published: 25 April 2019
A very good evening. Today is a momentous occasion. This marks an important milestone in your lives. I am very happy to be part of this historic occasion.
Congratulations to all of you. I am proud of all of you. And your families too are proud of you.
NATIONAL SERVICE IN THE SINGAPORE POLICE FORCE
602 of you are graduating today. Majority of you are full-time National Servicemen.
National Service (NS) is an integral part of our nation building. It is a shared journey, and we are united by a common responsibility to keep Singapore safe and secure. NS is also a time where we bond as one people, regardless of race, language or religion. We serve to protect our country. It is a bedrock of Singapore’s security and defence.
Graduates of the Police Officer Basic Training Course, I welcome you to an honourable profession. You have learnt the basic policing foundation and skills. Remember the values and discipline expected of you as police officers. Keep to your heart the motto of the Singapore Police Force (SPF) - Loyalty and Service.
The next phase is your vocational training where you will be appointed in leadership or specialist roles. You will serve as deputy team leaders in the Public Transport Security Command or Protective Security Command, or as specialists at Neighbourhood Police Centres, Airport Police, Police Coast Guard or Special Operations Command.
After the vocational training, most of you will be deployed to the frontline, serving alongside regular Police officers. This Police training prepares you to fulfil your responsibilities. The country needs you. So go out there and serve as many generations of NSF Police officers have done. Serve with distinction.
About 85 of you are graduating from the Officer Cadet Course. You are now trained to lead your fellow officers. You have gone through a 21-day intense leadership programme at Outward Bound School (OBS). At OBS, you have taken on challenging tasks, and learned to make decisions under pressure. You had learned to work quickly and efficiently in teams during land and sea expeditions. The training regime was demanding and pushed you to your limits. I am sure there was a time when you felt like giving up, when you felt like it was an impossible task. But you did not give up, and you persevered, and you are here today. Well done to all of you for completing your course!
In Feb 2016, I joined TransCom officers on foot patrol duty at Boon Keng MRT station. This was just after the Jakarta terror attacks in January 2016. TransCom officers are on the frontlines every day, and they put their lives on the line. I asked our officers, an attack could happen anytime, it could happen under your watch when you are on duty, it could happen to one of us, why are you still here? What keeps you going? The heart-warming answer I heard from all the officers is that – our safety, and our family’s safety is on the line.
That speaks volume of the people that we have, the quality of our NSFs, their love for this country, and their strong commitment to serve. That is the essence of the SPF motto which is ‘Loyalty and Service’.
A CAREER WITH THE SPF
Among you, 72 are regular Police officers graduating from the Police Officer Basic Course, the Ground Response Force Module, as well as the Senior Officer Basic Course.
Let me just say that the job of a Police officer is like no other. It is more than just a job. It is a calling that allows you to make a real difference in the lives of everyday Singaporeans. I am reminded of this each time I visit our Police officers at various stations. I know that our officers give their best at each step of the way. Whether it is at the Trump-Kim Summit, special events, or normal duties. The fact is, our officers are proud to wear blue and to serve this country.
I remember this incident well. Traffic Police Staff Sergeant Nadzrie Matin who died in a road accident while he was on traffic patrol duty in 2017. I remember visiting his family during his funeral and I spoke with his father.
The father said that policing is a dangerous job and they had asked SSG Nadzrie to consider other jobs. But his late son told him that policing was his passion and it is his calling, and he had to answer it. SSG Nadzrie served as a Police officer till his last breath. His dedication and unwavering commitment to SPF and Singapore inspires us. The motto of Singapore Police Force is 'Setia dan Bakti' (Loyalty and Service). Officers like SSG Nadzrie define this motto.
The truth is our country counts on you, ordinary men and women who rise up to the occasion to do an extraordinary mission to keep our country safe and secure.
We have achieved that by-and-large. We have a safe country and various indicators tell us. Various rankings tell us that we are doing very well in terms of our safety and security. But the best indicator of all is that you and I can walk down the street at any time, day or night, without any incident.
On the frontlines, all of you, regular or NS officers, are entrusted with a noble responsibility and a sacred task to keep your fellow Singaporeans and residents safe, not just from crime, but also to guard against the threat of terrorism, which remains high.
On 15 March this year, terrorists killed innocent people at mosques in Christchurch in New Zealand. Just a month after, 21 April, a few days ago, terrorists bombed churches and hotels in Sri Lanka. The reality is, we live in a troubled world and we have emphasised many times that it is not if, but when, such an incident happens in Singapore.
9 in 10 Singaporeans recognise that they have a role to play in safeguarding our nation’s safety and security, and 3 in 4 Singaporeans are aware of SGSecure. But we still have some way to go and we have to prepare ourselves. We have to ensure that our ties remain strong and we have to know that the terrorists seek to sow discord, plant hatred and seed division. We will not let them. We shall unite, and we shall prevail.
To our graduating officers, congratulations and well done on successfully completing your training. I urge you to put your training to good use. Do SPF proud and serve your country with distinction.
Parents and families of our graduating officers, thank you for your strong support for NS and the Police Force. Congratulations and thank you.