Close Up Featured

Protecting our sea lanes, serving others

Outgoing Police Coast Guard NS Commander DAC (NS) Ham Yean Soon looks back on a long career in the force.



At the end of 2020, Frontline featured Police Coast Guard (PCG) NS Commander DAC (NS) Ham Yean Soon, where he candidly recalled his journey from the land division of the Singapore Police Force to its arm that protects Singapore’s Territorial Waters (STW). That journey came to an end earlier this year, when he marked the end of his National Service career and passed the mantle to new NS Commander DAC (NS) Alan Tan.

“It was a bittersweet drive to Pulau Brani, where the Police Coast Guard headquarters is located,” recalls DAC (NS) Ham, 52. “Service has been such a big part of my life for so many years that it’s definitely something that I will miss a great deal. But at the end of the day, no organisation thrives when a leader has been there for too long. Succession, and new energy and ideas are always necessary.”

The bittersweet note is something that many others have felt at the end of their NS stints, both as NSFs and NSmen. “I hear about NSFs who can’t wait for their Operationally Ready Date (ORD). But when the date comes, they feel like they’re leaving behind something. It’s quite a special journey for us Singaporean sons.”


Still, DAC (NS) Ham ends his tenure with many fond memories of his time with the PCG, where he led its National Service (NS) wing comprising over 2,000 active servicemen. This wing supplements existing deployments by providing manpower relief and support to the regular units, which means DAC (NS) Ham and his team were often close to the action.

One incident that stands out involved a suspicious craft approaching STW. “They hadn’t crossed into our waters yet, but we sped down in our PT Class Patrol Craft to show our presence. They eventually turned away, so I can say it was a successful operation!”

Regular training is key to securing success at sea, says DAC (NS) Ham. PCG officers undergo regular training in areas such as live firing, boat handling and navigation. “I think live firing at sea is the most challenging,” he says. That’s because targets are often further away, from the firing post when out at sea. Controlling the cannons can become challenging when the waters turn choppy, which is a common occurrence during the monsoon season. 


Apart from the operational experience, DAC (NS) Ham is also grateful for the opportunity to positively impact the lives of his fellow servicemen. Under his stewardship, the PCG has made the fitness, skills and morale of National Servicemen a priority. For example, National Servicemen are now grouped and assigned to their posts based on where they live, preventing long commutes and allowing them to make the most of their time in service. National Servicemen are now also recalled with their peers so that teams can continue to build lasting bonds.

DAC (NS) Ham, who is the Head of Service Management at a telco company, has much to look forward to. He is a father of three young children: Two daughters, aged 10 and seven and a son, aged five. “The kids would always get excited to see me putting on my uniform, so they may not quite understand why I’ve stopped. And for my boy, it will be at least 13 years before I get to see him off to NS! As he gets older, I’ll be sure to tell him about NS and how important it is for our nation.”

Given his ties to the PCG, does he hope that his son will follow in his footsteps? “That goes without saying,” he adds with a laugh.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App, and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Featured Lifestyle

How to celebrate Racial Harmony Day with your neighbours and loved ones in Singapore

In the lead up to Racial Harmony Day (July 21), learn to appreciate the diverse cultures and communities that are woven into Singapore’s colourful social fabric.



Singapore is built on the foundation of racial and cultural understanding, where its melting pot of cultures and acceptance of diversity make it so special. Racial Harmony Day (July 21) is an apt reminder to not take this for granted. While we have come a long way from the 1964 race riots that the occasion commemorates and aims to prevent from re-occurring, there’s still more we can do on an individual level to foster a deeper sense of mutuality and cultural awareness within the community. Start with these initiatives and activities you can take part in with your neighbours and loved ones, to celebrate our wonderful cultural plurality together.


A cooking class at One Kind House.
A cooking class at One Kind House.

While we can easily ‘chope’ a table at our favourite restaurant, learning how to prepare the traditional dishes of different ethnic groups can help us better appreciate rich cultural heritages and nuances. Rally your crew for a farm-to-table experience at One Kind House, which is touted as a “21st century kampong” rooted in sustainability. Here, an octogenarian chef will teach you how to prepare Peranakan-inspired dishes such as Chilled Bittergourd Salad and Blue Pea Flower Rice using organic ingredients from the onsite garden. For a halal option, sign up for one of D’Open Kitchen’s cooking classes, where you can learn how to prepare everything from dim sum to mooncakes and other Asian dishes using only halal ingredients that you can select during a market tour.


The Indian Heritage Centre houses exhibits on the Indian community's traditional wear.
The Indian Heritage Centre houses exhibits on the Indian community's traditional wear.

Being well-versed in various artistic and cultural expressions gives you a better understanding of Singapore’s multicultural landscape. To that end, you can join a tour at the Indian Heritage Centre – which highlights the rites of passage, attire, language, religious affiliations and festivals of Indians in Singapore and South-east Asia – or learn about the history of Chinese dialects at the Singapore Chinese Cultural Centre. Those who are musically inclined may enrol in a beginner-level Indian classical dance class at dance academy Shantha Ratii Initiatives, or join one of the People’s Association’s vibrant Malay Kompang (a traditional Malay hand drum) interest groups.


Team Nila volunteers.
Team Nila volunteers.

Sports has the unique ability to bring people together through play, regardless of age, gender, race, ability or social status. Spearheaded by Sport Singapore, Team Nila is the national sport volunteerism movement that offers a raft of volunteering and training opportunities. Besides helping to ensure that sporting events run smoothly, Team Nila volunteers can serve as pool guardians at ActiveSG swimming complexes, or assist persons with disabilities during their training sessions.


Teach your kids about Singapore's diverse cultural heritage through The National Museum of Singapore's activity kits.
Teach your kids about Singapore's diverse cultural heritage through The National Museum of Singapore's activity kits.

Nurturing cultural awareness in your kids starts at home. Share with your child that it’s okay to be curious about other cultural practices and guide them to ask questions in a sensitive and appropriate way. For instance, teach young children to understand and respect differences among people, and highlight why certain stereotypical or hurtful language is divisive and inappropriate.

Keep your children occupied with thoughtful activities that showcase Singapore’s rich cultural heritage by downloading The National Museum of Singapore’s free printable activity kits, such as one that shows them how to create designs such as a mosque and ketupat through paper quilling. You can also expose them to concepts such as inclusion through literature — sign up for the National Library Board’s monthly book delivery subscription service, which was recently expanded to include mother tongue language books.


A event.
A event.

Since its inception, non-profit organisation (OPSG) has played an instrumental role in promoting harmony among youths through a range of programmes. These include community dialogues exploring hot-button topics such as prejudice in a measured manner, a simulated United Nations conference where racial and religious issues are discussed, and experiential learning journeys to places of worship. It also holds workplace diversity programmes and training workshops.


The Interfaith Youth Circle explores issues related to different religions in a safe environment.
The Interfaith Youth Circle explores issues related to different religions in a safe environment.

In a secular society, discourse revolving around religion can sometimes be regarded as off-limits and provocative. Enter the Interfaith Youth Circle, a ground-up initiative started by a pair of secondary school friends to address Islamophobia and bridge the divide between communities of different faiths. Join their constructive dialogue sessions where representatives from different religions share their perspectives on promoting harmony and understanding. Such authentic conversations are important as participants can talk about potentially sensitive topics in a safe and moderated space.


Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.
Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple.

Delve into the complex cultural identities of various communities by observing their religious beliefs and customs at their respective houses of worship. Singapore’s ethnic enclaves — namely, Little India, Kampong Gelam and Chinatown — are home to some of the country’s most historically significant temples and mosques. At Little India, visit the 19th-century Hindu temple Sri Veerama-kaliamman Temple, which is distinguished by its intricate tower of sculptures and linked to early migrant workers from India. Then head to Kampong Gelam’s gold-domed Sultan Mosque, a focal point for the country’s Muslim community that dates back to 1824. Over at Chinatown, the Kwan Im Thong Hood Cho Temple is dedicated to the worship of the Goddess of Mercy, a key figure in both Buddhism and Taoism.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Club Buzz Featured Spotlight

How these HomeTeamNS Volunteers Ace the Start-up Hustle

The digital media entrepreneurs say the networking opportunities at HomeTeamNS help them to run successful businesses.



Being your own boss is one of life’s most fulfilling experiences. That is something both HomeTeamNS volunteers SUPT (NS) Jason Lim and LTA (NS) Adrian Chye can attest to. SUPT (NS) Lim shares that he’s filled with enthusiasm each morning to do what he loves for a living, while LTA (NS) Chye asserts that he’s privileged to be able to work with like-minded individuals.

Yet, the digital media start-up founders aren’t inclined to casually encourage their peers to throw caution to the wind and chase their entrepreneurial dreams. For one, they both advise considering multiple factors before even working out a business plan.


LTA (NS) Chye (first row, third from left) is the founder of digital marketing agency, MediaFreaks.

SUPT (NS) Lim’s decision to start social media marketing consultancy Stratgeist in 2017, for instance, was based not just on his keen interest in the field, but also the fact that such services were growing in demand. His affable disposition also helped. “Being an entrepreneur means you build businesses and create job opportunities, and all this requires you to deal with people,” says SUPT (NS) Lim, who also runs health media platform Medical Channel Asia. “You must also possess a love of solving problems, be good with numbers, and, of course, be a subject matter expert in whatever you want to do. Just having passion alone isn’t going to cut it.”

And while LTA (NS) Chye’s decision to start digital marketing agency MediaFreaks is rooted in something more esoteric — he cites ikigai, the Japanese concept of having a clear purpose in life — his key considerations are similarly pragmatic in nature. Apart from having an excellent service or product on top of passion for the cause, he says you need to be confident in your ability to monetise your efforts.

LTA (NS) Chye, who also teaches digital marketing at polytechnics and universities, decided to take the proverbial plunge some two decades ago after noticing a gap in the market for 3D animation. But several years ago, he made the call to pivot the business towards digital marketing, an area in which he felt he could better excel. “Being able to evolve and cater to the latest market demands is part of running a business,” he says.

The move evidently paid off. The company has since grown into a 40-strong operation that services clients from 20 industries and — according to him — generates a seven-figure annual revenue.


SUPT (NS) Lim (back row, third from left), LTA (NS) Chye (back row, fourth from left), the Branding and Publicity Committee, and Public Relations and Communications team of HomeTeamNS during the Gala Dinner 2019.

Despite their hectic schedules, both founders still manage to find time to volunteer at HomeTeamNS’ Branding & Publicity Committee. They share that the experience has been deeply fulfilling as it not only allows them to leverage their expertise to help the organisation grow, but also gives them access to a wealth of knowledge. “I learned a lot from the other volunteers. Being part of HomeTeamNS lets me meet people who are experts in their own fields,” says SUPT (NS) Lim.

Likewise, LTA (NS) Chye has also benefitted from the networking opportunities. “HomeTeamNS volunteers come from all kinds of backgrounds. I’ve had the chance to meet fellow competitors in the same industry, as well as people from academia and property management — the list goes on,” he says. “What this means is that when we sit down to solve a problem together, a bunch of different perspectives are laid out on the table, and this experience is one that is very enlightening, and even fun,” adds LTA (NS) Chye.


SUPT (NS) Lim (in white) is the founder of a digital media firm.
SUPT (NS) Lim (in white) is the founder of a digital media firm.

No successful venture is devoid of setbacks, though. When asked about his missteps over the course of his entrepreneurial journey, LTA (NS) Chye is refreshingly candid. “We make mistakes all the time, from human resources to how we run campaigns and manage the company,” he laughs. “But all these mistakes allow us to learn and grow.” His biggest regret is not having a mentor when he was starting out. “If I had a good mentor back then, I would have reached where I am today five years earlier. This is the value of good guidance.”

On the other hand, SUPT (NS) Lim’s biggest takeaway has been the importance of hiring the right people. To address this, he uses the people management approach that he learned from a podcast by Daniel Meyer, the founder of the Shake Shack — categorising people according to the “Can-Can’t-Will-Won’t” matrix. “People that can and will do the job are those you must reward and groom. Those who can’t, but will do the job, are those with whom you provide additional training because though they don’t have the required skills, they have the right attitude,” he explains. “And then you have people who can do the job but won’t. Those need to be placed on performance improvement schemes. For individuals who can’t and won’t do the job — perhaps it’s better if they are let go or reassigned to a department more suited to them.”    

Looking back, SUPT (NS) Lim says he is fortunate that his businesses have grown steadily over the past six years. “Singapore is an amazing place to start a business and I’m really grateful for the opportunities that have come our way just by being in the right place at the right time,” he says.


How I started my career

SUPT (NS) Lim: I started my career selling ads in the Yellow Pages before working in the publishing sector and handling social media engagement.

LTA (NS) Chye: My first job was starting my current company. I guess you could say I was very reckless!

An entrepreneur who inspires me    

SUPT (NS) Lim: Virgin Group founder Richard Branson. Learning about how he started his business from the basement of his mother’s home got me really enamoured with the idea of making something out of nothing.

LTA (NS) Chye: Bread Talk founder George Quek. I once attended an event where he shared about how he started his business with nothing but a pushcart, which was really inspiring.

My childhood aspiration

SUPT (NS) Lim:  To become a lawyer. I was attracted to the idea of fighting cases in court and understanding the law.

LTA (NS) Chye: I wanted to be a policeman. I ended up in the SCDF instead!

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Club Buzz Featured

Long, proud journey of service with the Home Team

Home Team’s two longest-serving National Servicemen – SUPT (NS) Mohd Azman Mohd Sidek and COL (NS) Jorge Lau Hock Huat – share with us what motivated them to continue serving after their statutory age, and how their roles have changed over their decades of service.



For COL (NS) Jorge Lau Hock Huat, 2017 was a very special year. Not only was it the 50th anniversary of National Service (NS), it was also his 50th birthday.

“It made me feel like I was born with NS,” he recalled. “During NS50, I had the privilege of meeting President Tony Tan and the First Lady during the Home Team Festival at Kallang Wave.”  

The double celebration heralded another milestone the following year, when COL (NS) Lau became the first NSman in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) to have successfully extended his NS service beyond the age of 50 under the Volunteer Extension Scheme (VES).

Like COL (NS) Lau, SUPT (NS) Mohd Azman Mohd Sidek is also participating in the VES at the ripe age of 59. SUPT (NS) Azman is an SGSecure trainer who has also played an active role in HomeTeamNS, serving as the first chairman for HomeTeamNS’ REAL RUN committee. Over their long period of service, both men have seen National Servicemen play more important roles over time.


COL (NS) Lau’s journey began in 1986, when he enlisted with the Singapore Armed Forces. After three months of basic military training, he was selected for officer cadet training with the Singapore Police Force (SPF), where he served until his Operationally Ready Date (ORD).

In the early 1990s, he was transferred to the SCDF, where he is currently Deputy Division Commander NS, 3rd SCDF Division Battalion Commander, 32B RBn Deputy Battalion Commander, 32A RBn Head Ops, 32A RBn Company Commander, and NHG Medical Company Personnel Officer, GWBn.

He has also collected a slew of awards along the way – such as the HomeTeamNS Meritorious Award (Gold) and HomeTeamNS 20 Years Long Service Award in 2021, and the Long Service Medal (Civil Defence) at the National Day Awards 2020 – and has been part of numerous committees. He has chaired the 3rd SCDF Division Tactical Forum and co-chaired the Clubhouse Development Committee (North), which oversaw the building of HomeTeamNS Khatib.

“After more than three decades of service as an NSman, I was referred to as a ‘career National Serviceman’,” he said. “During my NS years, I was literally everything, everywhere – participating in many of the NS50 committees, ICTs, NS unit exercises, NS dialogues, and Home Team events and activities.”


At the ripe age of 59, SUPT (NS) Mohd Azman Mohd Sidek is also participating in the VES.

SUPT (NS) Azman, who enlisted for National Service in 1981, said that he decided to extend his service after enjoying his time as an NSF and National Serviceman with the SPF.

“This is my way of paying it forward,” he explained. “In addition, given my profession (I am an educator), my role in SGSecure is very relevant, because I want to play my part in educating our youths to navigate their lives grounded on specific principles.”

In extending his service, SUPT (NS) Azman was joined until recently by a batchmate, SUPT (NS) Ow Kok Meng, who stepped down two years ago to focus on other things. “We have been buddies for so long and have shared many amazing NS-related memories together. Both of us also share the same passion and attitude in wanting to pay it forward, which stems from us being in the same profession as educators.”

SUPT (NS) Azman’s pride in the next generation is evident when he mentions that his son is an NSman with SCDF: “Between the two of us, we have the Home Team covered – SPF and SCDF!”

Now in his 42nd year of serving the nation, SUPT (NS) Azman is still as dedicated as he was in 1981. Of the awards he’s collected, he said: “It is always good to be recognised, but that is not the reason that I am still at it. It’s about who I am and what I love to do, in the SPF and other areas of my life. If there’s anything that I might eventually treasure, it would be the bragging rights of being the longest-serving National Serviceman in Singapore across all the uniformed services!”

“Extend because you want to, and because there is a niche for you to contribute to,” advises SUPT (NS) Azman. “This way, your motivation and passion will make your contributions so much more meaningful.”


COL (NS) Lau attained his Operationally Ready National Serviceman (ORNS) status in 2021 and relinquished his post as deputy division commander of the 3rd SCDF Division. He continues to serve as a volunteer in the Civil Defence Auxiliary Unit (CDAU), as part of the CDAU Executive Committee. He is also a mentor to the CDAU Recruitment Team and the CDAU officers in the 3rd SCDF Division.

He says that over the three decades and counting of his service, Home Team National Servicemen have played a critical role in ensuring the safety and security of Singapore, going far beyond policing and firefighting duties.

“Something that was little known in the past is that SCDF ORNSmen were involved in Ops LionHeart deployments, where they worked alongside with SCDF’s elite unit, the Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART), in overseas Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) missions,” said COL (NS) Lau. “In October 2022, SCDF became the first Asia-Pacific organisation to have its USAR framework accredited for its ORNS Rescue and Medical Units. Hence, NS has definitely transformed and evolved compared to the early years.”

SUPT (NS) Azman, the former NS commander with the SPF, added: “I have personally seen National Servicemen rising from playing a support role to working hand-in-hand with the regulars, as the overall responsibilities for SPF officers – both regulars and NSmen – have evolved and become more demanding. The roles have similarly evolved, including appointments and ranks to recognise the roles of NS commanders.”

COL (NS) Lau concurs that service and duty apply to both NS and other parts of life, such as one’s career. “Service and duty are the keys to developing trust and respect,” he said. “Hence, I believe in taking pride in everything we do, yet being humble in serving the community. I would tell NSFs and National Servicemen who are thinking of extending their service that leadership is all about serving – serving Singapore, serving the National Servicemen under your command, and serving beyond your NS communities. Serve with a willing heart, and the rest will fall into place.”

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Club Buzz Featured Spotlight

7 questions with HomeTeamNS volunteers

Meet the dynamic individuals driven by diverse passions — from motorsports to design — who contribute to HomeTeamNS’ clubhouses.



They work tirelessly behind the scenes to facilitate the smooth operations of HomeTeamNS’ clubhouses. You may even have spotted them at buzzy HomeTeamNS events, without comprehending how they’ve helped to ensure they’re carried out without a hitch. But what drives our tireless volunteers, who’ve sacrificed their precious weekends for the Home Team? Meet the passionate individuals without whom our lively social calendars would not be possible, and discover what they’re really like behind their professional demeanour.  

The dare-devil with a soft spot

LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva

LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva
LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva

What do you do at HomeTeamNS and SCDF?

I’m the battalion commander of a rescue unit in the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF). I am also a member of HomeTeamNS’ Management Committee and the Chairman of its IT Committee.

Are there any similarities between your volunteer and job roles?

I work as an IT professional. My roles are somewhat complementary because both require me to look at operational issues and policies that affect how the organisations are run. Each role involves adapting management methodologies that are relevant to younger people entering the organisation.

Why did you decide to volunteer with HomeTeamNS?

HomeTeamNS is an organisation for NSmen. Hence, I believe the best people to help form policies and improve it would be the NSmen themselves.

What does volunteering mean to you?

Volunteering is important because it allows us to give back to society and help those who aren’t as fortunate. I volunteer with my wife at an old folks’ home, and also offer career counselling pro-bono. I’ve really enjoyed working with fellow volunteers to bring plans to fruition. Take for instance, the new Bedok Reservoir clubhouse – this major project required us to work together to tackle challenges such as the long lead times for critical backbone network hardware caused by the global chip shortage. While volunteering, I’ve interacted with various stakeholders, from those within the clubhouse management to subcontractors.

LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva is a motorhead.
LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva is a motorhead.
LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva scuba diving.
LTC (NS) Jahan De Silva scuba diving.

What are your hobbies?

I love diving. I’m actually a divemaster. I also like motorsports and have taken part in races overseas, such as Sepang in Malaysia, Germany, and the Philippines. One of my most exciting races was at Germany’s Nurburgring track, which was extremely challenging. I’ve always been a gear head and have loved cars since I was a kid. I started karting in my teens and have never looked back since. 

That being said, I also enjoy chilling out on my couch and catching the latest movies and television shows. I recently watched The Mandalorian and The Last of Us. I’m also a fan of non-fiction programmes such as those on The Discovery Channel.

Name the dishes you cannot live without.

There are too many to count! I do love a good burger. Fatburger is one of the best places in Singapore for a proper gourmet burger. I also love pizza and am a huge Domino’s fan. When I return home from travels, the first thing I eat is a bowl of fishball noodles. I dare say that my wife and I make the best fish ball noodles, which are chockful of ingredients. Another Asian dish I enjoy is nasi lemak, so much that I’d take a long drive from home to my favourite joint, Aliff Nasi Lemak at Bedok North Street 3, just to have it.

If you had the power to change the world with the snap of a finger, what would it be?

I would end hunger and poverty. My mind is boggled that such problems still exist in a world that has gotten so advanced, scientifically speaking. I feel very lucky to be able to choose what I eat because there are many people in other parts of the world who don’t even have food to put in their mouths.

Don’t call him an anti-social engineer

LTC (NS) Cheng Chee Wee

LTC (NS) Cheng Chee Wee
LTC (NS) Cheng Chee Wee

What is your vocation in the Home Team?

I’m an officer in the Public Shelter and Resilience Unit in SCDF, which is responsible for managing public shelters during a national emergency. I was formerly a police officer during my NSF days, but transferred to the SCDF after completing my National Service as they needed personnel.

What do you enjoy the most about being an NSman?

I really enjoy catching up with my fellow reservists. We have formed very strong bonds over years of undergoing operational training exercises together. This makes training more enjoyable.

How does your volunteer work complement your career?

At SCDF, I’m an engineer who spends most of his time doing programming and running test programmes – not a very social job. On the other hand, HomeTeamNS provides me with an opportunity to interact with the public and use my time meaningfully, which I really enjoy.

Name one memorable experience from volunteering with HomeTeamNS.

There was a year where we got to organise a swimming event with the help of some reservists who weren’t HomeTeamNS volunteers. I really enjoyed working alongside these new faces as they brought fresh energy and perspectives to the table.

How do you decompress from work?

I’m mostly at the gym or jogging during my free time. I like running along the Singapore River at Clarke Quay in the morning. I’ve also been trying to pick up reading again, after 20 years! I’m currently reading Chip Wars by Chris Miller.

Name your poison of choice.

Whisky, in moderation. I don’t have a favourite type at the moment – I guess I’m still in search of that perfect bottle. I usually only drink whisky when I’m home. When I’m out, I usually drink coffee – I have three cups every day, after every meal. I guess you could say that coffee is my only vice.

How would you describe your leadership style?

Supportive. I always try to give my teammates the tools they need to accomplish their tasks. I find this to be a more effective leadership style than simply ordering people around. People tend to learn better if they are given support as well as room to think for themselves.

Blueprints and body kits  

SGT2 (NS) Shawn Quek Tze Kuan

SGT2 (NS) Shawn Quek Tze Kuan
SGT2 (NS) Shawn Quek Tze Kuan

What do you do in SCDF and HomeTeamNS?

I’m an Engineering Section Commander in SCDF’s 21 Rescue Unit. My unit responds to major incidents in Singapore that involve rescue and recovery missions. I work closely with my Rescue Engineering Team to ascertain whether a collapsed building structure is safe for entry, or if we need to deploy emergency shoring techniques to mitigate the risks.

Meanwhile at HomeTeamNS, I’m a member of the Executive Committee for the Bukit Batok clubhouse as well as the Development Committee for the new Bedok Reservoir clubhouse.

What has been your greatest contribution to HomeTeamNS?

As the founder of interior design and construction firms, I’ve been able to contribute to design and technical matters for the Bedok Reservoir clubhouse. I’ve also advised on building maintenance and refurbishment exercises held by various HomeTeamNS clubhouses.

Name one memorable experience from your time volunteering with HomeTeamNS.

I was really happy to be involved in the redesign of the atrium wall at the Bedok Reservoir clubhouse. As we wanted to evoke a sense of pride and nostalgia, one of the directions we gave to the architects was to use past and present vehicles of the Forces in a display showcasing their journey through the decades.

The reimagined atrium wall, named “The Driving Force”, portrays the evolution of the Home Team through a variety of vehicles ranging from the old Volkswagen Beetle police car to the SCDF Marine Division’s latest Heavy Fire Vessel.

Why did you join the renovation and construction industry?

I’ve always been creative. During my college days, I dabbled in graphic and interior design and multimedia art. As I really enjoyed the interior design process and helping people create their dream homes, I decided to make a career out of it.

SGT2 (NS) Shawn Quek Tze Kuan at an SCDF event.
SGT2 (NS) Shawn Quek Tze Kuan at an SCDF event.

What are your other passions?

I’ve always liked cars. My first was a 1991 Mercedes E200. I enjoy seeking like-minded people online and researching ways to refurbish these vintage cars to give them a new lease of life. I’ve driven and owned different models of Mercedes-Benz cars over the past 20 years.

What is your dream car?

A Mercedes AMG GT R. I’m also a big fan of Formula 1 and I try to catch all the races every season. No prizes for guessing that my favourite team is the Mercedes AMG F1 Team, and my favourite driver of all time is Lewis Hamilton.

What is your life philosophy?

There’s this quote I came across a while ago that goes, “We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone”. This really resonated with me. As a business owner, I believe that the best way to lead is to serve, and this is why I try my best to support my employees, especially the foreign workers in my companies.

Working with migrant workers, I have learned to be appreciative of what we have in Singapore. Living in a First World country, we sometimes take things for granted because we’re in this little bubble where everything works well. A lot of the things we complain about are relatively trivial problems. For the migrant workers, many seemingly ordinary things that we have in Singapore are considered luxuries. Leading these individuals in the construction industry has been a humbling experience.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Club Buzz Featured

When Mum wears many hats

On Mother’s Day,  HomeTeamNS volunteer LTC (NS) Simon Foo tells us why his wife, Adena, is the wise one in the family. 



You may have spotted LTC (NS) Simon Foo and Adena Lim at the various HomeTeamNS clubhouses, which they visit once or twice a month on the weekends. “We usually have lunch at one of the restaurants at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier,” says LTC (NS) Foo. “We love the chill ambience there.” As a family, they’ve also created fond memories at the clubhouse, such as last year’s World Cup which saw the family of five — LTC (NS) Foo, Adena, their two daughters (aged 15 and 13) and their 10-year-old son — snacking their way through several qualifier matches as well as the thrilling final between Argentina and France.

LTC (NS) Foo, who works in his family’s ship repair business, is a volunteer with the Executive Committee at HomeTeamNS-JOM Balestier. Together with his fellow National Servicemen from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), he assists the Committee by offering support and providing ideas regarding operational matters, events and activities, and financial goals.

He says that Ms Lim’s support is crucial in bolstering his ability to volunteer: “I have the comfort of knowing the children’s emotional needs are met,” he shares. “Adena is my pillar of strength, she is wise and nurturing. Our children look up to her, especially the girls. She speaks to their emotional needs better than me.”


Like many mothers, Adena, who works in the public service sector, has found that being a parent requires her to take on numerous roles, of which emotional support is only one. “Being a mother, I am looked up to as a role model by my children,” she says. “They watch how I talk, what I eat, what I wear, what I do on a daily basis — it’s like being under CCTV all the time! So, I have to be responsible for my behaviour and actions as these may influence them. They also regard me as a walking encyclopaedia, asking me questions ranging from history to mathematics to biology.”

All this is on top of her daily duties as a working mum who divvies up the responsibilities of ferrying the kids to and from school, co-curricular activities and tuition classes with her husband. “There are days when I am back late from work or have teleconferences in the evenings. My husband will help to supervise the children’s schoolwork, oversee their assignments and ensure their needs are met,” she says. “Similarly, whenever Simon is out for an overnight exercise during his reservist stints, I will take care of the children.” In addition to making sure the children’s physical needs are met, Adena carves out time to chat with her daughters about what happened in school during the day as well as coach her son in his schoolwork.


Despite the lack of rest and personal time — “sleep is usually the first to be foregone,” admits Adena — motherhood has been a deeply fulfilling experience for her. “Motherhood has helped me to appreciate that life is not about oneself, but the giving of oneself to build the lives of my children,” she reflects. “It has given me a fresh perspective on what is selfless love and giving. I find joy and meaning in being a mother — it is worth it!”

As a mother, she tries her best to impart the values she would want her children to live by: “I always tell them that between being a successful person and being a person of good character, it is more important to be the latter. Being honest, generous, gracious, kind, having integrity and courage to do what is right — these values will take them very far in life, and differentiate them from the crowd.”

In helping her children navigate their childhood and adolescent years, Adena has also learnt some lessons of her own. “All three of my children are unique,” she explains. “The eldest is street smart, the second is very driven and hardworking, the youngest is the baby who is charming in his own way. I’ve learnt to embrace their strengths and weaknesses. This has also helped me to approach people I encounter in life in the same way, and to respect each person for their own individuality.”

She adds that she has also learnt how to be patient and gracious. “More often than not, children may disobey us, say things that are hurtful or discouraging, or fight with one another,” she says. “We learn to forgive them and also find teaching moments to inculcate the correct values in them. So yes, being a mother is also being a teacher in their lives!”


Despite her hectic schedule and the multiple roles that constitute the job of being Mum to three kids, Adena is happy to support LTC (NS) Foo volunteering at HomeTeamNS, which he has been doing for the past two years: “I am proud that he is doing his part to serve the nation,” she shares. “He is passionate about his volunteer work at HomeTeamNS and often comes home to share with us what he does, and about the people he works with. It gives him motivation and fresh perspective on life.” In return, LTC (NS) Foo has some heartfelt words for his wife and mother of their children this Mother’s Day: 

“Adena, thank you for journeying through life together with me. You make me want to be the best version of myself.”

The sacrifices of mothers like Ms Lim and many more at our clubhouses are an inspiration to us all. To celebrate the unwavering contributions of the ladies behind our Home Team National Servicemen, HomeTeamNS launched Everyday HERoes, a new Family Membership with expanded female-centric perks. At only a nominal fee of $10, members are entitled to 1,000 +HPoints (worth $10), access to exclusive perks and benefits, and more!

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Club Buzz Featured

Behind every successful clubhouse, is a multi-tasking Mum

On Mother’s Day, WO2 (NS) Lim June Liang credits his wife’s resourcefulness as the reason he can commit to volunteering with HomeTeamNS.



In addition to the numerous facilities available at HomeTeamNS clubhouses, the year-round roster of activities is another draw that entices members to keep returning. From festival celebrations to craft and life-skill workshops, these events encourage like-minded folks to connect, while offering interesting experiences for members and their families. To make all of this happen, due credit goes to the Executive Committee at each clubhouse.

WO2 (NS) Lim June Liang knows this very well. He volunteers as an Executive Committee member at HomeTeamNS Bukit Batok and helps to plan the clubhouse’s packed event calendar. But if it weren’t for his wife, Ms Florida Liew, this would not be possible.


WO2 (NS) June Liang began volunteering in April 2023, and is fully aware that he is able to do so only because of his wife. “My wife’s support in taking care of the family wholeheartedly allows me to volunteer with HomeTeamNS,” he admits. Planning the clubhouse activities takes him away from his family duties, but his wife believes that it is worth the exchange. “I am thrilled that my husband has decided to volunteer with HomeTeamNS,” she says.

“As a member of the Executive Committee, he will have the opportunity to help plan and organise events that bring families together.” Their own family of four visits the HomeTeamNS clubhouses almost every weekend, which is why Ms Liew is so familiar with her husband’s role as a volunteer. “I believe that his leadership abilities are a tremendous asset to the organisation,” she says.


WO2 (NS) Lim June Liang and Ms Florida Liew strutting down the fashion runway during the HomeTeamNS Everyday HERoes Launch on 14 May 2023 Bedok Reservoir clubhouse.

Between regular household duties and two children — a son aged 10 and a seven-year-old daughter — the couple understands the need to manage their time. “When it comes to sharing parenting duties, we believe communication is crucial. We ensure that both of us share our schedules on a regular basis and consider work commitments, school schedules, and any other relevant obligations,” says Ms Liew.

“By doing so, we can identify potential conflicts and work together to find solutions that are in the best interest of our children.” Motherhood, she adds has taught her the importance of being flexible and adaptable. “When unexpected challenges arise, like a sick child or a last-minute schedule change, I’ve learned how to adjust my plans and priorities to make sure my children’s needs are always taken care of,” she shares.

Since becoming a mother, Ms Liew admits that her “perspective on priorities has been irrevocably altered”. “The needs of my family now take precedence in all areas of my life,” she adds. Ms Liew acknowledges that she has also learned valuable lessons from her children, including “the power of unconditional love” which has given her “the deep, unbreakable bond” that she shares with her kids. She cites the Fitness Challenge at Chua Chu Kang Stadium in 2018 as one of her most memorable HomeTeamNS events — and why she appreciates her husband’s volunteer work.


WO2 (NS) June Liang says that his wife provides the support and care that the family requires to thrive, while at the same time supporting him wholeheartedly, including his work with HomeTeamNS. And although no words would be able to sufficiently express his gratitude, WO2 (NS) June Liang offers these to his wife: 

“I appreciate all that you do for our family — from being flexible with our schedules and attending events together, to things like keeping our home running smoothly.”

The sacrifices of mothers like Ms Liew and many more at our clubhouses are an inspiration to us all. To celebrate the unwavering contributions of the ladies behind our Home Team National Servicemen, HomeTeamNS launched Everyday HERoes, a new Family Membership with expanded female-centric perks. At only a nominal fee of $10, members are entitled to 1,000 +HPoints (worth $10), access to exclusive perks and benefits, and more!

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Featured Lifestyle

Adulting 101: Five essential types of insurance you’ll need in life

Life after National Service can be challenging as NSmen transition into adulthood, but the right insurance policies can help mitigate unexpected financial expenses.


Life may be full of uncertainties – mishaps and accidents can arise anytime. Thankfully, the right insurance policies can help minimise the financial impact of dealing with life’s emergencies.

As a young adult, it’s important to take into consideration the different types of policies that are available and their functions. From pet to motor insurance, here are five types of coverage that one should consider.


Balloting for your dream Built-To-Order (BTO) flat is an important milestone, but it’s one that comes with significant financial responsibilities, especially after furnishing and renovation costs are factored in.

Home insurance helps you to cover damage or losses to your residence. It can offer protection against fire, floods and even robberies. Although you may be covered by the fire insurance scheme from the Housing Development Board (HDB), it’s a good idea to consider additional home insurance. HDB insurance covers “the cost of reinstating damaged internal structures, fixtures, as well as areas built and provided by HDB”. It does not however, extend coverage to your personal belongings and renovation work.


If you’ve saved enough to buy your dream car or motorcycle, congratulations! This is a significant milestone on your journey to adulthood. Next up? Motor insurance, which is mandatory for every road user here. Such policies cover third-party injuries and – just like all the other types of insurance covered above – it helps to protect an individual from a heavy financial burden.

In the event of an accident, it’s crucial for you to check in with your insurance company – even when there isn’t any visible damage to your vehicle. If you’re unsure of what to do, the Motor Claims Framework is a helpful guide for you to get some tips.


The cost of healthcare in Singapore is on the rise, meaning visits to the doctor can be quite hefty. Personal accident insurance policyholders can receive monetary compensation should something unfortunate occur. Aside from major incidents resulting in accidental death or permanent disability, the insurance also covers minor injuries like fractures and even hospital bills.

HomeTeamNS Ordinary members (aged 70 and below) actually enjoy free coverage. Members enjoy complimentary personal accident insurance coverage, with a total coverage of S$30,000. It includes coverage for accidental death and permanent disablement, fractured bones, child education fund, physiotherapy costs, and mobility aid expenses.

“I think it’s very useful to have this benefit, it’s an added advantage to HomeTeamNS members,” shared Isabel, the daughter of a HomeTeamNS member who passed away.


As any pet parent knows, vet visits can be unexpectedly costly – a consultation session alone can cost between S$25 and S$60. Pet insurance can help offset the cost of veterinary bills. In Singapore, these policies usually cover treatments including physical accidents, cancer treatments, chemotherapy and spaying or neutering operations.

Pet insurance lets you focus on finding the best possible care for your pet without worrying too much about the bills. This also gives you the peace of mind to focus on helping your furry friend make a swift recovery.


When you’re planning your next holiday, travel insurance should be on the top of your checklist along with your passport and foreign currency. A travel insurance policy is a smart move for every globetrotter, as it protects them from various mishaps during their trip.

Policies can cover one’s expenses and protect their well-being and personal belongings. From losing one’s baggage to experiencing a flight delay (or cancellation), travellers can recoup some of their expenses as they may claim for reimbursement from the insurance company.

HomeTeamNS members enjoy 20 per cent off Singlife with Aviva travel insurance (single trip). Additionally, if you have a MHA Group Insurance Voluntary coverage, you can get an additional 30 per cent discount. With this perk, you can travel the world with the peace of mind from knowing that you’re protected should emergencies occur.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the app settings.

Club Buzz Featured

HomeTeamNS Scholarship: For the love of sports

Meet Nur Eryka Binte Muhammad Imran, an outstanding student of Nitec in Fitness Training 2023, a HomeTeamNS Scholarship recipient, and a passionate hockey player.



When Ms Nur Eryka Binte Muhammad Imran saw the outstanding graduate for the Nitec in Fitness Training when she emceed her seniors’ graduation ceremony last year, she thought to herself: “Wow, I want to be like him.”

On her own graduation day the following year, she fulfilled her dream.

During the Nitec Graduation Ceremony at the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) College West on 14 February 2023, she was named the Outstanding Graduate for Nitec in Fitness Training. Mr Joseph Loh, Director of Business Strategies of HomeTeamNS, presented the HomeTeamNS Scholarship to Eryka for her impressive performance in school.

The scholarship recognises the notable efforts by students studying the Nitec in Fitness Training and Higher Nitec in Sport Management across all the ITE colleges.

“I feel very proud, it’s definitely a big achievement and I’ve been wanting this for a long time,” said Eryka. The HomeTeamNS Scholarship doesn’t just help to fund Eryka’s studies, it also serves as a stepping stone to achieving her passion for sports and fitness outside of the classroom.


Eryka joined Hockey as her co-curriculum activity (CCA) in Secondary School and was part of her school’s C and B Division teams.

Her love of sports flourished when she was a secondary school student at CHIJ St Theresa’s Convent. Her school offered a new ‘O’ Level subject, Exercise and Sports Science, that covers the sub-disciplines of sports science and the sociology behind it. As Eryka learned about exercise physiology, biomechanics and sports psychology she became even more fascinated by the subject.

This made her path to Nitec in Fitness Training in ITE College West a natural progression, as she was able to pursue her journey in studying sports. “When I was young, I really loved sports and was interested in learning about human anatomy and biomechanics. It’s the only subject that I excelled in,” said the 19-year-old.

Next, Eryka intends to study the Diploma in Sport & Exercise Science at Republic Polytechnic and pursue further studies in physiotherapy in Australia or New Zealand.


Eryka (front row, third from the right) and her teammates from the Jansenites Hockey Club after training.

Eryka also excels in her favourite sport, field hockey. As a left or centre mid-fielder for the Jansenites Hockey Club in Singapore, she relies on her skills to read the game and make quick judgements during matches to support both defenders and forwards.

At times, she plays as a centre forward, leading attacks on her opponents’ goals. “The National Junior League 2023 was the most memorable competition for me,” she recalled. “I scored and assisted a few goals for the team during the matches against Anderson Serangoon Junior College, and ACSOBASG Oldham Hockey Club.”

She intends to participate in the Under-21 trials to be a part of the youth national hockey team and is training hard to achieve that goal. Consistent 2.4km runs, strength training and playing alongside national players in her team, has helped boost Eryka’s confidence on the field.

Like our stories? Subscribe to our Frontline Digital newsletters now! Simply download the HomeTeamNS Mobile App and update your communication preference to ‘Receive Digital Frontline Magazine’, through the App Settings.

Club Buzz Featured

Getting a head start with her education and ambitions

HomeTeamNS Children’s Education Award recipient may appear to be a shy child, but she dreams of an acting career.



Despite her shy demeanour, Han Meng Chen, daughter of HomeTeamNS Ordinary member Mr Han Lin Zhuo, wants to be an actor. Meng Chen was among 80 recipients of the HomeTeamNS Children’s Education Award, where she was among the top five students in the Primary 3 and 4 cohort.

Speaking at the ceremony, Associate Professor Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister to State, Ministry of Home Affairs and National Development, and HomeTeamNS President said: “Young people are the present and the future of our nation. HomeTeamNS believes that good education plays a vital role in paving the way for a better future. Though the journey may be tedious, it is true grit and determination that propels us closer to success.”

This reflected well on Meng Chen, as she achieved excellent grades for her semester results in 2021 and was also a prefect at North View Primary School. Indeed, her father is proud of her stunning achievements. “I’m happy that she has passed and more importantly, she enjoys acquiring more knowledge through her school lessons and is able to apply this knowledge to solve real-life problems,” Mr Han said.


Mr Han is the sole parent and breadwinner, which means he has to fulfill the vital roles of a nurturing mother and a protective father to Meng Chen. He believes he does not need to exert pressure on his daughter to excel in her studies as she is a responsible child. Working as a freelancer gives Mr Han the opportunity to help Meng Chen with Mathematics. He also tries his best to protect her from negative influences on social media.

This is not the first time Meng Chen has received the HomeTeamNS Children’s Education Award, which has helped offset the cost of her school fees. It also allowed them to start saving for her future studies.


Meng Chen was inspired to become an actor after watching Netflix’s Wednesday and Disney’s Cruella, which were fronted by acclaimed actors Jenna Ortega and Emma Stone respectively.

“I think Jenna Ortega is graceful and can solve a lot of mysteries and cases just like policemen,” she shared. Mr Han added that Meng Chen is intrigued by compelling roles.

And she’s already started taking small steps to achieving her dream. Meng Chen is a Drama Club member in school and played the role of an ant in The Butterfly and the Boy during a performance in school. “It’s fun, and you can express your feelings freely through the role that you play,” she said.

Meng Chen plans to study acting and hopes to act in foreign films – perhaps alongside some of her idols.

More than 2,600 children of HomeTeamNS Ordinary Members have received help from the CEA since its inception in 2004. With CEA, we hope to reward and celebrate families, and encourage students to excel academically. For the latest updates on the applications, visit our website or Facebook page.