From My Generation To Yours – appreciation dinner for NSmen on 30 October 2017.
Appreciating our Nation’s Guardians
The Police Coast Guard is like a big family. We share with and care for one another.
When SSGT (V) Timothy Lim was eight, he started playing table tennis with some older children after church. As he grew up, he also played football, squash, tennis and badminton. He even made it into his secondary school and junior college rugby teams. But he was surprised when he did not qualify for his secondary school’s table tennis team, which prompted him to put his heart and mind into becoming a better table tennis player.
Timothy’s determination and hard work has paid off. To date, he has participated in over a hundred competitions, including the Public Service Inter-Organisational Games, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore’s
International Games for Seafarers, the ASEAN Civil Service Games (ACSG), and the Asia-Pacific Veterans’ Table Tennis Championship (APVTTC). His achievements include a bronze at the inaugural ACSG in Malaysia in 2015, and an APVTTC bronze as part of the Copytron Table Tennis Club’s Mens’ Team (ages 40-49).
Timothy has served as a Volunteer Special Constabulary for 12 years at Ang Mo Kio Police Division, Traffic Police and Training Command. He is currently with the Police Coast Guard, which he sees as a big family – they share with and care for one another, and are committed to ensuring safety and security of Singapore’s territorial waters. While not training for competitions or out at sea, he shares his passion for table tennis with his close buddies from other Police units.
Maybe one day, there might be a match at sea!
Visit www.hometeamvolunteers.gov.sg to find out how you too can help keep Singapore safe.
TEXT: SSG (NS) LIM ZI YAO, SHELTER MANAGEMENT PLATOON COMMANDER, 305A MRT SHELTER COMPANY (BARTLEY MRT STATION)
Public Service Week is a reminder of our role in nation building. I was honoured to speak at this year’s NSTI Public Service Observance Ceremony as a representative of my ORNS Unit. I shared the successful completion of our first night exercise – undertaking public shelter conversion at Bartley MRT station. All of us came from different backgrounds and service units, but we worked together as a cohesive team, knowing that our training was paying off. Singaporeans can safely go to work or attend school knowing that we, the Home Team, are doing our utmost to keep Singapore safe and secure.
ORNSmen have commitments such as their civilian jobs. Some of us had duties at work to fulfil shortly after our in-camp training (ICT). Thankfully, our ORNS mates are encouraging and supportive. This extends to hearty meals shared outside of ICT. Our unit’s enhanced role in the SGSecure national movement involves sensitising, training and mobilising the public to deal with terrorist attacks. We have had to enhance our communications skills to perform our tasks eff effectively.
Also, since the omnipresent question is not “if” but “when”, we undertake our tasks with a clear objective and intent. After all, we know that every effort put in today will help to better prepare the public in the event of a terrorist attack. I would like to express my appreciation to all public servants who perform their roles dutifully in serving the nation.
In June last year, as part of the PNS Master Plan, our Land Divisions’ PNSmen were reorganised as Divisional Special Task Forces (DSTF). Making troop-level recalls for training and deployment have strengthened camaraderie across and between ranks, improved command, and increased our LandDivisions’ capacity to fi ght crime and tackle security challenges. Feedback from PNSmen has been positive – being trusted by their TLs strengthens their purpose.
‘D’ Division’s DSTF has directly contributed to a decline in shop theft rates. Its officers have frequently been First Responders, and many ground situations have been handled without Regular support. Crime rates and response times have decreased by 29 per cent from the previous year.
…being trusted by their TLS strengthens (our PNSmen’s) purpose.
One notable case on 7 June was handled by its DSTF 6 during foot patrol at VivoCity as part of Mall Patrol anti-crime operations. A Theft-in-Dwelling complainant approached the officers, who immediately took action. They swiftly located and arrested the suspect, recovering merchandise with similar descriptions to lost/stolen reports by multiple VivoCity shops earlier that day.
At the Geylang Serai Bazaar, where deployment fully comprises PNSmen, the DSTF provides a formal structure in which PNSmen can publicly demonstrate their leadership. SC/SGT1 Muhammad Arithzuan Ahman of ‘G’ Division was leading a patrol in June when he saw two large groups of people approaching each other in a threatening manner. Knowing things could quickly deteriorate, he led his team to intervene. “We saw that things were getting rowdy, so we proactively engaged them and instructed them to disperse,” he says.
TEXT: CHIA JIA LI
PHOTOS: FRONTLINERS/CHARMAINE TAN
Mark Wee’s story
Ground Response Force (GRF) officer Special Constabulary Sergeant (SC/SGT2) Marc Wee’s duties include responding to emergency calls and patrolling theneighbourhood to ensure the safety and security
of the community. Marc was initially full of doubts when he first started on his vocation as a GRF, but is now thankful for the opportunity, describing his National Service (NS) experience as an “important phase in life”.
NS taught me new life values and prepared me for my working life in the future. It was a good two-year break from the real world and gave me time to think my life through.
After serving for over a year as a police officer, he completed his NS on 9 March this year. With plans to further his education, he shared how his NS experience shaped him into a more independent and mature person.
“As an NPC officer, I encountered many cases involving life and death situations. It puts into perspective how precious life can be and made me appreciate those around me better. The greatest lesson for me is knowing what to do when I’m faced with similar cases to save the lives of others,” he said.
Having graduated from trainee life, Special Operations Command Special Constable Corporal (SC/CPL) Salehan was posted back to the School of Tactical Training, where he helps trainees during their
shooting module. For Salehan, who only managed just four pull-ups during his training at the Home Team Academy’s Police Basic Course, entering the Special Operations Command felt like a dream.
“My NS life was filled with both opportunities and challenges. I never expected to be in the Special Operations Command based on my interview results,” he said.
Drawing insight from his own NS experience, he has one main message to share with future enlistees.
Make the best out of whatever situation you are in, and improve yourself both mentally and physically. Seize the opportunity, because you will be learning life-long skills you will not be able to learn from the outside world.
TEXT: CPT (NS) SHAHRUDIN BIN SALLEH, MRT SHELTER COMPANY COMMANDER
As a member of the organising committee for the SCDF NS50 Heritage Trail, “Honouring our Past”, I was honoured to be part of a team that created a platform for NSmen to reminisce upon their NS experiences.
On Friday, 28 April, following the opening address of the Organising Committee Chairman, COL (NS) Syed Abdul Malik Aljunied, the participants in their various groups visited the former training venues that were most memorable and nostalgic to them.
Walking down memory lane
The first group, which included NS recruits belonging to the earliest batches, visited the former Basic Rescue Training Centre. CPT (NS) Raja Kamarul, who was then the Commanding Officer of the Construction Battalion, shared experiences of the early days when food was being prepared by NS cooks. SWO Rafi regaled everyone with stories of stern commanders, who appeared strict in camp but were great comrades outside of the training.
Visiting Jurong Fire Station
Former trainees of the Jurong Fire Training Centre visited the premises, which is currently the Jurong Fire Station. CPTYusof, SWO Rosli, WO Hassan, SSG Azman and SSG Azmi shared interesting anecdotes of what the older batches of firefighters went through. The third group of participants visited the Civil Defence Academy, the training ground for the younger NS batches. MAJ (NS) Murali Nair shared his experiences when he was attached to the Operationally Ready National Service Unit, PUB Water Company. WO2 (Ret) Zainal and SWO Salleh shared stories of the collapse of the Lian Yak Building (better known as Hotel New World) in 1986, and rescue efforts that saved 17 people.
I relished the opportunity to be part of the committee to organise this event. It also helped me strengthen my commitment to work hand in hand with the SCDF regulars with the same purpose as inspired members of The Lifesaving Force.
TEXT: LTA (NSF) TIZIAN IBACH, PLATOON COMMANDER, BASIC RESCUE TRAINING CENTRE
The opening of the SCDF NS Gallery on 28 April 2017 coincided with the end of my full-time National Service. I was rewarded with the rare opportunity to meet with many pioneers who had shaped SCDF in the course of its rich history, and to learn how important their time in SCDF NS was to making them who they are today.
As I prepared to be the NS Gallery Ambassador for the VVIP group at the official opening, I learnt much about the evolution of NS in SCDF from past to present. Such times included when NSFs were in the Construction Brigade, when ORNSmen responded to the Hotel New World collapse, and when NSFs served in the Special Rescue Battalion.
…I LEARNT MUCH ABOUT THE EVOLUTION OF NS IN SCDF FROM PAST TO PRESENT…
Reflecting on this journey, I am humbled by the commitment and passion that my NS predecessors had poured into SCDF. I am better able to understand my roles as an NSF instructor and Platoon Commander of a recruit platoon, and previously as an Emergency Response Specialist at the re station, as connected to a much larger and tremendously noble tapestry of teamwork and dedication from SCDF NS personnel through the decades. I am inspired to continue this tapestry proudly and tirelessly as an ORNSman in the years to come. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to showcase the SCDF NS Gallery to Second Minister for Home Affairs Mr Desmond Lee and the rest of the VVIP entourage. I have gained valuable experience as a presenter and have no doubt that one day, I will be using these blessings to give back to the SCDF and to the nation.
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