Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee to be replaced by CID chief Hoong Wee Teck in January

The current Deputy Commissioner of Investigations and Intelligence, Mr Hoong Wee Teck (left), will be appointed Commissioner of Police on Jan 6 next year. He replaces current Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee, who will be appointed chief executive of th
The current Deputy Commissioner of Investigations and Intelligence, Mr Hoong Wee Teck (left), will be appointed Commissioner of Police on Jan 6 next year. He replaces current Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee, who will be appointed chief executive of the Public Utilities Board. -- PHOTO: MINISTRY OF HOME AFFAIRS 

SINGAPORE - The current Deputy Commissioner of Investigations and Intelligence, Mr Hoong Wee Teck, 51, will be appointed Commissioner of Police on Jan 6 next year.

He replaces current Police Commissioner Ng Joo Hee, 48,who will be appointed chief executive of the Public Utilities Board.

Mr Ng will also assume a concurrent appointment as Deputy Secretary (Special Duties), Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources from Jan 6 next year.

In a statement, Mr Ng said he signed on as a police officer 29 years ago mainly to get a scholarship to study at Oxford University.

" It was never my youthful ambition to become a cop," he said. "But I turned out to be a fairly decent policeman and am tremendously privileged and honoured to have been the police commissioner these past five years."

Mr Ng added that his "only motivation for coming to work every morning is the grave responsibility" he has for the 12,000 officers in the police force, and the mission of safeguarding public safety in Singapore.

"Our men and women in blue are a real treasure," he said. "Their daily toil often goes unappreciated, but is the stuff that produces the almost miraculous safety-from-crime that we enjoy every day. I only hope that my leadership has been worthy of their hard work and sacrifice."

Mr Ng has helmed the Singapore Police Force (SPF) for close to five years.

His succesor, Mr Hoong, has served 27 years in the Police Force. Mr Hoong is currently also director of the Criminal Investigation Department, and has held various key appointments including commander of Bedok Police Division and director of Police Intelligence.

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean thanked Mr Ng "for his dedication and commitment to keeping Singapore safe and secure in his 29 years with the Singapore Police Force".

Said Mr Teo: "During his tour of duty as Commissioner of Police, he has made significant improvements to reduce crime and bring unlicensed money lending under control. He has also introduced various initiatives to increase the effectiveness of the force and to provide our Officers with more capabilities to carry out their duties, such as in Community Policing and the deployment of Police cameras in our HDB estates to fight crime.

"Joo Hee has also played an active role to further strengthen the Singapore Police Force's partnership and collaboration with regional and international law enforcement agencies through joint operations and sharing of information to combat transnational crime. All of us in MHA (Ministry of Home Affairs) wish Joo Hee well in his future responsibilities."

In a statement on Wednesday, the MHA noted that the crime rate in Singapore reached a 30-year low last year during Mr Ng's term as commissioner.

"Mr Ng has provided strong leadership in reshaping SPF's strategies and putting in place systemic approaches in community policing, tackling unlicensed money lending and related harassment cases, as well as technology to facilitate policing," the Ministry said.

As police chief, Mr Ng also led the force through the Little India riot on Dec 8 last year and the subsequent Committee of Inquiry hearing that followed.

During the inquiry, he said he wanted to recruit 1,000 more police officers to beef up the anti-riot capability of the police and keep Singapore safe.