Home Team agencies marching together at NS50 gala

 File photo of police trainees marching out of the parade square at the Home Team Academy. Officers from the police, Singapore Civil Defence Force and other agencies will march alongside one another at the Home Team's inaugural gala show in May.
File photo of police trainees marching out of the parade square at the Home Team Academy. Officers from the police, Singapore Civil Defence Force and other agencies will march alongside one another at the Home Team's inaugural gala show in May.PHOTO: ST FILE

Officers from the police, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and other agencies such as the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) will march alongside one another for the first time, as the Home Team holds an inaugural gala show with a parade element in May.

Marking 50 years of national service, the fiesta is to be held at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in early May, sources told The Straits Times.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam is expected to make part of the celebration's announcement today at the official opening of a new HomeTeamNS Clubhouse at Tampines Hub.

When contacted, the Ministry of Home Affairs confirmed that such an event would take place in May but did not elaborate.

The Straits Times understands that President Tony Tan Keng Yam has been invited as the guest of honour for the gala show on the last day of the four-day Home Team NS50 celebration.

The show will be telecast live on Channel 5 - believed to be the first time this has been done for a Home Team parade.

While the police and the SCDF hold annual parades separately for their own anniversaries, it will be the first time that Home Team officers from over 10 agencies and volunteer groups will march together.

The parade is expected to involve contingents from the police, the SCDF, the ICA and the Singapore Prison Service, as well as staff from the Central Narcotics Bureau, Casino Regulatory Authority and Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises.

Sources say the organising committee for the parade and show comprises representatives from all Home Team agencies.

The NS50 steering committee, which oversees other events including the festival, also involves operationally ready national servicemen (NSmen), in a move to gather their input.

The Straits Times understands that the gala show will feature performances by local artists as well.

The public can expect to participate in a wide array of activities in the vicinity of the Singapore Indoor Stadium, sources revealed. These include activities aimed at raising awareness of the duties performed by Home Team officers.

Previously, the Home Team held its public exhibition and showcase every two years, starting in 2013, at the Singapore Expo.

Home Team NSmen such as police staff sergeant Neo Weixiang, 25, who is an engineer, said he liked the idea of having a parade involving Home Team agencies.

While he is not involved in the upcoming fiesta, he is keen to watch the live telecast.

"People enjoy parade elements of events like National Day, and I think such an event will raise awareness of the Home Team, to show people that the Home Team is more than the police force and SCDF," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 13, 2017, with the headline 'Home Team agencies marching together at NS50 gala'. Print Edition | Subscribe