Home Team all set to gain edge with tech

Technology will be used substantially to combat crime, secure borders: Shanmugam

A new generation of technologically adept and highly trained officers will be needed to ensure that Singapore is able to cope with new security challenges.

These challenges range from terrorism and cybercrime to manpower constraints caused by a declining birth rate, said Minister for Home Affairs K. Shanmugam yesterday, as he presented the Singapore Police Force Scholarship and Home Team scholarships to 19 recipients.

The increasingly liberal attitude towards drug use in the West is another security challenge for Singapore, said Mr Shanmugam.

He added: "The Home Team's work will be more complex and more difficult.

"We are already a lean Home Team, but we will need to do more in the future, with fewer resources."

Mr Shanmugam said that in order to meet these challenges, the Home Team is embarking on a transformation journey.


"We are increasing substantially the use of technology, to better combat crime, secure our borders and save lives.

"We will also integrate our operations across the different Home Team departments."

He added: "As we move towards new operating models, we will have to invest substantial resources to train, reskill and upskill our officers."

At yesterday's event, the Home Team launched two new scholarships: the Home Team Science and Technology Scholarship, and the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority (ICA) scholarship.

Mr Aloysius Thum Yong Ze, 21, the first recipient of the ICA scholarship, said: "To be an ICA officer is to have every person in Singapore be your customer.

"When one is born or dies, goes on holiday or to study overseas, it is an ICA officer who takes care of things."

Mr Thum will be reading Public Policy and Global Affairs at the Nanyang Technological University.

Apart from the two new scholarships, scholarships from other Home Team agencies - such as the Singapore Police Force, the Central Narcotics Bureau, the Singapore Prison Service and the Singapore Civil Defence Force - were also awarded.

The 19 awardees were selected from a total of 2,000 applicants this year.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 12, 2017, with the headline 'Home Team all set to gain edge with tech'. Print Edition | Subscribe