Home Team gala show honours officers, servicemen

Inaugural edition also marks 50 years of NS with parade, song and dance performances

(From left) Shabir Alam, Rahimah Rahim, Tay Kewei and Shau Jensen singing Home during the Home Team Gala Show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday. There were also performances by singers Taufik Batisah and Natalie Ong.
(From left) Shabir Alam, Rahimah Rahim, Tay Kewei and Shau Jensen singing Home during the Home Team Gala Show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium yesterday. There were also performances by singers Taufik Batisah and Natalie Ong. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

As a child, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Shannon Lin admired his father who served in the police force and often told him stories from his days as a patrol officer.

DSP Lin yesterday paid tribute to all officers and personnel, including his late father. The 33-year-old led the guard-of-honour contingent in a parade at the inaugural Home Team Gala Show, which also marked the 50th anniversary of national service (NS) in Singapore.

DSP Lin was one of 1,300 Home Team personnel involved in the show and festival, which opened last Wednesday at the Singapore Sports Hub precinct.

Shows were held every night, culminating in a gala attended by President Tony Tan Keng Yam and his wife Mary yesterday.

The gala show at the Singapore Indoor Stadium last night - open to 5,000 guests including national servicemen, Home Team officers, volunteers and partners - was telecast live on Mediacorp's Channel 5.

In a series of songs, dances and short films, the audience followed four young people as they came of age, stepping up to defend Singapore when a terror attack unfolded in the heartland. After an opening performance by singer Taufik Batisah, who served as a police officer during his NS days, 11 marching contingents took to the stage.

They comprised the guard of honour, flag party, Singapore Police Force Band, as well as eight supporting groups such as the Central Narcotics Bureau, Singapore Prison Service, Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), a volunteer contingent and a combined contingent made up of National Police Cadet Corps and National Civil Defence Cadet Corps cadets. It was the first time that the Home Team agencies marched together in a parade.

The parade commander was Deputy Assistant Commissioner (NS) Mohammed Azhar Yusof from the protective security command, while the parade regimental sergeant major was Senior Warrant Officer 1 Mohammad Rafi Abdul Majid from the SCDF's Marine Command.

A segment helmed by Cultural Medallion recipient Dick Lee, depicting the lives of four Home Team officers, followed the parade. Their aspirations were conveyed in songs and dances involving 60 children, led by 12-year-old Melissa Hecker.

The show built to an exciting end with a simulated terror attack, featuring lighting effects and pyrotechnics. In the finale, Singapore-born Natalie Ong, who was a contestant on The X Factor Australia, sang Mariah Carey's Hero, before all performers came together to perform Everyday Heroes - the show's theme song penned by Dick Lee.

Dr Tan, who mingled with the Home Team national servicemen and show performers before the gala, thanked officers and servicemen for their dedication. "Generations have served our nation with pride and commitment to protect Singaporeans from crime and security threats, respond to major incidents and secure our borders."

"Singaporeans have come a long way to build this safe and secure nation, but we cannot take things for granted, particularly in this evolving security landscape," he added, urging the community to deepen trust and stay alert and united. "All of us have a part to play in keeping our country safe and secure in the face of terrorism and extremism," he said.

In a pre-recorded message, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong thanked Home Team officers, servicemen and staff for carrying out their duties so that citizens can go about their daily lives with peace of mind.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam and former minister for home affairs and deputy prime minister Wong Kan Seng attended the gala show.

Also present were Second Minister for Home Affairs Desmond Lee; Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Amrin Amin; Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, who previously served as Second Minister for Home Affairs; and former senior minister of state for law and home affairs Ho Peng Kee.


Performances from the gala show. http://str.sg/42Ce

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 07, 2017, with the headline Home Team gala show honours officers, servicemen. Subscribe