1988 - 1997

Proud to take on leading roles in major operations

As Singapore marks 50 years of National Service, The Straits Times speaks to five Home Team national servicemen who served in each decade.
Supt (NS) Lee has taken lead roles in planning for the security of several high-profile events, such as the 2005 National Day Parade and the 2015 SEA Games.
Supt (NS) Lee has taken lead roles in planning for the security of several high-profile events, such as the 2005 National Day Parade and the 2015 SEA Games.ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN

When regular police officers were deployed at the 2006 Annual Meetings of the Boards of Governors of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group, an operationally ready national serviceman covered as commanding officer of Bukit Batok Neighbourhood Police Centre.

The honour of holding the responsibility inspired Superintendent (NS) Victor Lee Hoong Kwan, then NS Commander of Jurong Police Division, to do even more.

He said: "The former commander (of Jurong Police Division), Madam Zuraidah Abdullah, was a strong advocate of NSmen taking on the roles of regular (officers)... Taking on a role for a major operation made me realise we (NSmen) can also play an important part."

And the 15-year NS journey of Supt (NS) Lee, who is a regulator for the Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore, shows it, too.

Now responsible for 2,500 NSmen, Supt (NS) Lee, 47, has also taken lead roles in planning for the security of several high-profile events, such as the 2005 National Day Parade and the 2015 SEA Games .

But he said that without his family's support, it would have been difficult to balance his hectic work schedule and his NS commitments. He said: "More important is that you have a supportive spouse and family who encourage and understand the role you have to play. "

Supt (NS) Lee, who enlisted in December 1988, said NSmen are key to orchestrating a security operation without any glitches.

They should be recognised as equals, he said. "My philosophy, and I think it's SPF's (Singapore Police Force's) philosophy too, is that the regulars and NSmen wear the same uniform. They should be of equal status because we need every man on the ground."

Zaihan Mohamed Yusof

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 13, 2017, with the headline 'Proud to take on leading roles in major operations'. Print Edition | Subscribe