Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo pays tribute to Home Team officers

Home Team officers moving in on a coffee shop being attacked by armed “terrorists” in Teck Ghee on March 18, 2017, as part of an exercise on Emergency Preparedness Day.
Home Team officers moving in on a coffee shop being attacked by armed “terrorists” in Teck Ghee on March 18, 2017, as part of an exercise on Emergency Preparedness Day.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Two recent incidents highlight the different ways in which Home Team officers contributed significantly to ensuring the peace and security in Singapore.

Second Minister for Home Affairs Josephine Teo on Thursday (Aug 02) cited the historic meeting in June between United States President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the swift tracking down and arrest of the seven suspects in a vicious slashing incident at Serangoon Road last week.

She was speaking at the Home Team National Day Observance Ceremony at the Ministry of Home Affairs where 191 Home Team officers, volunteers, members of the public, and teams were recognised for their contributions over the past year. Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean was also present at the event.

Mrs Teo, who is also the Manpower Minister, paid tribute to the Home Team officers for their contributions which she saiddemonstrated to the world what "a little red dot can do".

"In different ways, each Home Team department has played a significant part in making Singapore a home that we and our families feel secure in," said Mrs Teo, who also referred to how Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) officers arrested 114 suspected drug offenders in an 11-day island-wide operation from June 18 to 29.

She said: "We had very little time to prepare for the summit but we took it in our stride and the whole of Singapore came together to make the historic summit a success.

"The achievements of the Home Team are made possible only because of our people and officers' professionalism, drive for excellence and most importantly, commitment to Singapore."

The Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) team which was involved in the Full Surface Oil Tank Firefighting Operation at Pulau Busing in March was among those honoured on Thursday.

On 20 March 2018, SCDF was alerted to a large blaze involving an oil storage tank on Pulau Busing. This led to a massive operation involving 128 personnel and 31firefighting and support vehicles from several fire stations across SCDF's four land divisions. The fire was successfully extinguished within six hours of SCDF's activation.

The team's representative, Colonel Alan Chow, an Ex-commander of SCDF's first division and currently the SCDF's Director of the Civil Defence Academy said: "It was a daunting and challenging task because of the magnitude of the incident."

"We feel proud that there is a good recognition given to the event itself.It was not easy to coordinate an operation of that scale."

A total of 68 members of the public were also recognised on Thursday for their public spiritedness.

One of them was Mr Hossain Mukter, an aircon technician, who sprang into action after spotting a fire in a shop unit at Grandlink Square in November last year. He grabbed several fire extinguishers with others in the area to enter the unit and fight the fire.

The 53-year-old Bangladeshi, who came to Singapore in 1995, said : "Singaporeans are family to me also and we must all help each other."

"I did what I could do in that situation and I am very proud and happy to be receiving this award."