16 August 2014

Speeh by Mr Teo Chee Hean, Deputy Prime Minister, Coordinating Minister for National Security and Minister for Home Affairs, at the Home Affairs Uniformed Services (HUS) Scholarship Award Ceremony 2014

Scholarship recipients and parents,

Principals and teachers,

Home Team colleagues,

Ladies and gentlemen,

1.              Good Morning. I am happy to join you here at this year’s Home Affairs Uniformed Services Scholarship Award Ceremony.

2.              Congratulations to our 23 scholarship recipients. You have been selected not just for your academic results or your co-curricular and community activities, but also because you want to serve Singapore and Singaporeans and have chosen to do so in a meaningful way through the Home Team.

3.              We should also recognise and thank your parents and family members, as well as your principals and teachers for nurturing and supporting you in your journey.

The Work of the Home Team

4.              Today is a significant milestone for our scholarship recipients, as you become part of the Home Team. The Home Team has an important mission: “To work as a team, in partnership with the community, to make Singapore our Safe and Secure Best Home.”

5.              This is meaningful work, because a safe and secure environment provides the foundation for everything that we do. It is challenging work, because we continue to face evolving security threats, such as transnational crime, terrorism and self-radicalisation, synthetic drugs, as well as cybersecurity and cyber-crime.

6.              Our officers work round the clock as one Home Team, to safeguard our borders, stop drugs from entering Singapore, respond to medical emergencies, put out fires, fight crime, and rehabilitate prisoners.

7.              We do have new tools and technology to help us carry out our mission. We now have Police Cameras, speed cameras, and unmanned fire-fighting machines to help our officers do their work better. We can use data in a smarter way to fight crime and stop immigration offenders. And we have strengthened community support, which helps to provide additional eyes and ears on the ground, respond to emergency calls more quickly, or rehabilitate and re-integrate ex-offenders into the community. But ultimately, the Home Team is only as good as its people. We need to continue to recruit, develop, and retain good officers, who have the values and dedication to serve Singaporeans and Singapore. Sometimes, putting their lives on the line while doing so.

8.              The Ministry is committed to developing our officers so that they have the necessary knowledge, skills and technology for you to carry out your work effectively. We will also ensure that our employment terms keep pace with the market, and are commensurate with the skills and demands required of our officers. 

Grooming Future Leaders of the Home Team

9.             To our scholarship recipients today, taking up the HUS Scholarship marks your first step into a career with the Home Team. As you pursue your studies, you will have many opportunities – whether in your universities or with the Home Team, to learn and to grow. Make good use of these opportunities. Uphold the high standards of discipline and personal conduct that are expected of Home Team officers. Discover yourself and rededicate yourself to the mission and that purpose that you have signed on for today.

10.           I wish all of you every success and look forward to your contributions when you return to serve in the Home Team, to help keep Singapore safe and secure. It is a real mission. It is real and meaningful work. Once again, congratulations to all our scholarship recipients and your families.

11.          Thank you.