Friday, December 19, 2008

An Email from The Senior Parliamentary Secretary of MHA & MOE, Masagos Zulkifli

Following my chat in The Living Room today with Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Education and MP for Tampines GRC, he sent me an email to further elaborate on the Home Team's promotion of creativity and innovation. I thought I'd share it with you with his blessings.

On and related note, don't forget the Home Team's recruitment fair this weekend at Vivo City.

Hi Stanley,

It was great to be on your programme 'The Living Room' to share with your listeners some of the things that the Home Team can offer to those who want a challenging and rewarding career.

That the Home Team’s vision is to make Singapore a safe and secure best home is known to most Singaporeans. But what most people are not aware of is that the Home Team members also pride ourselves on the environment that encourages creativity and innovation. Our officers are constantly looking at ways to progress, re-invent and motivate ourselves to innovate and transform.

The Singapore Civil Defence Force, for example, stands out for its innovative solutions for challenges its officers had encountered on the ground. Taking advantage of the network of hydrants in Singapore, SCDF came up with its own dream car (or fire-engine in this case) - the “Red Rhino”. Officially known as the "Light Fire Attack Vehicle", this formidable vehicle which could maneuver into every corner of a HDB void deck.

And who says you must go to a Police station to make a Police report? Thinking out-of-the-box, the Singapore Police Force, came up with the Electronic Police Centre or ePC, where members of public can lodge online reports that do not require immediate police attention.

The Home Team is really one of the most “techie” organisation I have seen. In the last few years, the Immigration Checkpoints & Authority rolled out several new systems of cutting edge technologies to facilitate and enhance identification and border security, such as the enhanced IACs (passport verification system) which allows holders of the Singapore machine readable or biometric passports to clear immigration under 12 seconds without having to pre-register themselves. ICA was in fact one of the first few countries in the world to recognize the value of biometric technology and, more importantly, implement its use.

The Home Team is innovative and entrepreneurial not just in the operational arena. The Central Narcotics Bureau’s famed partnership with the private industry stakeholders in the fight against drug abuse, coupled with tough enforcement, has made Singapore famous for its zero-tolerance drug policy. So much so that the concern now is that international drug syndicates want to recruit Singaporeans to be their couriers!

And then, once upon a time, Prisons Officers “jaga” prisoners. Period. But our officers from the Singapore Prison Service want to do more - they want to change the lives of those who are under their custody. The “Captains of Lives”, a concept years ahead of its time, was born. This mindset change resulted in many innovative and dynamic programmes to rehabilitate offenders.

So for those who want to play a hands-on role in keeping Singapore safe and secure, come join the ranks of professionals dedicated to maintaining the security well-being of our nation.

Best regards,

Masagos Zulkifli

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