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All the President's men
Police Life Monthly - July 1997
     

When one enters an extraordinary career such as the Singapore Police Force (SPF) one surely expects extraordinary duties and responsibilities ....

But for ASP Lim Chee Peng and ASP Roland Lim the term "extra-ordinary" has taken a slight twist. Instead of tailing and watching every move of criminals, these two officers have been given a heavier responsibility as full-time Aides-de-Camp to the President of the Republic of Singapore.

An Aide-de-Camp, or ADC for short, is an officer from either the SAF or SPF who has been personally selected by the President to be attached to his office full-time. Duties for an ADC include escorting the President to state functions and events, coordinating his programmes and even planning functions and receptions.

Full-time police ADCs have been around since 1966 with DSP R W Woodworth appointed as the first ADC. In fact, ASP Lim Chee Peng is also somewhat of a pioneer too being the only full-time police ADC in 1995 after a break of 20 years (the last police ADC was ASP Ranjit Singh Gill in 1975).

To some, this might seem like a enviable position but, as ASP Lim reveals, being an ADC is demanding at times. "Sometimes we have to plan functions single-handedly," he says. "This can be very daunting as we are not specially trained to handle such things."

ASP Lim recounts an occasion when he had just been appointed ADC and was asked to organise a reception. "As that was my very first day as an ADC, I really didn't know what to do," he admits. "However, with help from the staff at the Istana, things went pretty smoothly."

Of course the fact that ASP Lim had been a part-time ADC helped too.

Being an ADC does have its privileges, as we learnt. "Now, I am more confident of myself and I notice an improvement in my bearing and turn-out," notes ASP Lim. "In fact, I feel that I am a better man as I have picked up many things along the way".

ASP Roland Lim confesses he is nervous taking over the reins from ASP Lim.

"Like my predecessor, I have had only the slightest indications of what will come," he said. "Come what may, I'll try my best to adapt." "I also believe that this will make me a better man," said ASP Roland. "Even though I may have to work under extreme duress," he adds wryly.

ASP Lim agrees. "When it comes to events or such," says ASP Lim, "There is no room for mistakes; you have to be very precise and detailed in your planning."

It is an enormous task working so closely with the President. It is even more daunting for the family because much time is taken off to attend to state affairs rather than family affairs. "This job does take up a lot of my time," confesses ASP Roland. "However, it is still nothing compared to the time I spent as an Investigation Officer at 'E' Division".

Kudos to both their families for their immense support. "Well, when I married him, I already knew what I was in for," says Mrs Roland Lim, laughing. She confesses that she has already become used to her husband's irregular hours.

"It's not easy being a policeman's wife," observes ASP Lim. "It's important that support and understanding are always there." However, being an ADC's wife does have its perks as we found out from Mrs Roland Lim. "I shook hands with the President. This is something not every wife can boast about," she says with a twinkle in her eye.

Indeed, being an ADC does have its pros and cons but perhaps what is the most important thing is summarised by our Ag Commissioner Khoo Boon Hui. "It is an honour for the Singapore Police Force to have its officers elected as ADCs.

"I believe that these officers will do both the force and the nation proud."

     

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