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The quiet achievers
Police Life Monthly 21st Anniversary Special - August 1997

The role of the Police National Serviceman (PNSman) has changed rapidly over the years. As the demands of society have increased, so has his workload, resulting in heavier responsibilities. Police Life writer SC/Cpl Nisar Keshvani interviews his national service counterparts to understand their new responsibilities and their quiet achievements.

Inaugral August 1976 issue of
Police Life Monthly.
Gaining the respect of older officers
ASP (NS) Ong Siong Seng was among the first batch of National Service Inspectors (NSIs) which graduated 21 years ago.

He served his NS as a Company Commander in the Police Academy and was in charge of welfare and discipline.

"We were young and it was initially difficult for the older officers to accept us, but after some time we gained their respect," he recalled. With the end of his national service, he went on to become a CAH at 'D' Division where he now plans reservist duty for his men.

"I attend monthly meetings and plan for my men. Presently I am grooming the next batch to take over. You know, my family thinks I am crazy devoting so much time to the Force."

Survivor from a tough time
Insp Syed Zulkifli was first featured in Police Life in 1976 in an article entitled "90 teenage officers make the grade after tough time". The article was about the pioneer batch of NSIs passing out of the Police Academy.

"When the pioneer batch of NSIs first underwent training in PA, part of their training schedule saw them go on an attachment stint at SAFTI. The training then was very tough but we adapted easily, especially after PA's training. I'm proud that I was part of the first ever Guard-of-Honour contingent formed by the SPF in 1976."

After graduation, Insp Zulkifli took charge of a policing team (Watch Team in the present context) in 'J' Division. "When I was Officer-in-Charge then, the team won awards every month. I guess it's because we often stayed back after work to carry on our own rounds," he said.

His other posts included investigating officer and even training officer. "I was training both NSIs and regular officers in the division then," he recalled.

Before his present post at Prosecution Branch, Insp Zulkifli was involved mainly in investigation in the now defunct 'B' Division, then 'C' Division, and then Secret Societies Branch.

"Operation Ferret was carried out during my NS days, and drug abuse was open then," revealed Insp Zulkifli. "You could even see people swaggering on the streets, some high and others openly peddling their wares." Because he looked young, Insp Zulkifli was often tasked to serve as an undercover cop.

"It was experiences like these that made me realise the amount of commitment an officer's job required," said Insp Zulkifli. "To all NSmen who are considering a career in the force, remember this - as an officer, you are the bastion of the Force."

The glory goes to the team
"Please do not glorify me in your magazine, it's the team that made my job possible," NSI Teo Yeow Seng said modestly during an interview. He is from the 23rd batch NSI and currently serves his National Service in 'A' Division as Assistant Operations Officer. Besides normal staff work like writing minutes and attending meetings, NSI Teo has to put up operations orders for events like the National Day Parade. He has to also put up divisional situation reports to Police Headquarters every week.

"In every event and activity, all of us in the team have to work from start to the end," he continued. "From putting up operations orders to deployment of men to monitoring the events. We go down to the ground and 'dirty' our hands whenever the need arises, even sometimes working overnight." The consolation is the sense of pride that comes with achievement - his WITs team won a Bronze in the SPF PS21 Productivity Awards Presentation held at MND Auditorium on 26 July.

NSI Teo wants his men to be happy working with him as a team. "Though we are only serving National Service, I think we should do our bit. We should think positively and be self-motivated to achieve the greatest job satisfaction."

The professional touch
You may have seen training videos in the Academy and wondered where they are made. Their high quality may fool you into thinking they're made by professional agencies.

These videos are in fact produced in-house by a team of dedicated officers from the Audio-Visual Unit at the Police Academy, of whom six are PNSmen.

The team has come a long way since it was formed in the 1970s. Today it has the highly-sophisticated AVID editing system and industry-standard camera equipment. A total of $500,000 has been spent to constantly upgrade the unit.

"I am glad I can use my training and background in serving the nation. It is definitely an extension of my mass communication background," said SC/Cpl Dzulkifli Sungit.

"For the entire team, perhaps the ultimate dream is to undertake the production of Crime Watch wholly." revealed SSgt Eddy Ooi, Officer-in-charge of the unit, to nods of approval from his team members.


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