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A solemn experience motivates A/Insp Zainal Ramli
Police Life Monthly - November 1996
     
A/Insp Zainal Ramli of 'E' Division was one of 1,652 junior officers who received their promotion certificates from Minister of State for Law and Home Affairs, Assoc Prof Ho Peng Kee on 24 October at the Singapore Immigration Building Auditorium. It was a proud moment, but also a solemn one because it reminded him of a traumatic incident many years ago that initially discouraged him but eventually motivated him to strive for excellence.

That incident involved the tragic death of one of his fellow officers Cpl Mirza Abdul Halim, who was killed in the line of duty while attending to a case of housebreaking. A/Insp Zainal had been one of the first to arrive at the scene.

"I was very sad, and even contemplated resigning from the Force. Fortunately I spoke to the right people and they dissuaded me. In fact they encouraged me to stay on and to relate my thoughts on this experience to the younger officers. I even re-enacted my role for Crime Watch as I felt it would be appropriate to pass on this learning value. I have not looked back since," he recalled.
     




I was very sad, and even contemplated resigning from the Force. Fortunately I spoke to the right people and they dissuaded me. In fact they encouraged me to stay on and to relate my thoughts on this experience to the younger officers.


To remind officers to be wary when on their rounds, 'G' Division officers planted a palm tree with a commemorative plaque in honour of Cpl Mirza at the gates of the Division. During in-service sessions, A/Insp Zainal related the story of Cpl Mirza to younger officers. A training package was even developed based on this case to increase the level of awareness.

"We know we are exposed to danger and it lurks in the simplest of cases. I hope that it is the only palm tree we will need to plant," said A/Insp Zainal.

A/Insp Zainal joined the Force 14 years ago and spent most of his career at 'G' Division. He slowly rose through the ranks and was handpicked to assume the rank of Acting Inspector.

Another experienced officer promoted during the ceremony was SSgt Soh Bee Choo from Traffic Police's Major Team.

Being an officer in the team is not easy as they are often exposed to frightful accident scenes. However, SSgt Soh felt differently. "I really enjoy police work especially investigating traffic accidents. There are not many women in my team as we see some gruesome sights but I take it as part of my job."

"I'm also grateful to my mentors who have helped me along the way," said SSgt Soh. "Whenever any difficult cases crop up, I approach them and they are always willing to impart their accumulated experience and knowledge to me."

As a mother of two, SSgt Soh also faced the difficulty of juggling between being a mother, wife and policewoman. "Investigation takes a lot of patience and skill," said SSgt Soh. "It really helps that my family understands my job scope and long hours."

When asked what her children thought of her profession, she replied: "Well, naturally they are proud of me. In fact sometimes I catch my son wearing my uniform and he often tells me that he wants to become a policeman."
     

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