Speech by Ms Indranee Rajah, Second Minister for Finance and Education, at the National Police Cadet Corps Annual Parade at Home Team Academy

Published Date: 13 April 2019 12:00 AM

News Speeches

Mr Hoong Wee Teck
Commissioner of Police

Associate Professor Stephen Phua
Chairman, Home Team Corps Council

Members of Home Team Corps

Parents

Ladies and Gentlemen

1. A very good evening to everyone. I am delighted to join you as we celebrate the 60th Anniversary of the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC). I am also very glad we have with us so many parents and family members and I’m sure they are all very proud of you as you stand on parade. It is indeed a parade that we can all be proud to be a part of.

2. The first NPCC unit was set up at Bartley Secondary school with 30 cadets in 1959, that was even before we became independent as a country. Those were challenging times when our society was fraught with problems of law and order. From those humble beginnings, NPCC has grown from strength to strength and today we have more than 12,000 cadets participating in NPCC programmes.

3. Across the last six decades, the key value of ‘commitment to service’ has remained strong in the Corps. It is heartening to have among us, the first Council Chairman, Professor Lawrence Chia, past and present council members as well as officers who have served in the NPCC over the years. This commitment to service is exemplified in how past cadets have returned to play key roles in the NPCC. The present Council Chairman, Associate Professor Stephen Phua, who is a law lecturer at the National University of Singapore, is himself a former NPCC cadet.

4. Volunteerism is at the heart of NPCC. Since 1982, open NPCC units were set up in universities and polytechnics to encourage post-secondary youths to serve in the Corps and contribute towards various social causes through NPCC platforms. These open units have collaborated with university clubs such as the Criminal Justice Club and agencies such as the Singapore Police Force to create engaging and meaningful programmes for our secondary school cadets.

5. As a result, initiatives such as the new Law and Enforcement Programme for cadets were developed, where cadets are able to gain insights into the operations of the police force and learn about basic law in Singapore using multimedia and an inquiry-based approach. Watching video clips on actual cases and taking on the roles of various law enforcement officers within a classroom setting, cadets can better understand how the law operates in practice. They also gain a good understanding of the various career opportunities in law enforcement which are present for them when they grow up.

6. The theme for NPCC60; “Timeless Values, Transforming Beyond”, is indeed a fitting one as Singapore commemorates our Bicentennial this year. While Singapore remembers and affirms the past efforts of our forefathers, we continue to build on their efforts in charting our future. Likewise, the NPCC continues to transform the Corps to better engage cadets.

CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT

7. NPCC is a key Uniformed Group CCA in our schools, providing meaningful learning opportunities for cadets in character development. Through experiential learning opportunities as part of their training programme, NPCC cadets develop 21st century competencies such as communication and collaboration skills, and values such as resilience which are critical for their future workplaces.

8. Let me share the story of Jazprith Kaur, a Cadet Inspector with Christ Church Secondary School. She was a NPCC cadet from 2011 – 2014 and has continued to serve as a cadet inspector since 2015. She shared how NPCC developed her communication and collaboration skills, and more importantly, instilled the value of resilience in her. She was involved in a road accident in 2016 and suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury which caused her to have writing, memory and co-ordination deficit issues. In those dark days, she felt like giving up altogether but her “never say die” attitude and the strong peer support, developed from NPCC days, served her well on her long and arduous journey towards recovery where she faced challenges even in performing daily routines. Today, Jazprith has almost recovered from her injury and recently completed her Diploma in Psychology and Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL). She aspires to be a special needs teacher to help students overcome their own challenges. I am glad to see that the authentic learning opportunities provided through our CCA platforms like NPCC equip students like Jazprith with the necessary character and leadership traits to overcome challenges in their personal lives.

COLLABORATIVE LEARNING AND RELATIONSHIP BUILDING

9. The NPCC also provides an important platform for cadets to learn collaboratively, regardless of their backgrounds. This helps to foster togetherness among all cadets and allows them to build a strong network of support among peers across schools.

10. NPCC units on their own are also taking the initiative to create these platforms. For example, together with a team of Cadet Inspectors, cadets from Beatty Secondary School initiated the inaugural Sherlocke Inter-Unit Competition in 2017 where participants apply what they have learnt in NPCC police-based programmes such as Crime Scene Investigation to solve a case. The competition was very well-received as it provided opportunities for cadets from different schools to come together, appreciate different perspectives, learn from one another and build on each other’s strengths. Cadets from Orchid Park Secondary School have also initiated regular cross-sharing sessions with Red Cross Youth students from Naval Base Primary School. The NPCC cadets shared basic crime prevention strategies with the younger students and developed strong friendships and camaraderie as a result.

11. I understand that as part of the NPCC60 celebration, cadets from the various NPCC Areas have also come together and initiated different performances as their way of celebration and contribution to this evening’s parade. Such opportunities help to foster stronger bonds and trust within the community and in turn, strengthens the social fabric of Singapore.

RAISING AWARENESS ON CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES

12. Beyond providing opportunities for leadership development and social interactions, NPCC also engages our youths in understanding contemporary challenges facing Singapore. In the early years of the Corps, Professor Lawrence Chia, the first Chairman of the NPCC Council, identified the need to imbue an awareness of the shared responsibility towards safety and security of our country in cadets. His passion and belief led to the implementation of several NPCC community service projects that engaged the hearts, hands and minds of our members.

13. Today, the NPCC continues to play a significant role in a whole-of-community approach in tackling challenges such as terrorism and cyber-threats. NPCC has included SGSecure training in the enhanced Home Front Security Programme, allowing cadets to better understand the threats facing Singapore and equipping them with the necessary emergency response skills. With the increasing need for digital defence, NPCC has also collaborated with the Singapore Police Force CyberCrime Command to pilot the CyberCrime Prevention Programme. As the programmes continue to evolve to meet emerging needs, I would like to encourage all NPCC cadets to continue to take the lead as advocates on key initiatives such as SGSecure and digital defence awareness to your peers in school and to the wider community.

CONCLUSION

14. In closing, I would like to once again express my thanks to members of the Singapore Police Force, Council Members, School Leaders, Teacher-officers and Volunteers who have all played key roles in growing NPCC on its mission to develop our youth in Singapore over the past 60 years. To parents and family members, your support of our cadets in their NPCC activities allows them to build confidence and resilience and you have good reason to be proud of your children today. To all cadets in and around the parade square - you are the future of Singapore. Just as past cadets have helped NPCC grow from strength to strength over the past 60 years, I would like to encourage you to do likewise. This is what your predecessors have done and this is a tradition you are challenged to continue to build upon.

15. Thank you and have a good evening ahead.

Share this article: