Former police officers, families of those who died in line of duty to get medallion as part of SPF200
SINGAPORE: Former police officers as well as the families of those who died in the line of duty will get a medallion as a recognition of their contributions and to commemorate 200 years of policing in Singapore.
Parliament on Tuesday (Aug 3) passed a motion to commemorate 200 years of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), honouring the officers’ contributions in making the country one of the safest in the world.
Thirty retired police officers were present in Parliament for the occasion, many of whom joined the force in the 60s and 70s when authorities were contending with secret societies.
The family members of two officers who died while on duty were also present in Parliament.
READ: 'He asked if I was not afraid to die': Retired cop recounts shooting and killing notorious gang member
The medallion will be given to former police officers who retired or completed their National Service liabilities before Jan 1, 2020.
It will also be given to the families of 125 officers who have died in the line duty, according to records that date back to 1901.
These include Inspector Allan Lim who died in a shootout with a notorious kidnapper in 1965, and Staff Sergeant Nadzrie Matin who died in a traffic accident while patrolling on his motorbike in 2017.
A different Singapore Police Bicentennial 2020 medal will be awarded to police officers who were in service for any period between Jan 1, 2020 and Dec 31, 2020.
This includes regular police officers, full-time national servicemen, operationally ready national servicemen, and Volunteer Special Constabulary officers.
The medal will be worn on their uniform.
“The Singapore Police Bicentennial 2020 medal honours the important contributions of the SPF to Singapore over the last 200 years, and accords recognition to SPF officers for their service to the nation,” the SPF said in a statement on Tuesday.
The medal and medallion will be launched in June 2022.
KEEPING SINGAPORE SAFE AND SECURE
Six Members of Parliament spoke in support of the motion, thanking officers past and present and recalling their contributions as well as bravery in the line of duty. Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat, a former police officer, also gave a speech.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam in his response speech paid tribute to six officers who died in the line of duty.
The House clapped in respect as Mr Shanmugam invited the family members of the fallen officers to stand.
"These officers and others gave up their lives while trying to keep us safe and secure," he said. "We remember what they have done for the SPF, and for Singapore."
FROM A 12-MAN TEAM
The origins of the SPF can be traced to a police department set up in May 1820.
From a 12-man team led by Francis James Bernard, SPF has grown into a force of 45,000 people, SPF said.
Commissioner of Police Hoong Wee Teck said the SPF has made “tremendous progress” to become one of the finest police forces in the world.
“Even as we salute the past and honour the many generations of officers who served before us, we will work hard to make sure that Singapore remains a safe home for all Singaporeans,” he said.
1. Detective Corporal Yuen Yen Pang and Volunteer Special Constabulary Officer Andrew Teo, died in 1955 Hock Lee Bus Riots
Det Cpl Yuen Yen Pang was travelling in a car together with four other police officers to patrol the troubled area, when rioters at Alexandra Circus started throwing stones at the vehicle, causing the windscreen to break. Their car came to a stop when it hit a curb.
While his colleagues managed to escape to safety, Det Cpl Yuen struggled to get out of the car. The officer later said in hospital that he appealed with rioters not to pelt him with stones. However, the rioters turned a deaf ear and set his vehicle on fire, SPF said.
Though Det Cpl Yuen was armed, he refrained from using his revolver. He suffered extensive second degree burns on his back, from his shoulders to the waist, likely caused as a result of the petrol thrown on him.
Det Cpl Yuen died from severe shock from his burns and injuries on May 14, 1955.
VSC officer Andrew Teo was the first victim of the Hock Lee Bus Riots. VSC Teo and his travelling companion, VSC Sergeant Kenneth Koh Yew Chai, who were both still in their uniform, were stoned by a mob.
The mob then set the car on fire, before VSC Teo and VSC Sgt Koh managed to escape from the car. While VSG Sgt Koh was rescued by the Police Reserve Unit after being attacked by the rioters, VSC Teo was not so lucky.
VSC Sgt Koh recalled seeing the mob chase and attack VSC Teo. VSC Teo was later found about 40 yards from his burning car, unconscious and severely injured. His face had been hacked by a hoe.
VSC Teo had more than 20 injuries, and died of a fractured skull and cerebral haemorrhage five minutes after being admitted to Singapore General Hospital, SPF said.
2. Inspector Allan Lim, died in 1965 shootout with notorious kidnapper
On Aug 5, 1965, Insp Allan Lim was deployed to carry out a police raid at Siang Lim Park, with the intention of catching notorious kidnapper Morgan Teo, also known as “Ah Hiap”, and his accomplices.
While the accomplices escaped after police threw tear gas bombs into the house, Teo ran into the next house and hid in the ceiling. After ignoring multiple attempts to get him to surrender, Teo shot at Insp Lim.
Insp Lim died in the hospital as a result of the shot to his head, leaving behind a wife and young son, SPF said.
Insp Lim’s father, Mr Lim Choon Seng, was also a police officer, having joined the force in 1935.
He was remembered for having fought against the communists during the Malayan Emergency, as well as for his strict discipline and high standards during his stint as the Chief Drill Instructor in the Old Police Training School.
Insp Lim’s son, David Lim, carried on his grandfather’s and father’s legacy by forging a career in the police, leaving the force as a Superintendent in 2019.
Mr Lim, 56, told reporters on Friday that he does not remember anything about his father’s death as he was only nine months old then.
He said he was inspired to join the force by his grandfather, who often brought him to visit the old training school. The younger Mr Lim would run around, look at police equipment and meet other officers.
Before his grandfather died, Mr Lim managed to tell him that he wanted to join the SPF. His grandfather’s only advice: “Be careful.”
Mr Lim said it is “very good” that fallen police officers including his dad are being honoured now.
“I think it’s about time that something like this is done,” he said, pointing to how other countries have done the same for officers who died in the line of service.
3. Sergeant Mohd Saad Omar, died in 1979 after being shot by a drug suspect
Sgt Mohd Saad Omar and Police Constable Han Khoe Juan had just arrested a drug suspect, Tan Choon Lim, along Lorong 20 Geylang Road on Apr 19, 1979, and were returning to the Beach Road police station.
Tan, who was sitting in the rear of the police car and under the influence of drugs, tried to escape. Sgt Mohd Saad asked PC Han to stop the car and moved to the back to restrain her.
However, Tan tried escaping again while the car was moving. In the ensuing struggle, she snatched Sgt Mohd Saad’s revolver and shot him in the chest, before attempting to shoot herself.
Sgt Mohd Saad was rushed to the hospital, but died en route. He was two years away from retirement.
4. Station Inspector Boo Tiang Huat, died in 1994 while on anti-housebreaking rounds
On Nov 30, 1994, Senior Staff Sergeant Boo Tiang Huat was conducting a routine spot check along Newton Road after midnight when he was attacked by a man wielding an axe.
He died instantly after being struck in the back, SPF said. SSSgt Boo had come out of retirement to rejoin the police, and was known to be unwavering in his drive, highly reliable and self-motivated.
SSSgt Boo was promoted to Station Inspector posthumously.
5. Staff Sergeant Nadzrie Matin, died in 2017 in a road traffic accident
On Jun 1, 2017, SSgt Nadzrie Matin was patrolling on his motorcycle on the fourth lane along Serangoon Road when a van filtered from the third to the fourth lane and cut into his path.
Unable to avoid the motor van, the two vehicles collided, and SSgt Nadzrie was flung off his motorcycle. SSgt Nadzrie sustained head injuries and died in hospital on the same day.