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Published 22 March 2024
4-min Read

Find out how our PNS officers uphold safety and security at Geylang Serai!

By: Domnic Dass

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 01
PHOTOS: Soh Ying Jie

This year's Bazaar Raya Geylang Serai, running from 8 March to 10 April 2024, boasts 500 stalls and has attracted over 1,000 visitors daily, peaking on weekends. Known for its diverse festive offerings and vibrant ambiance, it’s a beloved gathering spot for families and friends during Ramadan. The Bazaar is also the only Police deployment to be run solely by Police National Service (PNS) officers! Since 2001, PNS officers from Bedok Police Division have vigilantly conducted patrols during this festive period. This year, PNS officers from Bedok Police Division’s Special Task Troops play a vital role in ensuring the bazaar’s safety and security. Ahead of their night duty, I met up with two PNS officers to learn more about their role.

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Sgt (NS) Faris and DSP (NS) Haiqal help project police presence as they patrol various sectors of the bazaar.

Reporting for Duty
The setting sun cast a golden light over the white tentage of the bazaar and the streets of Geylang Serai. Taking shelter under the tentage, I found myself surrounded by sights, sounds and aromas that indicated the bazaar was coming to life as the breaking of fast approached.

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DSP (NS) Haiqal and Sgt (NS) Faris report early to prepare for their patrol.

Amidst the pop music reverberating from the speakers, a voice called out to me. I turned around to see Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) (NS) Mohd Haiqal Bin Mohamed Suhaimi and Sergeant (Sgt) (NS) Mohammad Faris Bin Mohd Ibrahim, two PNS officers who warmly welcomed me and led me back to the Command Post.

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A fitness instructor, DSP (NS) Haiqal has been involved in Ramadan Bazaar operations since 2014.

Leading from the Front
DSP (NS) Haiqal has been involved in Bazaar Raya Geylang Serai operations since he became a PNS officer in 2014. As we walked, he shared more about his various duties, all the while keeping an eye on the growing crowd.

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 05
At the bazaar’s Command Post, DSP (NS) Haiqal’s duties include monitoring CCTVs, crowd numbers and radio communications between officers.

DSP (NS) Haiqal is the Commanding Officer of one of Bedok Police Division’s Special Task Troops, working alongside regular Police officers to ensure that all’s well at the Bazaar. His responsibilities include overseeing operations at the bazaar’s Command Post and planning for deployments. “A Division Special Task Troop is a crime fighting unit made up of about 100 PNS officers each. Together with my fellow Team Leaders, we oversee the deployment of PNS officers with specific roles throughout the Bazaar period,” he elaborated. “While some officers will be on duty at the Command Post, others conduct patrols of the Bazaar grounds.”

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 06
DSP (NS) Haiqal patrols the bazaar with his partner, Sgt (NS) Faris, until the bazaar closes at midnight.

Fasting and Patrolling
DSP (NS) Haiqal also manages the schedule for officers to break fast, ensuring that there are teams on the ground at all times. Reflecting on their fasting regimen during long periods on duty, he noted the importance of proper preparation. “We make sure that we’re well-hydrated and have eaten sufficiently before the fasting period,” he explained.

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 07
PNS officers and regular officers enjoying a well-deserved meal after the end of the day’s fast.

DSP (NS) Haiqal also makes sure his officers get the necessary rest, in order to be effective. “During Ramadan, our deployments also commence in the late afternoon,” he shared, “and this mitigates the impact of the sweltering heat during patrols.”

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 08
Sgt (NS) Faris is a manager with the Agency of Science, Technology and Research, working in resource planning and policy matters.

Trained and Ready
I followed the officers as they began another round of patrols. The crowd was now bigger, with lines starting to form at many of the food stalls. I noticed more families now among the bazaar visitors.

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DSP (NS) Haiqal and Sgt (NS) Faris engaging with a stall owner to ensure that all’s well.

Sgt (NS) Faris has been actively involved in the Bazaar Raya Geylang Serai operations since 2014. “We patrol the bazaar regularly to deter and detect crime, ensuring public safety,” he said. “We’ll touch base with stall owners and assist members of the public who need help.”

During such engagements, Sgt (NS) Faris draws from his experience from nine NS cycles and various deployments, including the Southeast Asian Games 2015. After a friendly exchange with a stall owner, the two officers resume their patrol.

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 10
The annual Bazaar is back for the third year after COVID-19 with more sparkle and joy.

To ensure their readiness for deployment, PNS officers go through a comprehensive training regimen that includes Police Contact Tactics, shooting sessions and physical fitness tests.

In the Crowd
Patrolling the bustling bazaar comes with challenges such as navigating large crowds, especially on weekends, but Sgt (NS) Faris is undeterred. “Crowded conditions can sometimes hinder patrolling but they reinforce our resolve to maintain safety for everyone here,” he said.

Police Life 032024 On the Beat Safeguarding the Bazaar Raya 11
The officers maintain their vigilance and focus, even as the crowd swells.

Sgt (NS) Faris also draws strength from the camaraderie developed with his fellow PNS officers and regular officers. All share the common goal of keeping the bazaar safe and secure for all.

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As midnight approaches, their vigilance remains undeterred.

Standing together as one, our PNS officers epitomise the Police’s steadfast commitment to ensuring that visiting the Bazaar Raya Geylang Serai remains a yearly tradition that’s safe and secure for all!


Police Advisory for Bazaar Raya Geylang Serai
Heading down to the bazaar this weekend? Note this advisory on crime prevention, scams and traffic matters.

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