SPEECH BY PRESIDENT HALIMAH YACOB
AT THE LAUNCH OF POLICE BICENTENNIAL (SPF200) ON SATURDAY, 11 JAN 2020
AT 10.10AM AT OCBC SQUARE
Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law,
Ms Sun Xueling, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development,
Mr Hoong Wee Teck, Commissioner of Police,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
- A very good morning to all of you. I am pleased to join you today to commemorate 200 years of distinguished service to the nation by the Singapore Police Force (SPF).
- Starting with the SPF200 Run today, a series of events have been lined up to commemorate the SPF’s bicentennial this year, including the SPF200 Exhibition, the Police Heritage Trail, the Police Day Parade & Show and the SPF200 Police Musical.
- The SPF200 Run is a fitting way to kick off the SPF’s bicentennial. Covering 200 kilometres, it will bring the runners past some notable sites of SPF’s 200-year history, including the first police station in Singapore at the mouth of the Singapore River; the Old Hill Street Police Station, which is now known for its iconic rainbow-coloured façade; and the former Traffic Police Headquarters at Maxwell Road. I am also glad that the SPF has been a strong supporter of the Community Chest since 1988, and that it will be raising funds for the Community Chest once again through the SPF200 Run.
- The SPF has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1820, when Mr Francis James Bernard led Singapore’s first police force with just twelve officers. Through the years, the SPF has grown to a force of 15,000 regular officers and full-time National Servicemen, supported by volunteers and other Operationally Ready NSmen. Thanks to 200 years of dedicated service by our SPF officers, our people are able to live, work and play in one of the safest cities in the world. Various international polls have regularly ranked Singapore among the top cities in the world for order and security. For example, we placed first in the Gallup Global Law and Order Index, which measures citizens’ sense of security and their experiences with law enforcement, for five consecutive years from 2015 to 2019. This exemplary achievement would not have been possible without a strong and credible police force.
- The SPF has seen significant growth in its capabilities and is now equipped to deal with new and complex challenges. Moving beyond neighbourhood crime, the SPF now also plays a crucial role in protecting Singapore against newer threats such as terrorism, cyber-crime, and increasingly sophisticated commercial crime.
- Regardless, the positive qualities of our SPF officers, such as your unwavering commitment to keep Singapore and Singaporeans safe, your selfless and courageous contributions, and your pride in being a part of this noble calling, have remained unchanged through the years. You have given much for what we have today.
- I would also like to express my appreciation to the family members of our SPF officers. The life of a police officer is one of late nights, sudden activations, and long hours away from home. Thank you for the love, understanding and support you have shown to our officers through the years.
- Finally, I would like to commend the SPF’s volunteers and community partners, many of whom are also here with us today. A strong police-community partnership is essential to the SPF’s efforts to keep Singapore safe and secure.
- In closing, I would like to wish the SPF many more years of success in your mission to keep Singapore safe and secure. May you continue to always place Singapore, and Singaporeans, at the heart of everything you do. Thank you.