FEATURES

18 September 2019

Crime-Fighting Cast of C.L.I.F. 5

SPF Logo

By: J. Jaidurga

(Photos: Public Affairs Department)

The wait is finally over! The Singapore Police Force (SPF) has once again collaborated with Mediacorp to bring you the latest season of C.L.I.F.! The longest-running Channel 8 drama serial that goes as far as a fifth season, this action-packed drama continues to tug at viewers’ heartstrings with stories that revolve around the lives of police officers who dedicate themselves to keeping Singapore safe and secure. Centred on the core values of courage, loyalty, integrity and fairness, C.L.I.F. 5 zooms in on the role of the Police Coast Guard (PCG) in safeguarding Singapore’s territorial waters.

Working seamlessly as one Force, C.L.I.F. 5 also showcases how the PCG works together with the various SPF departments to fight crime and counter terror threats on land. Debuting on 23 September 2019, be sure to catch the stellar performances of the new-yet-not-so-new cast in C.L.I.F. 5 who took on the roles as men and women in blue. For now, let us welcome the cast to take centre stage as they give us the inside scoop on their experiences acting as reel officers!

Rebecca Lim

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“Thank you for giving me this huge honour of donning this very prestigious uniform and for allowing me to be a part of your SPF family, even if it is just for this moment. Thank you for your patience throughout this production and the immense support you have been to all of us. I truly appreciate all that you have sacrificed to keep us safe and sound. Singapore would not be the same without you.”

In the first season of C.L.I.F. in 2011, Rebecca played a forensics officer who appeared in just five scenes. Fast forward eight years later, Rebecca Lim has dived back into C.L.I.F. 5 as the lead actress, Inspector (Insp) Wong Man Ting, a PCG Team Leader (TL) in the PCG Brani Regional Base. Rebecca describes her character as a steadfast TL, an understanding colleague and a filial daughter. “Insp Wong is one of the strongest and most challenging characters I have played to date,” said Rebecca as she points towards C.L.I.F. 5 as one of her toughest undertakings to date. She shares with us about the challenges she faced while filming and how she felt empowered donning the same set of gear as her male counterparts.

What was the toughest challenge that you faced while filming?

Managing my seasickness was my greatest challenge. Out of the entire cast, my seasickness was the worst. The days we spent out at sea were the toughest as just an hour of seafaring was enough to make me vomit my guts out. I am really astonished that the PCG officers can last for 16 hours straight out at sea in all kinds of sea and weather conditions! To be honest, I never managed to overcome the seasickness, but it did get better. I made it a point to start the day right with a positive mindset, telling myself and the rest of the crew that it would be a good day and I would not get seasick. Whether or not it would eventually turn out that way, I believe that preparing yourself psychologically goes a long way.

How did it feel having to don the full Emergency Response Team (ERT) suit just like your male counterparts?

It felt really empowering to see that female police officers are physically able to do what their male counterparts can! I became living proof! For one of the scenes, I was able to wear the full ERT suit with all the firearms for one and a half hours under the scorching heat while some of the male actors would take them off from time to time for a breather. It felt like an achievement which I could be proud of, but I also recognise that this would probably be tougher for real police officers, especially the female ERT officers because the armour plates in the suit are quite hefty. It gets worse when you feel tired. I cannot imagine how they are able to wear such hefty gear and still execute their tactical moves swiftly.

Pierre Png

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“From what I can see, the SPF is one big happy family! It is not an easy job, but you guys are the chosen few and I admire your courage, loyalty, integrity and fairness in keeping our streets and citizens safe. You are not alone; the whole of Singapore stands with you and appreciates what you are doing. *Salute*”

Tell us more about the training you underwent prior to filming.

The SPF was very helpful in providing us with the essential training for our roles such as weapons handling and investigation protocols. We had to familiarise ourselves with the functions of the weapon while learning how to correctly hold, aim and shoot the way a real-life police officer would. Besides the close supervision, our trainer from the SIS shared expert knowledge on how SIS officers tactically move while armed and how they would cover one another while drawing their weapons. I quickly realise that my preconceptions of gun handling from movies were very different from the reality of the protocols that SPF officers stand guided by. The training made me realise that the SPF is very decisive and firm when handling an incident, but at the same time, they constantly ensure that their responses do not cross the line.

What was the toughest challenge that you faced while filming?

Shooting accurately while on the move was really not easy. Emptying a magazine was easier at the firing range when we were stationary because you could just release the magazine and change it immediately without worrying about where it would end up. However, releasing and reloading the magazines while negotiating and manoeuvring around obstacles is much tougher as we had to do it faster so that we would not end up dropping the magazines while on the move. That took a little more getting used to for me.

Shane Pow

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“Thank you for keeping us safe every day, not just from internal threats within Singapore but also deterring possible external threats attempting to enter the country. Your dedication to the nation is one of the reasons why I can proudly say that I am a Singaporean when I am overseas because you have made it such a safe place for us. Thanks for being our everyday heroes and heroines!”

What was the toughest challenge you faced during training?

The toughest part was the weapons handling training where I had to don the full ERT gear and manoeuvre around with a rifle. While I did have some experience handling a rifle during my National Service, I still encounter difficulty remembering the protocols. It did not help that I also had to learn to fire a pistol on top of a rifle. While it may look simple in the movies, it took quite a while for me to grasp the correct technique. Thanks to the PCG officers on set, I was able to get it right as whenever they noticed that we had made a mistake while filming, they would patiently explain to us the correct procedures and protocols, and give us the necessary guidance.

What is your greatest takeaway from filming C.L.I.F. 5?

I have gained a newfound admiration for our police officers. After the past few months of acting as a police officer, the job is not as simple as one could possibly imagine. Behind that professional and stern image that officers carry when they don their uniforms, there is an incredible amount of training, discipline and commitment that they have to possess in order to discharge their duties effectively. Although what we had undergone to portray our role was just a slice of the pie, I am glad to have gained this experience.

He Ying Ying

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“Sometimes, policing can be a thankless job since we do not see the hard work and effort that goes into it. It is because the SPF does their work well that we feel safe without having to worry about becoming victims of crime. I really appreciate and would like to take this opportunity to thank the SPF for keeping all of us safe!”

Playing the role of Sergeant (Sgt) Lek Si Min, a PCG Trainee from the PCG Brani Regional Base who eventually gets posted out to Insp Wong Man Ting’s team, actress He Ying Ying shares that her role as Sgt Lek is very different from herself. To Ying Ying, Sgt Lek is a highly-determined individual who is able to achieve anything that she sets her mind on. A complete opposite of the character she portrays, Ying Ying proclaims that she is more laid-back as compared to Sgt Lek‘s competitive character. Ying Ying gives us more insights into the challenges she faced while playing the role of a police officer for the first time.

What was the toughest challenge you faced while filming?

The most challenging part for me was looking the part. As I have a more petite frame as compared to the rest of the cast, I found it difficult to look stern and intimidating in the way that I have to carry myself as Sgt Lek. I also faced difficulties acting out certain scenes because of my height and build. There was this time when we were filming on board a PCG boat and I had difficulty rushing out through a doorway with a very tall door kerb. Since my legs are relatively short *chuckles*, I tripped over the door kerb and fell. I was left with a really bad bruising on both my knees!

Share with us your most memorable experience filming C.L.I.F. 5.

It has to be meeting the physical demands that was required of the character I played. I used to think that wielding a gun was very simple, but my perception was proven otherwise. Not only was the gun very heavy, all the modifications added to it made it more challenging for me to carry the gun. Moreover, my arms are not very long, so holding the gun steady and close to me while trying to look good was really tough and tiring.

Nick Teo

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“Singapore is very safe because of the SPF and how they deter possible threats that go unseen by many of us. I truly respect and am thankful for the SPF’s commitment to keeping Singapore a safe country!”

What was the toughest challenge you faced during training?

I found the PCG trainee test to be the most challenging. The toughest part was wearing the full ERT suit and carrying a rifle up a long flight of stairs, which was approximately seven storeys high! It was very physically draining, especially in this heat. I remember feeling so dizzy and weakened after the exhausting climb that I had to rest before continuing with the rest of the shoot.

How did you prepare yourself for your character?

The character that I played is someone who is extremely confident in his abilities. He is an extrovert who enjoys spontaneity. He is someone who can just walk up to any random person on the street and get their contact details. I am the complete opposite as I tend to be more reserved. To get into my character, I had to constantly “hype” myself up, five to 10 minutes before the actual shoot by teasing my co-actors and cracking lame jokes. This really helped me to loosen up and portray my role more convincingly.

Joel Choo

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“In many instances, we are not aware of the sheer amount of hard work and sacrifices police officers have to put in every day. Thank you so much for keeping us safe!”

“I think many boys, at some point in their lives, dream of becoming a police officer and I am definitely one of them,” said Joel Choo when Police Life spoke to him about his experience filming for C.L.I.F. 5. Joel stars as SSSgt Aden Thiam, a group leader of the Special Task Squadron (STS) in the PCG. He believes that his character is an accurate depiction of the officers in STS, as he gives insights into his filming challenges and what he learnt about the STS.

What was the toughest challenge you faced during filming?

The most challenging part was getting used to wearing the heavy operational gear. STS officers are always geared up for their missions and trainings. Being suited up while carrying heavy weapons under the hot sun was really challenging and draining. I had a body double from STS who took over my role for wide shots so I could rest while he did his takes in full gear. Being a real STS officer is no mean feat. This is a job that is definitely not for the faint-hearted. The courage, strength and endurance of the STS is truly remarkable!

What is your greatest takeaway from filming C.L.I.F. 5?

STS officers are always on their toes, whether they are deployed or off-duty. On missions, they are a very focussed and coordinated band of brothers. During their breaks, they are a close-knit bunch of buddies who chill together. Their camaraderie, teamwork and friendship is key to their success.

Rayson Tan

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“I truly respect police officers for exemplifying the values of courage, loyalty, integrity and fairness. Our officers constantly strive for excellence as they are motivated by a strong sense of responsibility, discipline and most importantly, the camaraderie that binds them together to achieve their common goals. They swiftly respond to any situation, be it in uniform or not. They work hard to maintain a strong relationship of trust with the public as they continue to safeguard our every day.”

What was the toughest challenge you faced during training?

The weapons handling test and, in particular, the quick drawing of a holstered pistol was a tedious challenge to overcome. Even though I had gone through such tests during the filming of C.L.I.F. 1, it was still a struggle for me to execute these moves. It really took a lot of concentration and practice to finally be able to swiftly draw a pistol and aim in a realistic and professional manner. Now, I can imagine the struggle that police officers have to go through and it is indeed challenging to be able to perform such tasks in real high-stake scenarios.

How did you prepare yourself for your character?

I wanted my portrayal of DSP Wong to be realistic and relatable for police officers who watch this drama. To achieve this, I carefully parsed through all the lines in my scripts and thought through the emotions and expressions that are in sync with an actual officer’s logic and instincts. I wanted to humanise my role by not being overly dramatic so that it would be relatable to police officers.

Kayly Loh

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“Thank you for keeping us so safe that often we forget that it takes so many people working silently behind the scenes to maintain the peace and security of our country. We must not take this for granted and I salute every single one of you!”

A warm welcome to the newest member of the CID’s SIS team! Played by Kayly Loh, Sgt Peh Xue Ying, an investigation officer from the SIS, injects life and colour into an otherwise serious police department. Kayly describes her character as bubbly and cheerful, yet impulsive. She worked hard to get into the SIS because of her idol, Insp Seow, and hopes to be just like him someday. Kayly tells Police Life more about the training she underwent before playing her role and the difficulties she faced during the training.

Tell us more about the training you underwent prior to filming.

We had the opportunity to attend a weapons handling training where we learnt how to use the pistol. We were trained on how to hold a pistol, how to load and reload a magazine, and how we should position ourselves when handling a pistol. Honestly, this is not as easy as what you see in the movies. There are certain techniques and strict protocols to follow. We also had the chance to be at an outdoor live firing range where we got to use live rounds for training. This was quite an experience for me. I feel that women have fewer chances than men to experience live firing as we do not have to serve National Service. I considered myself very fortunate to be able to undertake this police role and this experience is one that I will never forget!

What was the toughest challenge you faced during filming?

This might sound funny, but I have really small hands and gripping the gun properly was really challenging for me. But what was even tougher than that was unloading the magazine because my thumb and middle finger could not reach the catch which was at the bottom of the gun’s handle. I constantly had to readjust my grip to be able to release the magazine and doing this made me lose the proper grip every time. We also had to execute these moves as if it was from muscle memory despite only a few sessions of training. The most challenging part of all was when we were told not to look at our hands or the gun while handling it!


Last Updated on 18 September 2019