Saturday, July 13, 2013

Connecting: Police Commissioner vs DPM Teo

I am impressed with how Commissioner Ng told it. This is a police officer who knows how to communicate with us. He connected with me very successfully. I can feel his words. Compare this to the boring and forgettable way DPM Teo put out his statement.

I have this post because I am always pointing out what terrible communicators our ministers are, including the PM. In fact I initially I had wanted to put up the PM's lousy specimen of communication - boring, predictable to the point of coming across as routine and therefore insincere. But something took me away and I found the statements by the Commissioner and the DPM.

These politicians better learn how to connect better or they will eventually fail. Times change and they are hopelessly slow at adapting. Why don't you ask the Police Commissioner to teach you! I am getting impatient. Well may be they don't have it in them to connect? How sad. All they care about is their place in history, power and money? That's what some of us will feel about you when you cannot learn to connect.

My daughter just gave me this by Mark Twain before leaving the room, "Patriotism is supporting your country all the time and your government when it deserves it."

Statement by Ng Joo Hee, Commissioner of Police,
in connection to the Kovan murders

Today is a sad day for the Police. Today, we have arrested a murder suspect who is also a policeman.

The Police have brought into custody Iskandar Bin Rahmat (Singaporean male, 34 years), a police officer attached to Bedok Police Division. He will be charged for the brutal murders of Tan Boon Sin and his son Tan Chee Heong that happened three days ago at Hillside Drive.

I cannot remember the last time a murder suspect was also a police officer. You may have seen this kind of thing depicted in the movies and on TV, but when it happens for real, it hits you like a freight train.

After the shocking events of Wednesday afternoon, police investigators worked tirelessly around the clock to, first, identity the perpetrator, and then, to hunt him down.

When I was first told that the murder suspect could be one of our own, my initial reaction was disbelief, swiftly followed by anger and anguish.

This was the same gamut of emotions police investigators had to deal with in the last few days as they pursued the suspect. The fact that the suspect is a police officer gave my investigators even greater resolve and determination to solve this case. I commend them for going about their duties in a thoroughly professional manner, and for being ultimately successful in capturing their target.

We have now captured Officer Iskandar and we will prosecute him to the maximum extent. He is a murder suspect and will eventually receive just desserts for the heinous crime that he is accused of committing.

Officer Iskandar’s fall from grace has also brought dishonour to the 10,000 other police officers who dedicate themselves every day to protecting others, and who routinely risk their own safety to preserve those of others.

Tragically, Tan Boon Sin and Tan Chee Heong are dead. And untold grief has been brought upon their families and loved ones. Their loss can never ever be made good.

I wish that there is something the Police can do to lessen their anger and sorrow. I wish that I can turn back the clock and undo this great misfortune that has befallen upon the Tan family. But I know that no amount of commiseration or regret will lessen the hurt. All we can do is to bring the culpable to justice, and to mourn with the rest of Singapore the senseless loss of two innocent lives.

I expect that after this press conference, newspapers, TV and radio, the blogosphere, and coffee shops and sitting rooms up and down the country will reverberate with talk, comment and opinion about this tragic incident. Most of it will be an outcry critical of the police, questioning the quality and integrity of police officers. Some of it will be unthinking and plainly unfair. And still some will be deliberately malicious.

Even as we investigate the murders, the Police also look to find out what has led an individual who has sworn to uphold the law to now stand accused of breaking it in the most grievous way.

Our police force and every policeman and policewoman is tarred by the actions of this single officer. This is unfortunate, but my officers and I will take every criticism in our stride.

The public’s trust in the Police is the only reason why we are able to keep Singapore as safe as it is. This trust is hard-earned and must never be broken. And we will not allow this tragedy to adversely affect the strong bonds that we share with the communities that we protect.

Tomorrow, every police officer will still go to work fully cognizant of his and her sacrosanct mission. And every police officer will still say the police pledge before he goes on duty, and then work as hard as he can to keep Singapore safe and secure.

We are a force for the nation. And we will not be distracted, by the current unfortunate event, from continuing with our work of safeguarding Singapore.


13 JULY 2013 @ 11AM

Statement by Deputy Prime Minister & Minister for Home Affairs Teo Chee Hean, in connection to the Kovan murders

1.                 Let me first express my condolences to the family of the victims on their loss.

2.                 This case is especially troubling as the suspect is a police officer. The police informed me of this when they established his identity on Thursday morning.

3.                 The suspect in this case is a 34 year old Police officer of Senior Staff Sgt rank. He is currently in custody in Malaysia where he was arrested at 11.30pm last night after very close coordination between our two police forces over the past day and half.

4.                 We first established his identity on Thursday morning after piecing together several pieces of evidence. He had crossed the Causeway into Johor on Wednesday night.

5.                 We had not earlier released any details for operational reasons as Police assessed that there was no threat to public safety, and revealing his identity was likely to have made his arrest more difficult to achieve. 

6.                 The actions that the suspect has been accused of have tarnished the reputation of the Police.  His actions, if proven, have abused the trust placed in him, and betrayed his colleagues in the Police Force who serve faithfully and dutifully.

7.                 No one is above the law. Anyone who breaks the law, in particular officers placed in positions of trust or authority will have to face the full weight of the law. We have zero tolerance for officers who break the law. I am confident that the investigations will be thorough and that justice will be served.

8.                 I have asked the Commissioner of Police to tell every officer to continue to perform his duty faithfully and diligently so as to maintain the trust that the public has in the Police Force and our officers. 

9.                 The Criminal Investigation Department has worked hard to crack this case, resulting in the speedy arrest of the suspect. I also thank the Royal Malaysian Police for their assistance rendered in helping us arrest the suspect. This is an excellent example of the close and deeply valued partnership the law enforcement agencies of both countries have built over many decades.


13 JULY 2013 @ 11AM

Update: 4:35pm

Look at the response from us. Nobody is throwing rotten eggs at the SPF. Very unlike what MOE got for pedophile teachers especially teaching scholars. The Police have a great leader in Commissioner Ng. DPM Teo why you bother to show up and look bad?

And more plaudits as I scroll down for more comments.

  • Anna Marie Doe I still have faith on our officers. One bad egg doesn't mean the rest of them are the same. We still have great police officers. I have known few officers who had come for their round up duties at our estate. They are great officers and will never forget how they step by to check on us sometime to see if we are doing ok. I'm not going to take one person crime to blame the rest. To me, you officers are the best and will always be our heroes. Chin up my heroes and strike on!!!
    3 hours ago · Like · 24

  • Alvin Lee V good statement from the Commissioner. Good job SPF. There will always be black sheep. This does not take away the excellent job done by all the other men & women in blue who fight tirelessly to prevent , deter & detect crime daily...
    2 hours ago via mobile · Like · 14

  • Anna Marie Doe Before anyone of you making a rude remark or mocking the SPF, think this : In every family, the parent teaches the children to be good person but how many of the children will enhance their parent's teaching? There's always one that will tarnished the family reputation. The same goes for SPF.
    2 hours ago · Like · 23

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