Trust is the 'fundamental currency' of Home Team work: Shanmugam

SINGAPORE – Trust remains the “fundamental currency” of the work of the Home Team, Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam said on Wednesday (May 19).

He noted that the overwhelming number of respondents, or 91 per cent, of the Public Perception Survey 2020 said they trusted Home Team officers to do their duties professionally and fairly with integrity while 92 per cent said they performed well and kept Singapore safe and secure.

The minister was speaking at the Home Team Promotion Ceremony, which was held virtually because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Trust is absolutely critical, and the fundamental currency of our work,” he said.

“Maintaining public trust and confidence does not always mean making popular decisions. It means being prepared to make difficult decisions for the wider public good, even if the decisions are unpopular,” he added.

Mr Shanmugam was guest of honour at the ceremony for officers promoted to the rank of lieutenant-colonel or superintendent and above, and equivalent grades in the voluntary and civilian schemes of service.

The majority of them or 4,063 were regular officers from the Home Team departments and statutory boards. Another 2,096 were national servicemen from the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and the remaining 121 were members of volunteer units.

In his speech, Mr Shanmugam touched on the importance of strong leadership, public trust, building a strong workplace culture and the grooming of strong leaders.

“If you look back at 2020, the Home Team has done well in a difficult Covid-19 year,” he said.

“I am proud of how our Home Team officers responded to Covid-19, while maintaining operational excellence.”

Mr Shanmugam told those present that efforts would continue to transform the Home Team by 2025, including through technology in a very substantial way.

“Home Team leaders must know it cannot be – and it won’t be – business as usual, if we are to succeed in dealing with emerging threats,” he said.

Minister for Home Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam at the Home Team Promotion Ceremony, on May 19, 2021. PHOTO: MHA

The minister urged the leaders to continue building a strong workplace culture by listening to their officers, and to develop skills across different domains so that they could be stronger leaders.

“We rely on you to lead your officers through the challenges ahead with dedication, honour and integrity,” he said.

“I am confident that, together – we can continue to keep Singapore safe and secure.”

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