I came to Police Headquarters (PHQ) for a meeting. As I was early, I went down to the newly renovated canteen at the second floor of PHQ block to take a look. The new canteen looks very well furnished, spacious and clean. There is even a cosy corner with newspapers for staff to relax.
When I came out of the canteen, I saw that the Police Heritage Museum near the 2nd level lift lobby was open. Probably someone has suggested for it to be opened during lunch times. I walked in to take a look.
The last time I visited this place was in 2017. I remember I organised the tour for my residents on the same day with a tour to the nearby ISD heritage museum. The residents found the tours very interesting, unique and informative.
From handling secret societies lawlessness to communist subversive student riots and racial communal bloodshed to combating the Indonesia confrontasi, the Japanese Red Army hijack to the current threat of terrorism, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) has come a long way maturing through the many crisis and store up in her arsenal a whole range of counter attack missiles and torpedoes, historical lessons, strategies and tactical experiences which are very enriching with a template for future policing. The heritage center summarised all these snippets of information in a short walk and like a history book illustrated the different epoch of upheavals and downfall.
Marx's dialectical materialism perspective described the police as a machinery owned by the bourgeoisie or the ruling regime to suppress the under privileged and the opponents and serve the interest of those in power. That may be the case for the colonial epoch.
I think it was the other way round for the ordinary citizens in Singapore. I grew up witnessing rampant secret societies' gang fights in my neighborhood and innocent meek hawkers giving protection money in order to avoid harassment and violence from the gang.
When I was serving my national service in the army, I saw how my innocent platoon mates being extorted for money by gang members in his squad. It was a world of what in Darwin's term the fittest survived. Aggression and violence triumphed and dictated the daily lives of the innocent and the meek. If you cannot fight them, you join them. Gang subculture opearates and infiltrates the lower echelon of society.
Blessed are the meek as they shall inherit the Earth. But those days, the meek are the ones being extorted, harassed and bullied. It was the SPF who clamped down all these lawlessness and organised crimes so that the innocent and the ordinary can lead their daily life safe without fear of being bullied and killed.
When I was in Marine Police, I saw how pirates from the islands of our neighbours clad in swimming trunks came in fast speed boats to ransack and rob the TV sets from our chalets at Sentosa and St John's Island. It was the Police Coast Guard who armed with sophisticated machine guns and faster engines and assault crafts protects and defends our tiny red dot island from these intruders. Otherwise we would not be able to live safely.
Today, Singapore is one of the safest countries in the world. We have registered historical lowest level of street crimes. The ordinary citizen works and plays in safe environment protected by the law.
It is our SPF machinery that bestows us the ordinary citizen the right to live in a safe and protected environment. It is in the interests of the ordinary people and not manipulate as machinery for the rich and powerful.