GOVT MUST OUTLAW 12 HRS SHIFT TO PREVENT OVERWORKED SECURITY PERSONNEL & STOP TERRORISM EFFECTIVELY

Dear Editors,

In such a prevailing situation where terrorism has numbed the world, the Government must give priority to such an issue, by outlawing the current 12 hours monstrous shift, "massive" overtime and formulate a law requiring all security firms, including Certis CISCO, Aetos Security Management and even our Singapore Police Force to only make its employees and staff, respectively work ONLY 8 hours per shift per day.

The PLRD of Singapore Police Force should spearhead this project and demand high standards to ensure quality work and to bring back the three shifts which was the norm in the Peaceful Past.

It has to first start with our overworked and "staff-starved SPF". Respect the CP for making such a clarion call. Please be broadminded and not act childishly. This is a very serious matter.

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I remembe Glorious Past when Regular police officers looked forward to work. They were an enthusiastic lot. Eight hours shift back then was the standard operating procedure. It was lovely. I really don't know about the morale of our junior officers today but I am sure many are far too overstretched.

Lately our local security companies have also proliferated. Unlike the past, security licences are obtained easily today.

As the wise saying goes.... too many cooks spoil the broth. Security companies of today are desperate for new assignments. Some even bid at lower prices. Quality naturally takes a severe beating. Operations become much more difficult. Saddled with more assignments and facing a manpower crunch, make companies sought out Malaysians as substitutes.

These aliens are prepared to accept marathon duties. Reasons are best known. Standards of performance and discipline is affected. The ease with which "alien" security officers are available is a blow to local citizens and their morale.

The willingness of the former to be paid lesser and promise of availability of overtime leads to "inhuman and unhealthy" practices. Security firms MUST always always use locals. These is a job connected with "maintenance of internal security". We shouldn't veer from such responsibilities. Aren't the life's of our citizens and their possessions important? The salaries paid to locals should "commensurate" with their past skills and in accordance with First World standards.

In the past we had many locals who were watchmen or "jagas". In the early 60s these people were paid a princely sum of about $140 per month. Regular policemen were then paid about $160. Both had living quarters where they brought up many kids with ease. Some jagas even moonlighted as money lenders or "sepuluh dua". Their kids went to local Unis and became professionals. If the "jaga pintus" of that era were paid close to the salary of a Regular "makan pau" or policeman, why is there such a wide disparity today?

Now suddenly it had been decided to get Taiwanese APOs with such a high salary and free quarters some more. Are we not discriminating against our local Regular SPF junior officers, APOs and security officers? We have lots of retirees from the SPF and SAF who can be utilised as trainers and SOs. Why look far when the best is still among us? Someone must be daring to put these idea forward for implementation. C'mon Sir or Madam. You are "Here To Make It Right".

Sukhdev Singh Gill
A.S.S. Contributor

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