Left: Joey Tan Yang Yi, Senior Officer, Policy, Planning and Research Division, is involved in the review and development of policies and legislations related to drug control. He is CNB's Local Merit Scholar and has a Bachelor of Business Administration (Accountancy) from the National University of Singapore.
Right: Goh Pei Ying is an Officer-in-Charge Intelligence, Enforcement ‘A' Division. She is CNB's Local Merit Scholarship recipient. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Sciences from the National University of Singapore, and a Bachelor of Arts from Waseda University, Japan, under the NUS-Waseda Double Degree Programme.
The Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) is a specialised law enforcement agency with a clear and focused mandate to keep Singapore safe and secure from the harms of drugs and inhalants. Fulfilling this mandate requires CNB to adopt a multifaceted approach to fight drugs, and officers proudly uphold the 3 E's – Enforcement, Education and Engagement – to accomplish their mission for a drug-free Singapore.
The fight against drugs is an ongoing one that combines preventive drug education, tough laws and robust enforcement, and effective rehabilitation and aftercare. CNB also actively engages with the local and international community to foster confidence and support for a drug-free Singapore. Everyone in the community – including parents, educators, like-minded individuals and organisations, has a role to play in safeguarding a drug-free Singapore for the next generation.
Joey Tan and Goh Pei Ying, who have both been deployed in various divisions during their career with CNB, described how the 3E's permeate CNB's work.
Joey, Senior Officer, Policy, Planning and Research Division, contributes to CNB's Enforcement and Engagement efforts through the review and development of drug-related legislations and policies, and the preparation of narratives to articulate Singapore's position on drug-related matters locally and internationally.
Pei Ying also contributes to CNB's Enforcement efforts and is an Officer-in-Charge of Intelligence in Enforcement ‘A' Division. She leads a team of narcotics officers in gathering intelligence on drug offenders and oversees arrests. Her team of officers also conducts preventive education talks at schools to educate youths on the harms of drugs.
Their work in CNB exemplifies the many facets to its strategic approach to keep Singapore drug-free.
The Path Leading to a CNB Career
Joey was inspired to pursue a career in law enforcement during his National Service with the Singapore Police Force, where he was first exposed to law enforcement work. “That was when I seriously considered that this was a path I wanted to go on, so I applied for the MHA Local Merit Scholarship,” he recalled.
Joey was offered the Local Merit Scholarship with the Central Narcotics Bureau before he commenced his university studies. For Joey, the scholarship provided him opportunities to be exposed to various parts of CNB's work during his university holidays and to follow his calling.
Policy Work and International Engagement
Joey currently reviews and develops drug-related policies and legislations to ensure that Singapore remains relevant in our enforcement efforts against emerging drug threats. He was also involved in international engagement work at the United Nations Commission on Narcotic Drugs to safeguard Singapore's drug policies and position as a relevant voice in effectively addressing and countering the world drug problem.
“Policy work is one of the areas with the biggest impacts,” Joey stated.
To this end, he conducts extensive literature research on the latest global developments in the illicit drug market, forensic sciences, foreign legislations and policies to inform and support our drug policy-making processes. He also prepares narratives and responses to articulate Singapore's position on drug-related matters to the public.
“I recently came back from Vienna, where I did a stint with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) for a period of one year as a Junior Professional Officer in Drug Research,” said the 30-year-old, who returned to Singapore in August 2020.
During this stint at UNODC, Joey was primarily responsible for the collection and analysis of data, and the drafting of reports and publications on developments in the global illicit synthetic drugs markets. His work was aimed at contributing to a better understanding of current trends and specific threats posed by rapidly evolving synthetic drugs markets, ultimately enabling stakeholders to make informed decisions on drug policies and interventions based on latest evidence.
There is another aspect of CNB's work that Joey appreciates – the ability to impact someone's life.
“Being in the public service, especially in CNB, you are close to the ground. You know that your every action directly impacts a person's life.”
Joey hopes that others will be similarly inspired to join CNB: “CNB, or any career in the Home Team, is for someone who wants to really make a positive impact on people's lives. It is a commitment to ensuring Singapore's safety and security.”
“It's a very rewarding career. For me, my sense of fulfilment comes from knowing I have made a positive impact to people's lives and that should be the main motivation that drives anyone who wants to join CNB.”
Pei Ying's interest in law enforcement began even earlier than Joey's. As a child, she would watch Crimewatch and police movies. She grew up admiring the courage and justice the law enforcers personified. As part of her application for the MHA Local Merit Scholarship, she was placed on a one-day attachment with CNB and got to “shadow” the officers.
In particular, she felt that a career in CNB with a clear and focused mandate suited her.
“At the same time, it would be particularly meaningful to be able to put a stop to drug abuse and trafficking as it harms families and children.”
Protecting Future Generations
Currently, she leads a team of narcotics officers in gathering intelligence on drug offenders, and oversees the planning and execution of operations to arrest them and stop them from doing more harm. This also involves collaborating with other Home Team and government agencies in joint efforts.
Her work contributes to CNB's overall strategy to curb the demand and supply for drugs in Singapore. And for Pei Ying, there is no greater motivation.
“The mission of my job is the strongest motivation for me and I remind myself of it when challenges come my way.”
She also referred to the strong sense of camaraderie within CNB as a source of inspiration. “I am always very inspired by the courage and selflessness that CNB officers display during operations, and this motivates me to become a better supervisor to support them better. There is very close teamwork involved in operations, and every officer needs to be able to carry out their role well and support each other.”
Pei Ying and her fellow officers never forget their core mission, working to curb the demand and supply for drugs in Singapore.
A Fulfilling Mission
And that should be the reason to join CNB, she said. “CNB's work is very meaningful, and there is a strong sense of purpose and satisfaction in the job,” reflected Pei Ying.
There are several career specialisations available in CNB to suit varied interests and dispositions. “There are many different aspects to CNB's work, from enforcement, to investigations, to preventive drug education and policy work. You can look forward to various postings in CNB that will broaden and deepen your skillsets in drug enforcement, and subsequently to supervisory and leadership roles in these aspects.”
Most definitely, as long as you are willing to devote yourself to this worthy cause, CNB will have a place for you.