Central Narcotics Bureau
Feature | CNB

Standing Tall Against Drugs

Three different roles, one common goal. Every officer in the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), including Scholars Taufiq Abdul Azim Bin Mohamed Azmai and Wong Jun Jie, embodies three pivotal roles – Enforcer, Educator and Engager, with the objective of keeping Singapore drug-free. Passionate about the drug-free cause, they are committed to making Singapore a safe and secure home for all of us.
Central Narcotics Bureau

Left: Taufiq Abdul Azim Bin Mohamed Azmai, Deputy Commander of the Enforcement “E” Division in Central Narcotics Bureau is a Local Merit Scholar with a Bachelor of Social Sciences, Second Class Honours (Upper) in Economics from NUS.

Right: Local Merit Scholar Wong Jun Jie has a Bachelor of Social Sciences with Honours Distinction in Psychology from NUS. He is a Team Leader in the Enforcement “E” Division, Central Narcotics Bureau.

The mission of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), established in 1971 as the primary drug enforcement agency, is to enforce, educate and engage for a drug-free Singapore, where everyone can live, work, and play safely. Trained to enforce the law, CNB officers also educate the public and engage the local and international community, on Singapore’s zero-tolerance approach towards drugs.

As the saying goes, follow your passion and success will follow, and that is exactly what the recipients of the CNB Local Merit Scholarship Taufiq Abdul Azim Bin Mohamed Azmai and Wong Jun Jie did.

Taufiq’s career interest in law enforcement was sparked early on when he was exposed to the work done by officers in the safety and security sector during his National Service with Singapore Police Force (SPF) in the Public Transport Security Command. “I saw meaning in the work done by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) officers from various schemes of service. As anti-drug missions resonated with me, I chose to join CNB,” he reflected.

For Jun Jie, his childhood ambition was to be a police officer. “I was inspired by the sacrificial work done by those before us in protecting our home,” he shared, “Above all, the cause of keeping drugs at bay is a meaningful one and this inspired me to join CNB in the good fight!”

Now Taufiq is the Deputy Commanding Officer of the Enforcement “E” Division, in charge of the overall running of the anti-drug enforcement operations in the Division while Jun Jie is a Team Leader, responsible for leading his team in conducting drug operations and overseeing the preliminary investigations conducted by the Enforcement “E” Division.

Taufiq Abdul Azim Bin Mohamed Azmai

Taufiq Abdul Azim Bin Mohamed Azmai

Off to a Great Start

Both Taufiq and Jun Jie took up the CNB Local Merit Scholarship to pursue their dreams. Not only has it helped to fund their university education, but it has also opened the door to a fulfilling career with CNB upon their graduation.

“It is not just a means to fund my education but also a stepping stone to a career with CNB,” Taufiq shared, “There were many opportunities afforded to scholars during the vacation attachment programmes to learn more about the work done by CNB and other Home Team Departments.”

“As scholarships offered by CNB allows applicants to take on most disciplines in university, I have the flexibility to take on modules and programmes which I was interested in,” Jun Jie added. He studied Psychology in NUS and the knowledge gleaned from psychological understanding and models on criminal behaviour has helped him in his law enforcement career.

As for Taufiq, he chose to study Economics in NUS. “I was exposed to the rigour of using data to support a certain hypothesis. This foundation has proven to be useful training as I often use data when making policy recommendations,” he shared.

“The hours are long, but I truly enjoy the work as I understand that the responsibility to enforce, educate and engage lies with every CNB officer.” Taufiq Abdul Azim Bin Mohamed Azmai

Joining The Fight Against Drugs

Upon graduation, both scholars undertook a nine-month residential training in the Home Team Academy before getting their first posting.

Jun Jie was first posted to the Enforcement Division for a year, followed by another year in the Investigation Division. “These two postings are foundation postings that all officers will undergo, where I learnt the ropes of being a CNB officer – being adept in enforcement work such as planning for operations, investigation and engagement work,” he shared. After completing his foundation postings, Jun Jie was appointed to a leadership role as a Team Leader in the Enforcement Division.

As for Taufiq, after his foundation posting as an Enforcement Officer and Investigation Officer, he was assigned to various postings, such as Specialist Investigator and Officer-in-Charge of the Investigation Development and Planning Unit. Tapping on his prior experience gleaned as an Investigation Officer handling general drug cases, he went on to investigate cases carrying the capital penalty as a Specialist Investigator. Taufiq then went on to do policy work relating to investigations. In his current posting as Deputy Commanding Officer, in charge of the Enforcement “E” Division consisting of 40 officers, not only is he exposed to the whole range of drug enforcement work, such as planning for anti-drug operations and conducting investigations, he also picked up supervisory and man-management skills. As you can see, change is the only constant in a career with CNB.

Wong Jun Jie

Wong Jun Jie

Hard Work but Worth It

“My weekdays are usually tied up with work. The working hours in law enforcement can be unpredictable,” Taufiq shared. “And there is always the possibility of being activated for operations during non-working hours,” quipped Jun Jie.

It is hard work and unpredictably long hours chasing down drug offenders but both scholars take it in their stride as it is a responsibility that they bear with pride that is guided by their dedication in the fight against drugs.

Jun Jie mused, “Singapore has had a painful history with drug abuse in her earlier days and it took decades of collective efforts to clean the streets of drugs and achieve what we have today. A safe and secure Singapore is something worth treasuring and CNB’s work directly contributes to this and that provides me with a deep sense of fulfilment.”

Taufiq agreed, “The hours are long, but I truly enjoy the work as I understand that the responsibility to enforce, educate and engage lies with every CNB officer.”

Striking A Balance

While it may be tricky to find that work-life balance when your working hours are long and unpredictable, Taufiq and Jun Jie believe that work-life balance is not so much about dividing the hours in the day evenly between work and personal life but rather, they believe in work life integration centered on the belief that there is no distinction between the two and that both co-exists in harmony. For instance, when there are pockets of free time or lull period, they would be spending quality time with family and loved ones.

“I make full use of the time during weekends to spend time with my family. For example, I reserve Saturday nights and Sunday mornings for my family. We spend time together at the beach or enjoying meals,” Taufiq shared.

“And I am fortunate to have a supportive family who understands the rigours of the job.”

Jun Jie beamed, “I try to spend as much of my free time with my loved ones and friends or catch up on my reading and watch football!”

“Above all, the cause of keeping drugs at bay is a meaningful one and this inspired me to join in the good fight.” Wong Jun Jie

Finding Fulfillment in Their Work

Taufiq is proud of the strong teamwork culture in CNB. “When we do operations, our officers rely on one another to keep safe. Hence, officers form strong camaraderie and it is something that we are proud of!” he enthused.

“CNB is a tightly knitted team that displays a strong sense of camaraderie and teamwork,” Jun Jie added. Besides the camaraderie, knowing that he has made a positive contribution to the safety and security of Singapore is what he enjoys about his job.

Jun Jie also finds great satisfaction in helping his officers develop a solid foundation in CNB Enforcement work before they progress to take on specialised roles in other divisions.

As for Taufiq, he enjoyed working on the “Dadah Itu Haram” (“Drugs Are Forbidden”) campaign despite having to spend long hours during the evenings and on weekends. As part of the campaign, he had to actively walk the ground and engage the community to come together in the fight against drugs. He was overwhelmed by the responses as many volunteers had come forward to contribute to the anti-drug cause. The “Dadah Itu Haram” campaign secretariat was eventually awarded the Home Team Achievement Award in 2018.

Participation in the school talks and SGSecure events are what Jun Jie enjoys in the course of his work. “We do this because we believe that fostering a close partnership with the community is crucial in Singapore’s anti-drug fight – to protect the innocent from the harms of drugs,” he explained. During these events, he shared his knowledge about the harm of drugs with Singaporeans from all walks of life and found it heartening to know that there are many people out there who support CNB’s cause!