Ministry of Home Affairs
Feature | MHA

Safe and Secure Singapore: Our Roles as Civilian Generalists

In Singapore’s ever-evolving security landscape, versatility and adaptability are key to safeguarding our peace and stability. Caryn Wong and Efran Koh exemplify these traits as Civilian Generalists in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA), across their domains of expertise. At the heart of safety and security matters, no two days are the same. Caryn and Efran share more about their motivations, their dynamic postings and how they engage our community to keep Singapore safe and secure. Beyond their work, both enjoy the people-centric organisational culture and the autonomy to chart their own development.

Left: Caryn Wong, Assistant Director (Policy Development), Policy Development Division, Ministry of Home Affairs Headquarters

Right: Efran Koh, Deputy Director (Programmes 2), SGSecure Programme Office, Joint Operations Group, Ministry of Home Affairs Headquarters

Caryn Wong

Caryn Wong 5

In my current role with the Policy Development Division in the Ministry of Home Affairs Headquarters (MHQ), I review criminal offences and sentencing options, with a focus on sexual and hurt offences against minors. I work closely with different teams in my division and the Ministry of Law to ensure that Singapore’s legal framework protects the public, and that sentencing options are in line with the gravity of the crimes committed.

Caryn Wong  1

We welcome Civilian Generalists from diverse backgrounds. I was a trained lawyer before joining MHQ, and the skills I have obtained from my varied postings are transferrable and help me to adapt quickly to my new role. I have also received opportunities for my personal development. I was emplaced on the Public Service Leadership Programme (PSLP), and awarded a postgraduate scholarship by MHA to read my Master’s in Law at Columbia University in the United States.

Caryn Wong  2

When asked to describe MHQ’s workplace culture using one word, officers had cited ‘fun’, ‘flexible’ and ‘supportive’. I truly appreciate how MHQ Senior Management places emphasis on building a culture centred around staff well-being and development. I am also heartened to have the support of my wonderful colleagues both in work and in my personal life, and that we share the same commitment to keep Singapore safe and secure.

Efran Koh

Efran Koh  Part 6

My work in the SGSecure Programme Office focuses on increasing public mindshare of the SGSecure Responder Network. We partner different agencies across the Public Service, as well as stakeholder groups such as harmony circles and private organisations. My team also coordinates the SGSecure roadshows, overseeing the entire process from conceptualisation to operationalisation. The roadshows are essential to grow public awareness of counterterrorism efforts, and the pool of responders in our community.

Efran Koh  Part 1

As a Civilian Generalist, I have had six postings across the Singapore Police Force (SPF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) and MHQ, and in different domain areas such as logistics, human resource, and policy and operations planning. While each role comes with its challenges, the robust training and developmental courses MHA offers have equipped me with core competencies that are applicable across all of my postings. I am confident that these competencies will guide me to be an adaptable officer and a supportive supervisor.

Efran Koh  Part 2

I am thankful that I can chart my own course for professional and personal development. Outside of my main job scope, I had the opportunity to be SPF’s keynote speaker for Singapore Polytechnic’s annual Design Thinking Summit when I was heading the Traffic Police’s Service Quality Branch. I also volunteer as a Paracounsellor with the SCDF, where I put my counselling skills from my undergraduate days to practice and support the emotional needs of fellow Home Team officers in times of crises.