Adrienne and Marienne Chew, 21, and their father Vincent Chew were among the 85 people who received the Public Spiritedness Award for helping others in need during the Home Team National Day Observance Ceremony, held by the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) headquarters at Irrawaddy Road.
In November 2015, Adrienne and her twin sister, Marienne, heard a scream of a woman calling for help. They immediately went outside to check. They saw a female neighbour being strangled by a man.
They called their father to ask for his help. The girls tried to calm their neighbour while their father chased after the fleeing man and detained him until the police arrived at the scene.
“When I saw him strangling her, I thought she was going to get raped. I was very angry, because it could happen to any of my sisters, it could happen to me. The police force is good, but they can’t be there 24/7. As members of the public, that’s where we come in,” Adrienne said.
They said that they do not want to live the regret that they missed the chance of helping someone in need. “When help is needed, help is to be rendered,” Marienne added.
“It’s important because although Singapore has (a) low crime (rate), it doesn’t mean (there is) no crime. We were the first (helping) hand there, as long as we do our best, I think we can (help) keep crime (rates) down,” their father said.
Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam gave a speech during the ceremony. In his speech, he emphasized the importance for all the members of public to unite with the Home Team in order to deal with the challenges in the future.
The MHA recently revealed a roadmap to face the challenges, such as demographics, social and other challenges, called The Home Team Transformation 2025.
One of the program within the rubric is myResponder application by Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), under the Save-A-Life initiative. The application allows people to help someone in need before the SCDF arrives at the scene.
Another project is the SGSecure which will be launched by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong next month.
"On this occasion of National Day, we can all take pride that Singapore remains one of the safest cities in the world. One of the cities where our uniformed forces, be it the Police, ICA, SCDF and others, are highly regarded institutions. Our people have faith in our officers. They have confidence in our forces and the level of confidence is tremendous. For example, the Police is one of the public institutions that ranks highest in public perception surveys, and we have to keep it that way. That is due to the leadership provided, and because of our officers. We thank all of you," he said.
Apart from the members of public, 105 officers and 13 volunteers were also presented awards for their significant contributions to the Home Team.