SPF rejects application of ex-offender to be security officer, writes he is “not a fit and proper person”

Sports advocate and politician, Jose Raymond posted an image on his Facebook page on Wednesday, asking what happened to the Yellow Ribbon Project (YRP).

The image is a photo of a letter purportedly issued by the Singapore Police Force to a resident in Potong Pasir, rejecting an application to the license to be a security officer.

Mr Raymond wrote that the SPF’s labelling of the resident as “not a fit and proper” person in lieu of his previous conviction for assault is unwarranted and uncalled for, and asked “what happened to giving people second chances and opportunities to make amends and move on after making mistakes?”

Below is Mr Raymond’s Facebook post in full

A resident of Potong Pasir, who has four very young children to feed and to put through school, was charged in court for assault in 2016 and he duly served his time in prison.

Since his release in 2016, he has not been allowed to drive a taxi because of his criminal record. And even though he passed the course to be a security officer, his application for the licence to be a security officer has also been rejected by the Singapore Police Force (SPF).

To make matters worse, in their response to the resident to reject his application in January 2018, the SPF stated in a computer generated letter that he was “not a fit and proper person” in lieu of his previous conviction.

The SPF’s labelling of a fellow Singaporean who has duly served his time for a mistake which he committed is unwarranted and uncalled for. If the SPF wanted to reject his application, it could have been done without having to label him as being “not a fit and proper person.”

Whatever happened to giving people second chances and opportunities to make amends and move on after making mistakes?

Whatever happened to the Yellow Ribbon Project?

Why do we need to make it so difficult for someone who wants to turn over a new leaf and start all over again? The only ones who will end up suffering are his young children.

Isn’t “Every Singaporean a Good Singaporean”?

We need some serious soul searching.

The YRP was initiated in 2004 to support ex-offenders in their reintegration back into society. Organised by the CARE Network, the YRP generates greater awareness of the need for second chances, inspires more Singaporeans to accept ex-offenders into their lives and encourages more to come forward to demonstrate support for the campaign.

Minister of Home Affairs which SPF is housed under, is a partner of CARE Network and the Minister of Home Affairs and Law, Mr K Shanmugam has always appeared publicly as a supporter of the Yellow Ribbon project.

In a Facebook post on April this year, he wrote: “The Yellow Ribbon Project has made significant headway in changing community’s perception of ex-offenders. It is an important partner in the road ahead to helping ex-offenders gain acceptance. And the project also helps the families.”

However, with the stance of SPF in rejecting the application of the ex-offender to work as a security guard and the labelling that came with it, one has to wonder whether the ministry puts its money where its mouth is.