It was an act of vandalism that shocked and outraged many - and sparked a committed team of police officers led by Inspector Chan Wai Hoong to crack the case.
The mission was straightforward - to find out who spray-painted the word "Democracy" and a large "X" on the Cenotaph war memorial in April.
Straightforward it might have been, but it still took plenty of outstanding police work. Insp Chan, 40, was one of those honoured at an awards ceremony at the Home Team Academy Monday.
Insp Chan, a 22-year veteran of the Singapore Police Force (SPF), told The Straits Times: "When I received this case, I thought, 'How can this person be so bold as to vandalise a national monument?'"
The culprit, security guard Mohamad Khalid Mohamad Yusop, 33, was arrested within three days by Insp Chan and his team of 15 officers.
That was one of 101 Home Team operations commended at the ceremony attended by Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli.
The honour roll included 46 from the SPF, 20 from the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), 20 from the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority, nine from the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), five from the Singapore Prison Service, and one from the Ministry of Home Affairs.
Another standout is Insp Pamela Chua, 25, a two-year CNB rookie who negotiated with an "ice" abuser strung out on the substance during a Tanglin Halt drug raid in June and thought to be posing a threat to himself and his little sister.
"There were a lot of 'unknowns' because we didn't know what he might do," said Insp Chua.
SCDF Major Jamalullail Mohamed Ishak, 36, was rewarded for his work combating a blaze at Tanoto Shipyard on March 26.
The commander of the West Coast Marine Fire Station said the fire's magnitude was "unprecedented" for the marine unit, which was set up last year.
He said the successful operation "was at night, so visibility was poor". He recounted: "Four tugboats were on fire, and the congested waterway, coupled with a sunken tugboat and floating debris, increased the intricacy of the fire mitigation operation."
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