Retired police senior staff sergeant Mohamad Yuni used to pile pressure on crime suspects when he interrogated them, but he now takes a softer interview approach in his new role.
These days, the 51-year-old coaxes low-wage workers to pour out their work-related woes.
"I take a softer approach because the objective is different," he said.
The police veteran is part of a 20-man WorkRight inspection team formed by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) last year to crack down on errant firms which are tardy in paying workers or depriving them of leave or overtime pay. Half of the team members comprise former law enforcement officers.
The team was praised by Acting Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Saturday for having made "a positive difference to low-wage Singaporean workers and their families through their enforcement efforts".
The Sunday Times was invited by the MOM to join Mr Mohamad Yuni when he inspected a transport firm in Jalan Besar last week.
The seasoned officer spent some 45 minutes in total interviewing three workers, ticking off a question checklist to show that he had asked them about their salaries and leave.
He made small talk with the workers and even joked with one of them in Malay.
After the interviews, Mr Mohamad Yuni told the firm's managing director that some drivers were unsure how their overtime pay was calculated and advised the firm to make it clearer. The company boss nodded in acknowledgement.
He then rushed off to inspect a restaurant.
When asked about his hectic schedule, he replied: "It is to help workers, so it is okay."
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.