Meet the twin sisters, CPL (APF) Siti Shariyah Binte Sidek and CPL (APF) Siti Sharinah Binte Sidek, who have always been inseparable. Growing up, they did everything together – from exploring new hobbies to taking on new adventures. As CPL (APF) Shariyah and CPL (APF) Sharinah got older, they both developed an interest in law enforcement and decided to pursue their career in AETOS as Auxiliary Police Officers. This National Siblings Day, we got the extraordinary duo to share more about their experience working as twin sisters in the same company!
Hi Shariyah and Sharinah! Tell us about yourselves!
CPL (APF) Sharinah: Hi everyone! We are CPL (APF) Sharinah and CPL (APF) Shariyah, and we are currently serving as AETOS’ Auxiliary Police Officers in Charlie Division. We joined AETOS together 11 years ago. While my older sister Shariyah left for a period of time as she wanted to explore another field, she eventually came back and re-joined AETOS six months ago. Today, we work closely together in the same team at Jurong Island Checkpoint.
CPL (APF) Shariyah: Yeah! I am happy to be back and even more so because I get to work with my sister in the same team. Together, we manage the traffic at Jurong Island checkpoint. While my sister is stationed in the control room, I am responsible for handling traffic on the ground and keeping a lookout for any suspicious items. If there are any unusual detections, I will inform my sister and her team in the control room, who will then highlight the situation to the relevant stakeholders. Together, we work to ensure that any emergencies are swiftly addressed and all incidents are managed effectively at all times.
What is it like working together as siblings?
CPL (APF) Sharinah: It's great! We have a close bond and strong rapport, so we are able to communicate well with each other even when we encounter challenges.
CPL (APF) Shariyah: Yes, we have always been close, so working together is a natural extension of our relationship. We understand each other's strengths and weaknesses, and we can complement each other's skills.
Are there any challenges that you have encountered at work?
CPL (APF) Shariyah: Since my return to AETOS, several processes have changed, and I am still in the midst of adjusting to them. While my sister Sharinah is also working together with me, she does not “spoon-feed” me with instructions on what needs to be done. Instead, she encourages me to figure things out independently. Nonetheless, if I encounter a situation that I am unable to handle, she is always willing to step in and offer help to me.
CPL (APF) Sharinah: I think it important for Shariyah to gain hands-on experience and try to figure things out on her own before seeking my assistance as I personally believe that this is a more effective way for her to learn and grow.
How do people tell you guys apart?
CPL (APF) Sharinah and CPL (APF) Shariyah: Since young, many people – including our mother, would frequently mistake us for each other. It's something we've learned to laugh about. As our voices are also similar, our colleagues would often get confused as to which one of us is talking over the intercom. But now, in order to avoid any confusion or misunderstanding, we make it a point to clarify our identity whenever we communicate with our colleagues.
Do you have any nicknames for each other?
CPL (APF) Sharinah and CPL (APF) Shariyah: We like to confuse people. *Sisters laugh*
CPL (APF) Shariyah: Although I’m older, I like to call Sharinah Kakak (older sister).
CPL (APF) Sharinah: Likewise, I’m younger but I call Shariyah Adik (younger sister).
What keeps both of you motivated at work?
CPL (APF) Sharinah and CPL (APF) Shariyah: Definitely our family as they have been our pillar of support since we joined AETOS many years ago. We want to make them proud. And now that we have families of our own, we strive to work hard to provide for them as well.
The relationships we have forged with our teammates through shared experiences and communication are also our source of motivation at work. We are fortunate to be part of a team with members that truly understand and support one another. At the same time, we are glad to be able to play our part in securing our borders and keeping our loved ones safe at home.