This Valentine’s Day, we spoke to some of our married officers to find out more about their relationships and how they met each other. Here are their stories.
CPL (APF) Tai Shun Siang x WCPL (APF) Chong Siew Yin
Shun Siang: I came to Singapore from Melaka after my “SPM” exams and joined AETOS in 2012. My wife is from Ipoh, and while she was an auxiliary police officer since 2014, she only came over to AETOS in 2016. Our paths only crossed about a year later, when we were assigned to the same deployment in the west side of Singapore.
Siew Yin: We became friends very quickly. I really enjoyed spending time with him and he definitely helped to brighten up my shifts.
Shun Siang: We only started dating after she was transferred to the aviation cluster. After a while, I realized that I missed her a lot, so I started to ask her out. It was almost like we were in a long distance relationship since she was in the east and I was stuck in the west.
Siew Yin: I think we were lucky as he was a deployment officer at the time, so his work hours and off days were usually fixed. I tried to arrange my schedule to match his where I could. We would meet for dinner after work, or play basketball together with some of our friends. After about a year, he proposed to me in 2018 and I said yes!
Shun Siang: Everything happened really quickly, but I was sure that she was the one for me. She was very different from most other people I’d met before. For one, she doesn’t like flowers! Turns out she prefers practical gifts, like tech stuff. It got quite difficult to get presents for her sometimes, I had to get quite creative *laughs*. She’s very straightforward and realistic too.
Siew Yin: In 2019, we were lucky to have a baby boy. My parents are currently looking after him back home in Ipoh. We used to go back every month to visit; now we make it a point to set aside time every day for a video call. I miss him a lot, but I am also glad that we have good jobs here that will help secure his future.
SO Arunachalam Thiruppathi x SSO Amirthavalli Thiruppathi
Arun: My wife and I were married in 1987 in India. Over the next decade, we had our first two daughters and we were both working in the car manufacturing industry. In 1996, I decided to come to Singapore to look for work. There were so many job opportunities for engineers like myself back then – I managed to find employment at an electronics company within days of my arrival!
Amirtha: My daughters and I joined Arun in Singapore the next year, after he became a Permanent Resident. I joined him at Murata Electronics as a QA specialist. We obtained Singapore citizenship in 2003, and my third daughter was born not too long after. I took a few years off to look after her, and once I began to think of working again, I decided to try my hand at the security industry. I spent twelve years as an aviation security officer stationed at Changi Airport, and joined AETOS three years ago.
Arun: As of today, I am still an engineer, this time at a company producing semiconductors. I’ve been an engineer all my life, and really enjoy the work; I might have even influenced my first two daughters to follow me *laughs*, they hold degrees in chemical and electrical engineering respectively. Both of them also settled down overseas, just like I did. However, I’m already 60 years old, and will likely want to try my hand out at another job soon. I’m not the kind to sit at home all day; I really want to keep myself engaged and active.
Amirtha: My husband said he felt very bored staying at home on weekends. Before COVID, we would go out to eat or visit friends every now and then, or travel whenever we got the chance. Nowadays it’s usually just him and our third daughter at home, and she’s usually busy with Netflix or her friends anyway *laughs*. I suggested that he could try part-time work with AETOS, and he agreed to give it a shot.
Arun: I found security work quite easy to adapt to. The opportunities to upgrade myself are also welcome – I’ve already finished taking the SSO course, and will be going for the SS course soon. I also appreciate that our supervisors take good care of us in terms of welfare and given opportunities. I’m definitely considering joining as a full-time security officer in the near future!
Most things that my wife and I do, we do together. If her off days fall on weekends, I will make it a point to set aside time to spend with her and my daughter. Nowadays, we mostly just visit relatives or the temple, but we always ensure that we go together. I suppose it’s quite fitting that we are both working in the same company again!
WCPL (APF) Nurshila x CPL (APF) Muhamad Asri
Nurshila: I met Asri when we were posted on enforcement duties together at one of the land checkpoints. In the beginning, I found him quite irritating sometimes *laughs*. He likes to kacau people, especially me if he saw me! We quarreled quite a lot whenever we were on break… but he was funny, and I grew to like him – it just happened. Our friends were really quite surprised when we got together!
We got married in 2015, and were blessed with our first child in 2019. Once I returned from maternity leave, I was assigned to our deployment at MFA. I’m really quite lucky that my supervisor assigned me there as I get to work office hours, so I am able to spend time regularly with my two kids at home.
In early 2020, I contracted COVID-19 while I was pregnant with my second child. It was definitely a difficult period for us, but I’m very grateful to our supervisors for helping by facilitating Asri’s leave so he could quarantine with my son and look after him – and of course, Asri, who really stepped up to make sure everything went smoothly at home.
Asri: At first I felt very stressed and sad due to my wife’s illness and not being able to see her, but I tried my best to think positively – especially since I had my son to worry about too. As the days went by, she recovered enough for us to video call regularly and that helped a lot to put my mind at ease. Thankfully, she went on to make a full recovery and is now as energetic as ever.
Nowadays, if our off days coincide, we might go out on dates, but sometimes it is better when our off days are different as we can take turns looking after our children – whether it’s spending time at home with them, or bringing them out. It’s almost like another kind of shift work! My son really loves going to indoor playgrounds so I try to plan trips there every now and then.
A lot of our lives revolve around our kids, but we still make sure we set aside time for each other. Sometimes I wait for her to finish work so that we can go home together, or she will go out for supper with me after my night shift. We’re quite used to finding opportunities like these, but what matters most is that we get to have quality time together.