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SINGAPORE: The director of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) will be retiring in November after a 35-year public service career that oversaw the seizure of record quantities of drugs in Singapore and raised the bureau’s international profile, said the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) on Tuesday (Jul 12).

Mr Ng Ser Song, 60, who has been CNB’s director since February 2012, will retire on Nov 6.

He will be succeeded by senior director of the joint operations group at MHA, Mr Tee Chong Fui Sam, on the same day.

Prior to that, Mr Tee will be appointed as director of CNB (Designate) on Aug 15.

Mr Ng started his public service career with the Singapore Police Force in 1987 and has held several key appointments, said MHA.

“Mr Ng was a strong advocate of Singapore’s zero tolerance stance towards drugs and the harm prevention strategies that undergird it. His tenure in CNB saw impressive operational outcomes, including successful joint operations with international partners against overseas-based syndicates supplying drugs to Singapore,” the ministry added.

More than 20 drug syndicates were dismantled each year with record quantities of drugs seized in some operations, said MHA.

In April last year, CNB seized drugs worth more than S$2.3 million, including about 23kg of cannabis and about 16kg of heroin.

The cannabis seizure was the CNB’s largest since 1996.

As director, Mr Ng implemented a differentiated drug supervision scheme using business analytics to determine suitable intervention programmes based on the risk assessment of abusers, said MHA.

He also initiated the ASEAN Preventive Drug Education Portal, which was commissioned in 2018, to enable ASEAN countries to learn from one another to strengthen their drug prevention efforts, said MHA.

Of Mr Tee, MHA said he has 27 years of service with the Home Team and was appointed as senior director of the joint operations group on Jun 18, 2018.

“During his tenure at MHA, Mr Tee and his team strengthened Singapore’s preparedness and resilience for safety and security contingencies, ranging from civil emergencies, terrorism, national emergencies, to hybrid threats,” said MHA.

Mr Tee, 52, also led the team to develop a framework and introduce laws to deal with foreign interference in Singapore’s domestic politics, in particular through hostile information campaigns.

He also pushed for progressive salaries and better working conditions for security officers and was instrumental in the amendments to the Private Security Industry Act last year, the ministry added.

“The amendments provided enhanced protection for security officers against abuse when performing their duties.”

In the announcement on Tuesday, MHA said: “We thank Mr Ng for his decades of loyal service and are pleased that he will be continuing to help the Home Team in the capacity of a senior adviser after his retirement.”