An Evening with Zuraidah Abdullah Gallery

Durian & Cucumber, Milo & Two Raw Eggs, and “Buku Tiga Lima”…


These were the three unforgettable stories that our Guest of Honour shared with us last night (22 Feb), at our “An Evening with Zuraidah Abdullah” event.


Zuraidah, Class of 85 Engineering, spent the last 30 years with the Singapore Police Force. She started as an Inspector and climbed the ranks to become the highest ranked woman officer in the police force. Today, Senior Assistant Commander Zuraidah Abdullah is the Domain Commander (Air) of the Integrated Checkpoints Command (ICC). There is an equivalent for Land and Sea Domains.


When asked what does such a long title meant, she said, “The implementation of ICC at the Air Domain enables our officers from the various Home Team agencies to work together under one single command, sharing the same mission and vision. I work with our officers in the Air Domain and our partners in civil aviation to ensure that our air checkpoints remain safe and secure.”


Reporting to the Commissioner of Integrated Checkpoints Authority, Zuraidah oversees all operations performed by the various Home Team agencies at the five air checkpoints – Changi Airport, Seletar Airport, Airport Logistics Park, Changi Air Freight Centre and the Parcel Post Section.


When asked about the secret of her success, Zuraidah said simply, “Hard work and be competent.” Later in response to a question from a young alumnus, Matthew, Class of 2013, (a teacher), about the defining moments of her career, she told the three stories.


First, Zuraidah said that once as a young inspector at the age of 25, she insisted on challenging the management that she was not wrong about some incident. The advice from a mentor was, “The management is like a durian and you are like a cucumber. The harder you hit the durian, the more you get hurt.”  With that advice she learnt about bidding time and managing her expectations and not to challenge the management on everything even though one is right.


The second story was to illustrate how important it is to humble oneself and learn from your experienced subordinates. She would buy the long-time sergeants under her command, Milo with two raw eggs in the morning and ask them to share about their cases. “If you are open to learning from them, they would share with you important tricks on how to handle cases,” said Zuraidah.


Finally, the “Buku Tiga Lima” story illustrates the importance of building relationships with your colleagues so that when you need their help, they would not hesitate. In the old days, when you buy something from the shop, the owner will record in the small “Triple-5 Notebook (Buku Tiga Lima in Malay)” how much you owe him to be collected at the end of the month.



Everyone present agreed that she is one amazing lady!