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I work at the front lines and keep passengers safe

I work at the front lines and keep passengers safe

When Abdul Kalit bin Rahmat joined SATS Security Services (SATS Security) in 1993, he didn’t know he was embarking on a career that would provide him with an equal wealth of experiences and challenges.

Fresh from serving his NS (National Service), Kalit only held on to his fascination about wearing a blue uniform and serving his country. Little did he know, he was about to commence a journey in one of the most resilient industries in Singapore.

APO - Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore

CPL (APF) Abdul Kalit bin Rahmat, SATS Security Services

A dynamic journey

Over the years, Kalit has had the opportunity of working in different roles. His first assignment was at Changi Airport’s Terminal 2, just three years after it opened to the public. As part of the Anti-Sabotage Check Team, Kalit conducted manual screening of passengers’ luggage.

A few years later, he was transferred to the escorting security services team, where he travelled to as far as Copenhagen to escort some passengers. He then got deployed to apron operations to do aircraft guarding. Not long after, he was assigned to the Marina Bay Cruise Centre Singapore (MBCCS) and continues to enjoy his work there until today.

See also: A security officer gets to see the world and gains unique experiences

Throughout his career and the different crises the world has faced, Kalit has been on the frontlines, including during the 9/11 attacks, SARS, and the COVID-19 pandemic. “We required more people to maintain peace, order, and safety,” Kalit recalls, highlighting that security roles continuously remain relevant regardless of global economic concerns.

Today, Kalit is immensely grateful for following his passion and finding stability in a job he enjoys doing.

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Navigating crises

When Kalit first joined SATS, he thought the company only operates within the aviation industry in Singapore. After getting transferred to various units as an auxiliary police officer, he realised how huge the company is and the wide space it offers for professional growth.

He didn’t mind the frequent job rotations. He saw them as “changes in [his] security life and career.” Whenever he’s assigned to a new unit, Kalit eagerly accepts it both as a challenge and an opportunity.

Back in 2002 when the SARS outbreak hit Asia, Kalit was stationed in apron operations and was responsible for ensuring aircraft safety during ground servicing. He was, of course, worried about his health while performing his duties as a front-line worker, as no one yet knew how to effectively handle the virus.

Still, he took on the responsibility that comes with being a part of the security field. He performed his duties well so that passengers could fly to their destinations safely.

See also: This APO explains how the role of security evolved during the pandemic

When the COVID-19 pandemic struck Singapore in 2020, Kalit was working at Marina Bay Cruise Centre. He witnessed the transition of the cruise centre from a bustling place with thousands of passengers each day to a quiet and empty space when cruise lines ceased operations.

He was faced with yet another challenge when the government decided to use cruise ships to house recovered migrant workers. As an auxiliary police officer, Kalit was responsible for enforcing the rules and keeping the workers safe. Such an experience gave Kalit a glimpse into a different world. “I saw their anxiety and fear about their jobs and their families thousands of miles away,” Kalit narrates.

For him, being an auxiliary police officer does not equate to being strictly as cool as cucumber and impersonal. It involves empathy, too. “If I can make passengers or workers feel calm, I also achieve the objective of keeping them safe,” Kalit explains.

Making a difference

Wearing the blue uniform brings him a sense of pride, as he is part of the team responsible for peace and order in high-traffic areas in Singapore. Through his work, Kalit strives to make a positive impact on the passengers’ journey be it in the airport or at the cruise centre.

Indeed, the role of an auxiliary police officer has its challenges, but it also has its rewards. The experience of meeting different people and listening to their stories is always a joy and a reminder of the vital role they play in maintaining public safety.

“My objective is to assure everyone that they are safe,” Kalit says. If he can make distressed passengers feel calm, he feels fulfilled.

Come with an open mind

For those who love the challenge of being in the security industry, Kalit encourages you to be willing to learn and grow, as he has throughout his journey since 1993.

Even though he didn’t know what to expect when he first joined, Kalit welcomed every door that opened, with the mantra that "if you don’t push open the door, you won’t know where it’ll take you.”

Kalit’s ongoing commitment to his role and his attitude that everything can be learnt have allowed him to thrive. To him, every new deployment is an opportunity to learn, relearn, and unlearn.

If you ask Kalit today where he thinks his career will be in the next ten years or so, Kalit will give you a satisfied smile, point to his blue uniform, and humbly say: “I never saw myself doing something else.”

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