Police NSFs now inseparable after assigned as buddies
Police NSFs credit national service for their new friendship and better familial ties
On their first day of enlistment with the Singapore Police Force, the then strangers disliked each other.
Mr Muhammad Yaseen Sayeed, 21, had pegged Mr Nicolas Tan, also 21, as being too soft because of his long hair.
But they were assigned as each other's buddy during the Basic Police Training phase of their national service (NS) and are now close friends.
The duo are four months into their training.
This year is the 50th anniversary of NS.
Mr Yaseen and Mr Tan told The New Paper that, like many young men before them, the experience has been a shock to them as they get to know people from different backgrounds.
Mr Yaseen said: "I had to remind Nicolas to check his uniform every morning or the rest of the squad would get punished, and I would have to take full responsibility for his mistake."
Mr Tan was uncomfortable with how his partner would try to motivate him during training.
"He would call me a worm and push me down while I was doing push-ups. I have always had positive encouragement, and that was a shock for me," he said.
But they knew they had to depend on each other to get through the training, so they resolved to set aside their differences.
Their training consists of studying the law, fitness training, shooting and Police Tactical Defence.
Mr Yaseen said: "When I wake up at 5am, the first thing I see is his face.
"The training is six months long, and since getting to know Nicolas, it has definitely been easier for me to cope with the pressure."
When TNP visited the Home Team Academy on June 2, the duo were joking about their first impressions of each other.
Mr Tan said: "I got to see Yaseen's core, something I have yet to experience with my friends outside of NS."
Both of them also admitted to appreciating their families more.
Mr Tan, whose parents are divorced, has been able to reconnect with his father since he enlisted.
From twice a month, they now meet almost weekly, and his father insists on taking him to camp whenever possible.
Mr Yaseen tries to spend more time with his brothers after his mother confronted him about not spending enough time with the family.
He said: "I definitely appreciate NS more. I have come to understand that it is time for me to do my part, that it is time for me to give back to my country."