Ong Wey Jyh
As an Assistant Manager, I lead a team of officers to help keep the estates of Choa Chu Kang Group Representation Constituency (GRC) clean and free of pests. On a daily basis, we work closely with the stakeholders in the area (e.g, the residents, agencies, private companies, etc.).This includes conducting inspections, holding meetings to update them on the current situation, as well as educating them on measures that can be taken to safeguard the environment.
How I got my job
There was an interview with a panel of three, and I had to submit a short write-up on an environmental-related topic of my own choice after the interview. During the interview, I vividly remember discussing with the panel one of NEA’s regulations, suggesting improvements to it. After joining NEA, my boss told me that the discussion we had had left an impression on the panel. Thinking back, perhaps that was how I got the job!
The highs and lows
The work is not always smooth-sailing, and we do meet demanding individuals at times. During one of our inspections, we encountered an owner who rejected our request for inspec on by waving lit joss sticks at us. However, we managed to convince her to share her concerns with us, and she eventually allowed us to inspect her house and even apologised for her earlier actions.
Nevertheless, most individuals do understand and support the work of NEA even if NEA had to take enforcement actions against them. They definitely fuel my motivation to do a better job. On a personal level, knowing that I have made a positive impact on my officers gives me great satisfaction. In fact, officers who used to work with me still approach me and seek my advice.
My happiest moment at work
In 2014, there was a huge dengue outbreak in the vicinity of Choa Chu Kang. For two months, we conducted consecutive operations on weekday nights and weekends. We also mobilised more than 200 grassroots volunteers to conduct educational outreach in the entire affected area.
It was a trying period, but it was also a testament to the level of commitment possessed by NEA officers as well as to the exceptional working relationship that NEA has built with the grassroots volunteers over the years. This makes me extremely proud and happy to be part of the NEA family.
Love what you are doing, be empathetic, be positive, and always persevere. I particularly like what my brother once shared with me: when the going gets tough, we get tougher. Having a positive mind set will definitely rub off on your peers and help you to overcome whatever challenges that come your way.