TL;DR – We hope Googling Fahmi Aliman has brought you here.
Fahmi Aliman made the news for running as a new candidate under PAP for Marine Parade GRC in the 2020 General Elections.
But who is he and where did he come from? This is what we discovered.
1. When was Fahmi Aliman born?
He was born in 1972. His father was a gas checker and his mother was a cleaner.
2. What were his growing up years like?
Fahmi grew up in a family of five. His family lived in a rental flat. When he was young in Primary School, he used to help his mother clear the rubbish there.
His mother then learnt how to cook (because she realised it was not sustainable for her to raise a family as a cleaner) and then ran a canteen in the factory. He said:
“She trained to become a chef – because she knew how to cook – in one of the factory canteens, which was quite big. And then from there, she learnt how to manage the canteen.”
“And because of that move, that bold step to lead, she earned money to educate my brother and me. It was really that resilience, that fortitude to do well, to improve, that made her do that.”
His childhood experiences explains why he wants to be a voice for low wage and essential services workers, to upgrade their skills and know about the training opportunities out there.
“I hope to become the conduit for my residents to learn new skills, understand what is the training available out there and continue to upskill themselves.”
3. Where did he study?
Fahmi studied in Jubilee Primary School and Jurong Secondary School. He then got a diploma from Ngee Ann Polytechnic and graduated from the University of Liverpool with an honours degree in engineering.
He also has a graduate diploma from the National University of Singapore in defence technological science.
4. How did he meet his wife?
In 1993, he met his wife, Madam Rohana Mohd Salleh, during his officers’ cadet commissioning ball. She is a teacher at Dunman Secondary School and is 38 years old this year.
5. How many children do they have?
Fahmi and his wife have four children – three boys and one girl. However, as his job sometimes takes him overseas, his wife helps to look after the kids. In the past when Fahmi was NDP Parade Commander, she would drive their children to their extra-curricular activities.
“My wife is the discipline master at home. For me, I try to inculcate values to my kids. I preach motivation.”
As he is a big believer in continuous learning and stepping out of one’s comfort zone, Fahmi wants his children to always strive to be better. One thing he insists on is a yearly family meeting to reflect on the past and set directions for the future.
“I will come up with an agenda, then we talk about it. ‘What have you done this year? What are the lessons learnt? What do you intend to do next year?’ It is the thinking process. I started that, and I inculcated that to my kids.”
6. What hobbies and interests does he have?
Fahmi enjoys sports such as trail running and trekking. He also loves soccer, cycling, and running.
He wants to improve awareness on health, including the mental health of the elderly. He is also interested in raising awareness on continuing education.
When Fahmi was the deputy chief executive of the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore, he helped to form and steer the M³@Bedok initiative, launched last year to help the Malay/Muslim community in Bedok Town. He emphasises the importance of outreach as “not everybody will understand what kind of help is out there”.
During a house visit, Fahmi met a mother-of-two who worked part-time who could barely make ends meet as her husband was also in jail.
In an interview, he said:
“I asked her, ‘Have you asked for any help from Family Service Centres?’ She said no. ‘Have you gotten any help from the mosque?’ She said no. ‘Did you get any help from MENDAKI?’ She said no.”
“Then I asked, ‘Why not?’ Her answer was that she didn’t know that there was all this assistance. Ironically, the mosque was just across her house.”
“So it really struck me – the outreach must happen, you got to do it. You cannot assume that people know everything, or that they know where to get help. If you need to go house to house to find all these unknowns, then so be it.”
“You’re like the bridge between these people and the help that is available to them”.
7. Where have you seen him before?
Fahmi was the Parade Commander for National Day Parade 2011, commanding all 29 contingents.
He was the third Malay parade commander for the National Day Parade (NDP) since Singapore’s independence in 1965 and first since 2000.
8. How has he contributed to world peace?
In 2005, Fahmi was sent to a six-month deployment to Blangpidie with the Aceh Monitoring Mission.
He also completed a six-month stint as a National Liaison Officer with the International Security Assistance Force in Kabul, Afghanistan in 2012 where he received a US Joint Service Commendation Medal in 2013.
In Kabul, The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) commenced training programmes to build up the Afghan National Army (ANA), as a well-trained ANA would prevent the spread of insurgent activities and secure the safety of the Afghan people.
Why is this significant for Singapore’s national security? Remember how Yishun MRT station was the target of local terrorists in 2001?
According to this MINDEF publication:
The JI had hatched plans to attack various targets in Singapore in the early 2000s. Its plan, however, was foiled by the Internal Security Department (ISD), with key members of the JI cell in Singapore arrested in December 2001. A number of these Singaporean JI operatives had received terrorist training in Afghanistan.
More evidence linking local terrorists with Afghanistan surfaced in 2001 when video footage of JI’s reconnaissance of Yishun MRT station was found among the rubble of a house belonging to an Al-Qaeda operative named Mohd Atef, in Afghanistan’s capital city Kabul.
In 2007, a 28-year-old self-radicalised Singaporean lawyer was also arrested and detained after attempting to join the Taliban to fight against the coalition forces in Afghanistan.
In 2018, when Laos’ Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy dam in Attapeu province collapsed and several villages were affected by flash floods, Fahmi was part of two Singapore contingents which went to Laos to deliver humanitarian supplies for flood relief efforts.
Shortly after, he took over as Director, Changi Regional Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) Coordination Centre (RHCC).
From these experiences, he shared that we must never take our peace and stability for granted and believes in building trust and mutual respect. For his contributions, he was awarded a Commendation Medal at the MINDEF/SAF National Day Awards Investiture 2014 and also received a National Day Award in 2017.
9. What is he doing to help Singaporeans now?
Fahmi joined the NTUC’s Administration and Research Unit in April 2020 as the Director of the NTUC Operations and Mobilisation Division Secretariat.
“Coming to the Labour Movement, I want to help low-wage workers and be their voice. I can do that, I can be that bridge. I would love to take up this challenge.”.
10. How to follow him?
You can like Fahmi Aliman’s Facebook page for updates.
Featured photo: NTUC