John Le Cain
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John Le Cain (b. 8 October 1912, Bangkok, Thailand - d. 11 January 1993, Singapore), a prominent Eurasian, was the first Asian to be appointed Commissioner of Police.
John Le Cain was born in Bangkok, Thailand. When he was 2 years old, he moved to Singapore, where he was educated at St Andrew's School and Raffles Institution. In school, he was a prefect and an all-round sportsman with an exceptional ability in high jump.
In 1931, Le Cain joined a law firm as an articled lawyer's clerk. In 1939, he joined the Straits Settlements Police Force as a probationary inspector, and was posted to Tanjong Pagar Police Station. During World War II, Le Cain was interned by the Japanese, but he resumed his appointment in the Police Force after the Japanese surrender. He held various appointments including heading the Police Training School, Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau, and Marine Police.
In 1962, Le Cain was appointed Deputy Commissioner of Police, the second Asian to take up the position after Song Kok Hoo. Le Cain went on to become the first Asian Commissioner of Police in 1963, and led the Police Force through the turbulent times of the Indonesian Confrontation, racial riots and Singapore's separation from Malaysia. He retired in 1967 after an illustrious career with the Police Force, during which he was conferred several awards.
After his retirement, Le Cain became Chairman of Singapore Pools in 1968. The following year, he was appointed Counseller (Defence) to the Singapore High Commission in London.
Le Cain passed away in 1993 at the age of 80. As a tribute to his dedicated service in the Police Force, the John Le Cain Collection was launched on 21 November 2005 at the Police Heritage Centre.
1939 : Probationary Inspector, Tanjong Pagar Police Station
1940 : Posted to Special Branch (Interned by Japanese authorities from 1942 to 1945)
1947 : Senior Investigating Officer and later Assistant Officer-in-Charge, "F" Division
1948 : Assistant Superintendent of Police
1953 : Deputy Superintendent of Police
1957 : Superintendent of Police
1960 : Assistant Commissioner of Police
1962 : Deputy Commissioner of Police
1963-1967 : Commissioner of Police
1957 : Colonial Police Medal for Meritorious Service
1963 : Public Administration Medal, Gold (PPA)
1965 : Johan Mangku Negara (a Malaysian federal award)
1967 : Meritorious Service Medal (PJG)
Joshua Chia Yeong Jia
Braga-Blake, M. (Ed.). (1992). Singapore Eurasians: Memories and hopes. Singapore: Times Editions.
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Peer M. Akbur. (2002). Policing Singapore in the 19th & 20th centuries. Singapore: Singapore Police Force.
(Call no.: RSING 363.2095957 PEE)
Hor, Catherine. (2005, December). Mr John Lee Cain - Commissioner. Police life monthly, 31(12), 10-11.
(Call no.: RSING 363.2095957 PL)
Ong, Lennard. (2005, December). Launch of John Le Cain Collection. Police life monthly, 31(12), 8.
(Call no.: RSING 363.2095957 PL)
Revisiting past. (2005, November 23). The Straits Times, p.4. Retrieved September 7, 2006, from NewspaperSG database.
Some prominent Eurasians. (2006, April 15). The Straits Times, p.2. Retrieved September 7, 2006, from NewspaperSG database.
First Asian promoted to head Singapore Police Force. (1964, July 3). The Straits Times, p.9. Retrieved March 17, 2010 from NewspaperSG database.
The information in this article is valid as at 2006 and correct as far as we are able to ascertain from our sources. It is not intended to be an exhaustive or complete history of the subject. Please contact the Library for further reading materials on the topic.
Le Cain, John, 1912-1993
Singapore--Officials and employees--Biography
Law and government>>Public administration