Mark Lee Jiann Ann

ASP 2 (Asst Superintendent 2)

Singapore Prison Department

Class of 1997

Singapore Polytechnic, BE School

Diploma in Civil & Structure Engineering


SP has trained Mark to be an incredibly determined and inquisitive person. He has encountered both failures and successes in life but what is most inspiring is his attitude of never giving up and his belief in himself.

After his “A” levels, Mark went on to serve his national service before deciding on where to further his studies. He was offered a place in NIE to pursue a degree in Physical Education which he rejected. Being more of a practical and hands on person, Mark chose to join Singapore Polytechnic’s Civil & Structural Engineering Diploma course instead.

The three years in Poly were not easy, especially during his first year. He was much older than his peers and his GCE ‘O’ level score of 17 points was a far cry from his classmates’, majority of whom were 6 pointers. He felt pressured but was very determined to strive towards obtaining a Certificate of Merit (COM) which he did achieve in the end. When all his classmates were enjoying themselves during the school holidays, he would start to collect past years’ examination papers to prepare for his new term. He then geared up for the new school term by hounding his lecturers with loads of questions which he had gathered from the examination papers. Armed with this ammunition, he usually needed minimal revision for his examinations.

After graduating from Singapore Polytechnic with a COM, he joined THYSSEN HUNNEBECK, a German company, which specialises in system formwork. He commanded a pay check of a degree holder because of his outstanding Diploma result.

After a year of working, he decided to go back to school. He enrolled in NTU in 1998 to continue in his field of study in Civil & Structure Engineering. However he quitted in his third year due to family and financial problems.

The adventurous and courageous Mark then started his own tuition school from scratch. His company wound up after 2 years. He then joined his poly classmate, Mr Edward Choo, founder of E-hub, and came up with the world’s first innovative climbing scaffolding system, Railscaf. At E-hub, he was travelling very frequently. When his mum was critically ill, he had to resign from E-hub so that he could stay in Singapore to take care of her.

He then joined the Singapore prison service. He had applied for the post of Senior Rehabilitation Officer A but was rejected as he lacked a degree. However with his good results and COM award achieved in Singapore Polytechnic, his application was reconsidered and he was eventually offered the Senior Rehabilitation Officer A post.

After several years as a senior officer, promotion eluded him due to his lack of a degree. He finally decided to embark on a distance learning degree programme in Logistic and Supply Chain Management offered by Northumbria University. Balancing work and study require a lot of self discipline. Despite the hectic schedule, he managed to graduate with a 2nd class upper degree.

Once he obtained his degree, he applied for a rank conversion to ASP 1 but was told by many of his peers that no one had ever done so and that the chances were very slim. With his “never say die” attitude, he went ahead with the application and was finally re-appointed as ASP 1, the first person in the Ministry of Home Affairs to get a re-appointment. Two years later, Mark was promoted to ASP2.

Mark has come a long way indeed. He says that believing in oneself is very important and it is because of his self belief that brought him to where he is today.

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