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How to spot extremism in FDWs

  • ST (8 July 2017): How to spot signs of radicalisation in maids?

How to spot extremism in FDWs

  1. We refer to Ms Priscilla Poh’s letter (‘How to spot signs of radicalisation in maids?’, 8 July).
  2. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) have recently produced an advisory for employers of foreign domestic workers (FDWs). The advisory provides information on what extremism entails, how to recognise it, and how to report suspected cases to the authorities. The tell-tale signs of extremism include avid reading of radical materials, expressing support for, or desire to join any terrorist groups, or stating intentions to commit terrorist violence or encouraging others to do so.
  3. Employers should share with their FDWs the dangers of extremism, and that Singapore does not condone any form of support for extremist activities. Firm action will be taken against anyone, regardless of nationality or religious background, who engages in such activities while working in Singapore.
  4. MHA and MOM have included the dangers of extremism in the curriculum of the Settling-In Programme which all FDWs have to go through. This is to sensitise FDWs to Singapore’s multi-religious social values, and on how they can help to keep Singapore safe and secure.
  5. The authorities will continue to work together with the community to ensure Singapore’s safety and security. Every member of society should be alert against potential threats. Anyone who knows or suspects that a person is radicalised should promptly call the ISD Counter-Terrorism Centre hotline at 1800-2626-473. 

    Sunny Lee

    Director, Media Relations

    Ministry of Home Affairs

    Soffy Hariyanti

    Director, Corporate Communications

    Ministry of Manpower

How to spot signs of radicalisation in maids?

-ST, 8 July 2017

  1. Singaporeans have been urged to bring to the attention of the authorities any family member or friend they suspect of being radicalised or planning terror activities.
  2. But what about our domestic helpers? We need to be concerned about them too. A recent report has stated that there have been nine cases of radicalised maids detected here since 2015 (Two new cases of radicalised maids in S’pore; July 5).
  3. Family members and close friends are in the best position to notice signs of radicalisation within their circle.
  4. But how would employers do so with their maids, given that most maids are engaged to look after either the elderly or young children while the employers are at work?
  5. All the maids in the report were radicalised through social media. Given that most maids today possess smartphones, would employers have the right to check those devices for signs of radicalisation or extremism?
  6. Some tips from the authorities on how and what employers can do would be helpful.