Opening Speech at Launch of Project Transient Workers Outreach 2015
Mr Hawazi Daipi, Senior Parliamentary Secretary, Burmah Road, Open Field
Home Team Partners
Members of the Media
Ladies and Gentlemen
- It gives me great pleasure to join you this evening for the launch of Project Transient Workers Outreach 2015.
- Singapore is a cosmopolitan, open and multi-racial nation, which plays host to a similarly diverse foreign worker community. Singaporeans recognise and appreciate the contributions of foreign workers to Singapore’s economic growth and development.
- Workers come from all walks of life and bring with them different social norms and behaviours shaped by different cultural experiences. For most of you who are from different cultures, your cultures and experience may be different from those here. In Singapore, apart from Tamil, Bengali and Hindi-speaking people, you also see a lot of Chinese, Malays and other ethnic cultures. So, while we share similar traits, our society is very different as we are very multi-cultural, multi-racial and multi-religious. It is therefore important to help you understand local norms and laws.
- Various agencies, including the Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore Police Force, have co-ordinated outreach efforts towards this objective. Since 2009, the agencies have worked together to put up educational notices and organise roadshows to reach out to our foreign workers. The Ministry of Manpower further augments this through its own education efforts, which include:
- Providing detailed pre-departure information for workers in their native languages, while they are still in their home countries;
- Giving a guidebook to all foreign workers as part of the Work Permit issuance process; and
- Publishing a dedicated foreign worker newsletter twice a year.
Project Transient Workers Outreach (Project TWO)
- I am therefore heartened that the Home Team Southern Sector, spearheaded by the Central Police Division, has taken on this “Project Transient Workers Outreach” initiative, which will reach out to the foreign workers to help them understand our local laws and social behaviours. This will help them gain a better appreciation of life in Singapore and stand them in good stead throughout their stay in Singapore.
- Indeed, holistic yet practical content has been incorporated into this programme. Officers from the Home Team will share tips on crime prevention, fire safety and first aid. This will equip workers with useful skills and knowledge to better care for themselves, as well as others around them. Indeed, safety is one of the key areas that the Ministry of Manpower and the Singapore Civil Defence Force focus on to ensure that your well-being is well taken care of and protected.
- I’m pleased to note that the Home Team recognises the importance of ensuring that this project can be sustained over time. One key initiative is the appointment of selected workers to work alongside our Home Team colleagues as Foreign Worker Ambassadors. The role of these Ambassadors is to share what they have learnt with their fellow workers, in order to build a robust community of practice over time. I have also been informed that the foreign worker dormitories in this Home Team sector have been very supportive of this programme, and would like to take the opportunity to express my appreciation for their support.
- As I had mentioned earlier, Singaporeans appreciate the contributions of foreign workers. Both locals and foreign workers desire to coexist in peace and harmony. In this spirit, this Home Team Southern Sector initiative will facilitate communication and mutual understanding among the diverse stakeholders in the community, and strengthen the current state of harmony which we already enjoy, but should not take for granted.
- In closing, let me take this opportunity to once again commend all the stakeholders for the concerted effort to co-create a harmonious and peaceful community for all.
- Thank you.