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Speech at Bedok Safety Group's Seminar on SGSecure and Workplace Safety

Minister of State for Manpower, Mr Sam Tan, Panasonic Appliances Refrigeration Devices Singapore

Mr Steven Tan, Chairman of Bedok Safety Group,

Mr Masahiko Suzuki, Executive Director of Panasonic Appliances

Refrigeration Devices Singapore,

Members of Bedok Safety Group,

Representatives from Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force,

Ladies and gentlemen,

  1. Good Morning. It is my pleasure to be here to witness today’s SGSecure exercise. This is a ground-up effort by the Bedok Safety Group and is supported by Ministry of Manpower, Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force. Such an initiative demonstrates that terror threat has to be taken very seriously and I thank the organisers for taking the lead in the SGSecure efforts.
  2. For our workplaces to be safe and secure, it is important to be part of the SGSecure movement. This is especially critical given the series of terror attacks in recent years, for example, the attacks in Nice, Berlin, Westminster and Stockholm. All these incidents show that the threat of terrorism is real and it had happened in many other cities. It can also happen in Singapore if we let our guard down. Terror attacks can take many forms - terrorists could simply drive a vehicle into the crowd, or just randomly attack innocent people. Such attacks can disrupt public order and peace, and can cause casualties and deaths. It can also impact business operations and significantly affect employees’ morale.
  3. Given the grave consequences of any terror attacks, we must not be complacent and depend only on security agencies to prepare and respond against terror attacks. SGSecure is a collective responsibility to safeguard Singapore and protect Singaporeans, and we can all do our part to achieve this objective. This morning’s exercise organised by Bedok Safety Group is a prime example of how companies and their employees can come together and contribute to the security of Singapore. I encourage more workplaces to emulate Bedok Safety Group and be part of the SGSecure movement. 
  4. Being part of the movement is not difficult. There are three key things employers can do to be SGSecure.
  5. Firstly, you can prepare your workforce for a crisis. You can do so by sending selected personnel to be trained in skills such as Improvised First Aid Skills (IFAS), Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) and using the Automated External Defibrillator (AED). Such skills are critical to ensure ready assistance are available to affected employees until the authorities arrive in a critical situation. You can further advise employees to familiarise themselves with their surroundings, such as the location of the escape routes, suitable hiding places and locations of first aid provisions. This will allow them to at least protect themselves until help arrives.
  6. Secondly, as employers, you can strengthen your workplace by making sure that you have robust business continuity plans in place. Such plans can mitigate disruptions to your business and help you recover more quickly when an incident strikes. Building owners can take steps to protect their premises by installing CCTVs, having adequate perimeter fencing and proper access controls.
  7. Lastly, by developing your community networks, you can boost your vigilance and enhance your ability to deal with threats and crises together with neighbouring businesses and residents.
  8. Working together, my Ministry and our tripartite partners will continue to help workplaces,employers and employees to be more SGSecure-ready.
  9. In conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for being here this morning. Your presence means a lot, not just to your company, but also to the Government and the country as a whole. I encourage you to spread the message and get more businesses and workplaces to be part of the SGSecure movement.
  10. On this note, thank you for having me here this morning to join you at this important and meaningful exercise.