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Opening Speech at SGSecure@Workplaces Workplace Community Leaders Programme

Mr Sam Tan, Minister of State for Manpower, Furama City Centre

  1. It’s my pleasure to be here today, to join you for the annual SGSecure@Workplaces Seminar.

    Important to involve everyone in the SGSecure movement

  2. The SGSecure movement was launched in September 2016 to deal with the terror threat facing Singapore. Based on the number of terror attacks in major cities around the world in recent years, we believe that:
    • The threat is real and present.
    • It is not a matter of if, but when a terror attack will happen in Singapore. 
    • And how well we respond to it, depends on how well we prepare for it.
  3. As the Chinese saying goes - 国家兴亡, 匹夫有责。Every one of us has a part to play in preparing Singapore to meet the terror threat.
  4. That is why a number of public agencies are supporting the national SGSecure movement as a WOG effort.
  5. For example, the People’s Association leads in getting neighbourhoods ready; the Ministry of Culture and Community focuses on getting community groups prepared.
  6. MOM is responsible for engaging workplaces to do their part.
  7. We cannot overemphasise the urgency for workplaces to prepare and be ready for such threats. Being prepared can help to save lives. It will also enable businesses to recover and resume their operations more quickly after an attack.
  8. That is why MOM launched the SGSecure@Workplaces Programme last September to step up our efforts.

    Stepping up efforts under SGSecure@Workplaces Programme

  9. We started with the SGSecure Guide for Workplaces in Sep 2017.
  10. Jointly developed with industry players, the Guide contains practical steps for companies to prepare themselves against a possible terror attack.
  11. Beyond the Guide, SGSecure elements were also incorporated into the bizSAFE programme in September 2017.
  12. The bizSAFE programme helps companies build up their risk management capabilities. Such capabilities enable them to implement the recommendations in the SGSecure Guide for Workplaces more effectively.
  13. This will make workplaces not only safe and healthy but secure as well.
  14. We further encouraged companies to appoint SGSecure representatives to spearhead efforts at workplaces to, prepare the workforce, protect the workplace and, partner the community against terror threats.
  15. During crises, they are also their companies’ point of contact with the authorities.
  16. Today’s seminar is part of the SGSecure@Workplaces Programme. It is a platform to update our tripartite partners, and industry community on the evolving terror threats and developments. We can also hear from industry players on how they are preparing for the terror threat. This will help other workplaces gain insights into good practices.

    Workplace Community Leaders are key to our efforts

  17. The SGSecure@Workplaces programme will not succeed without our workplace community leaders’ involvement.
  18. Our workplace community leaders play an important role to, champion SGSecure during peace time, and engage our workers during times of crises. Let me explain with an example.
  19. Ms Agnes Lau, Head of Facilities and Corporate Services, Courts (Singapore) Pte Ltd, is one of our Workplace Community Leaders.
  20. Ms Lau, together with her team, have helped Courts, achieve bizSAFE Star & Partner Certifications. 
  21. They have also proactively formed a Company Emergency Response Team (CERT) to deal with emergency situations, and will be conducting terror attack drills later this year.
  22. Ms Lau has also led Courts’ participation in the SPF and SCDF’s Safety & Security Watch Group at Tampines Retail Park for over 10 years.
  23. She is actively encouraging fellow building owners in the retail park to step up vigilance on security and safety.
  24. We plan to appoint over 100 Workplace Community Leaders like Ms Lau in the coming year.
  25. For many of our Workplace Community Leaders, this work will not be new.
  26. Many would have been part of the previous Community Engagement Programme (or CEP).
  27. They would have spent time building up community resilience and forging workplace unity.
  28. With the SGSecure movement, the role has become more focused and significant as it looks into preparing workers and protecting the workplace.

    Workplace Community Leaders Programme will prepare our leaders

  29. To enable our workplace community leaders to step into their bigger roles, we are rolling out the Workplace Community Leaders Programme today.
  30. With this programme, we hope to prepare our workplace community leaders to be able to grow their networks, better appreciate the prevailing security climate; and communicate effectively with their respective communities both during peacetime and in a crisis.
  31. We will adopt a three-pronged approach to do so.
  32. Firstly, we will enable our workplace community leaders by, building their awareness of the security climate and knowledge of important mitigating measures, and developing their capability to respond effectively in a crisis. We will also be having a briefing by MHA today, to understand the latest developments in the terror threat situation.
  33. For a start, we are partnering with SGH to prepare our leaders with basic life-saving skills that are essential in a crisis. There will be a demonstration later and today’s participants will have the opportunity to pick up CPR and AED skills.
  34. Secondly, we will involve community leaders. We will tap on our workplace community leaders to share their experience and promote the SGSecure movement.
  35. This will include co-developing SGSecure materials, and engaging our leaders to participate in SGSecure events or seminars.
  36. By involving our Workplace Community Leaders, we hope to motivate more companies to become more SGSecure-ready.
  37. Lastly, we will connect our Workplace Community Leaders to the wider SGSecure network.
  38. We will involve our community leaders in events across other domains, such as the Community Groups domain, and sharing the good work that they have done in strengthening the industry preparedness against terror threat. 
  39. We hope this will encourage cross learning of experiences and further strengthen the SGSecure movement.
    Efforts in preparing workplaces must continue
  40. With these efforts, I am pleased to share that we are making good progress.
  41. In the first six months of the SGSecure@Workplaces programme, over 3,300 companies have attained the enhanced bizSAFE level 3 and become SGSecure-ready.  Over 9,000 SGSecure representatives have registered themselves with MOM.
  42. This means that over 10% of our workforce are in companies who have taken steps to prepare themselves.
  43. These is encouraging but clearly more needs to be done.
  44. Therefore, I urge our community leaders present today to step forward. 
  45. As a first step, you can get your fellow businesses who have not done so, to appoint and register an SGSecure rep with MOM.
  46. This will enable us to reach out directly to more workplaces and assist them in raising their preparedness.

  47. The task to prepare our workplaces against the terror threat is not an easy one.
  48. The risks of desensitization to the warnings about a terror threat are real.
  49. We need your support to continually make the message real for your industries.
  50. With your support, we will be able to build a workforce that is resilient, cohesive, and a workplace more ready to respond to, and recover from a terror attack.
  51. Thank you.