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Speech by Minister of State for Manpower, Ms Gan Siow Huang, for FAST Hub’s Official Opening and FAST’s Annual Migrant Domestic Worker (MDW) and Employer Appreciation Day

Minister of State for Manpower, FAST Hub


Mr Lim Fang Sung, President, Foreign Domestic Worker Association for Social Support and Training (FAST),

Minister Edwin Tong,

Honorary Senior Advisor Hawazi,

Distinguished guests,

Partners and friends of the FAST community.

Thank you for inviting me today for the official launch of FAST Hub.

Official Launch of FAST Hub

1. I would like to congratulate FAST on this momentous milestone. FAST Hub will play an important role in enabling our migrant domestic workers to spend their off days meaningfully. They will be able to enjoy a wide range of wellness activities and acquire new skills. Activities such as Zumba and Pilates will promote healthy living. Cooking classes will allow our migrant domestic workers to hone their culinary skills. There are also Karaoke rooms for those who like singing. FAST Hub is truly a place where our migrant domestic workers can rest, recharge and reconnect with their friends.

2. Beyond meeting recreational needs, FAST Hub also provides well-being support for our migrant domestic workers. Counselling services are available for those who require advice. FAST also provides a mediation service to resolve issues amicably between the migrant domestic workers and their employers.

3. The launch of the FAST Hub is timely too.As you may know, effective 1 Jan next year, all migrant domestic workers will have a mandatory off day that cannot be compensated away. This will allow our migrant domestic workers to rest and recharge, and form networks of support outside the household. We hope that employers and their domestic workers can start early conversations to reach a mutual agreement on the rest day arrangement.

Whole-of-Society Effort   

4. Let me now touch on our whole-of-society efforts to support and care for our migrant domestic workers. The Ministry of Manpower works with our partners, such as Non-Governmental Organisations and community organisations, to strengthen support measures for our domestic workers.

5. One example is the “Care Sisters” group, where migrant domestic workers are empowered and trained to provide mental well-being support to fellow domestic workers who may be facing issues. A joint collaboration between MOM, FAST and other community partners such as the Alliance of Domestic Employee Outreach, Caring for Life and Healthserve, the “Care Sisters” group was formed earlier this year. One of these Care Sisters is Crisanta. Whenever her friends confide in her, she applies what she learns from her Psychological First Aid training. She gives useful tips to help her friends better reconcile their emotions. It also assures her friends that a trained listening ear is just a call or text away. This is the type of peer support network we aim to grow, and we hope more migrant domestic workers will join us as Care Sisters.

6. The FAST-Sheng Siong scholarship is another good example of how the community can come together to support our migrant domestic workers. Sheng Siong has generously sponsored $50,000 to the scholarship programme. 20 migrant domestic workers will be able to enrol in a caregiving course at the certificate level. I would like to congratulate the recipients of the inaugural FAST-Sheng Siong scholarship! Study hard and do well. I urge more like-minded organisations like Sheng Siong to step forward and partner our NGOs on similar meaningful initiatives.

Exemplary MDW and Employer Award

7. In addition to celebrating the opening of the Hub, I am also happy to be celebrating FAST’s “Exemplary MDW and Employer Award”. This award recognises the importance of the harmonious working relationship between the migrant domestic worker and her employer.

8. I am especially moved by the story of Ms Shalini and her migrant domestic worker, Ms Murugaiyan. The pair are as close as sisters, and work closely in partnership to support the household. During the pandemic, Ms Murugaiyan stepped up to offer even more support. When Ms Shalini gave birth to her second child, Ms Murugaiyan put her employer’s needs first and postponed her home leave to go back to India. She decided to help take care of the baby as she knew that it would be tough on Ms Shalini. As a mother myself, I can imagine that Ms Murgaiyan’s selfless decision would have brought much-needed assurance to Ms Shalini. Ms Shalini also fondly addresses her as “akka”, or “sister” in Tamil, reflecting the close bond and harmonious working relationship between the two.I must congratulate both Ms Murugaiyan and Ms Shalini, as well as the other seven employers and their migrant domestic workers in receiving the award.Well done!


9. In closing, I would like to extend my appreciation to FAST and all our partners for your tireless efforts to care and support our migrant domestic workers. With the launch of FAST Hub, I encourage all migrant domestic workers and their employers to make good use of the facilities and activities available at the Hub. Let us work together to make this a vibrant space that uplifts our migrant domestic worker community.

10. Congratulations once again on the opening of FAST Hub, and have a very happy Migrant Domestic Worker and Employer Appreciation Day. Thank you!