Closing Remarks by Senior Minister Of State Zaqy Mohamad at the Final Showcase of the Alliance for Action for Lower-Wage Workers
1. Good afternoon, everyone! Thank you all for your presentations earlier and the amazing work that you have done!
2. I remember when we first started this it was 2021, and we were in the midst of COVID-19. It wasn’t easy to get work done, but many of you persevered and we have seen many projects flourish.
3. Today will be the final showcase of the Alliance for Action (AfA) for Lower-Wage Workers. Seeing where we started from and how all of you have arrived at where we are today, we should commend ourselves for the hard work and innovation. Let’s give everyone a round of applause.
4. Thank you for staying the course. It’s really hard to find passionate individuals, especially for a cause like uplifting lower-wage workers. In the last few years, especially since COVID, there has been growing recognition of the importance of lower-wage workers and the essential work that they do. We saw significant improvements in awareness on issues related to lower-wage workers, and we have been able to negotiate for better wages for them.
5. More importantly, it’s not just about the Government, unions and employers, but all of you here, as members of society who have the desire to accord lower-wage workers with the respect and dignity they deserve. Moving forward, we should continue to change perceptions and encourage our society to respect all workers, regardless of pay or perceived status.
6. Although only nine groups presented today, we have actually started 14 projects over the last two years. It’s no mean feat, as many of you have to juggle careers, families and your social life. I would like to acknowledge your passion and hard work. Certainly, there are a lot of learnings that we can take away from this AfA.
7. Firstly, I was heartened to hear how the Experience Day team has touched the hearts and minds of the youngest in our society by teaching them to respect our lower-wage workers. Kudos to the team comprising Ajay, Ardi, Avtar, Hamid and Roger, for coming up with fun games and activities to allow pre-schoolers to experience the work that lower-wage workers do.
8. Next, the founder of SELF, Wei Ching has leveraged her unique skillsets as an AI engineer to develop an AI Resume Maker and a job matching Telegram bot. She and her team empowers low-income single mothers to find suitable employment opportunities. Their work is very meaningful and worthwhile, and can go a long way in making a difference to their beneficiaries.
9. All of you have done very meaningful work, which I’m sure our lower-wage workers would appreciate, and would make an impact in their lives. I would also like to thank community partners such as PCF Sparkletots, Camberley Pre-School, National Trades Union Congress (NTUC), Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) and Frasers Property.
10. As the AfA-LWW draws to a close, let’s not forget that uplifting lower-wage workers is a whole-of-society effort. The Government has made significant progress in uplifting our lower-wage workers, and up to 9 in 10 benefit from Progressive Wages moves. We have rolled out the Progressive Wage Model in nine sectors and occupations. Beyond wages, skills and training, we want society to recognise their work.
11. Lastly, I hope all of you will spread the word. Don’t stop here, and let’s continue the efforts to make a positive change to our society. We can all make a difference if we really believe in it. Once again, I would like to thank everyone on behalf of the Ministry of Manpower. Thank you very much.