NCADA Chairman and members
Ladies and Gentlemen
2. I am pleased to join you all this evening at the launch of ‘In Retrospect’, the commemorative book for the ‘Partnership for a Drug Free Singapore’ by the National Council Against Drug Abuse. This book showcases the many highly visual and impactful advertising concepts and campaigns contributed pro-bono by some of the best talents in our creative industry.
Drug situation under control
3. I have been asked on several occasions what keeps the drug situation in Singapore well under control. I usually tell them that it is due to the close cooperation between the Government and the community. Our strict laws, together with effective enforcement, treatment and aftercare programmes, have prevented drug abuse from becoming a major social problem. But it is the strong community support tightly interwoven into the efforts taken by the Government thathas made this a winning formula.
Contributions of NCADA
4. We have benefited tremendously from the tireless and creative efforts of NCADA in educating the public and garnering strong support for our anti-drug cause. Here I would specially like to thank Mr Lim Hock San, the first chairman of NCADA, for his commitment to the Council’s work in the last 12 years, from 1995. Hock San played a key role in mobilizing the community to address the drug problem. His leadership and zeal in developing the role of this new council has left a positive impact on anti-drug efforts and his dedicationwill be remembered by all who served with him.
5. In particular, a key role for NCADA was to garner community support for the anti-drug cause. Hock San also successfully identified and tapped the support and talent of many members of the general community as well as the business sectors and worked closely with Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB), the Prison Department, Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprise (SCORE) and MHA, to devise effective anti-drug abuse messages in preventive public education. I also take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to NCADA’s new Chairman, Dr Loo Choon Yong. As one of the pioneer members of the Council and as the former President of Singapore Anti-Narcotics Association (SANA), Choon Yong has a deep understanding of this area. NCADA is in good hands.
6. I would like to thank all past and present council members who have made significant contributions to our efforts in keeping the drug situation under control.
Support from media partners
7. I would also like to thank our partners from the media and creative industry. They have given their creative ideas and time for the public awareness and preventive education efforts. Media campaigns are influential in shaping public perception and attitudes against drug abuse; they help reinforce the national consensus of zero tolerance against drugs. The various works contributed by partner agencies have captured the dark truths of drug abuse and havedriven home the impact of the anti-drug message.
8. Indeed, the quality of our preventive education messaging has grown in sophistication over the years, with many thought-provoking and emotively powerful advertising pieces that have driven home the anti-drug abuse message so effectively. We could not have done it on our own. The amazing products you have contributed over the years and which are reflected in this book, demonstrate how much creativity and professionalism is able to achieve when driven by heart.
9. I congratulate those of you who have gone on to win special recognition for your anti-drug works in the international arena. It is an honour that your anti-drug contributions have also made a mark beyond our shores.
10. The changing drug trends and social milieu continue to pose a challenge. We have to recognize these developments and act decisively to address them. Given the lure of synthetic drugs, it is necessary to communicate the anti-drug message through fresh and innovative ideas to raise awareness and reach minds.
11. The Partnership for a Drug-Free Singapore is a sterling example of what can be achieved when the community and private sector lead the movement, with conviction and passion. As we celebrate your contributions with this book ‘In Retrospect’, and look forward to continuous support from you, I would also like to encourage more advertising agencies to come on board to work hand in hand with us, for a drug-free Singapore.
12. Thank you.