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MHA COS 2022: Combating Drugs and Securing Singapore; Safeguarding Singapore, Together

Highlights from the COS speeches by MOS Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and MOS Desmond Tan.
Home Team News COS2022 MOSes 01
GRAPHIC: Home Team News

 At the Committee of Supply (COS) Debate in Parliament on 3 March, Ministers of State Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and Desmond Tan shared about the Home Team’s efforts in a range of areas. Here are key highlights from their speeches. 

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Prevention and Reintegration: In terms of upstream measures to deter youth offending, the Singapore Police Force (SPF) and the National Crime Prevention Council have been jointly organising the Delta League since 2011. This is a programme that engages youths through football tournaments, workshops and e-sports to imbue a sense of teamwork, discipline and social responsibility. In 2018, we set up the National Committee on Prevention, Rehabilitation and Recidivism to oversee national efforts to prevent offending and re-offending, and enhance the rehabilitation of offenders. 

Supporting Reintegration: Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG) has built a system of support to incentivise, recognise and empower employers to hire ex-offenders. YRSG also provides job placement support prior to release, with placement exercises held in prison to match inmates with suitable employers.

The Singapore Prison Service partners community organisations and volunteers to provide pro-social support to ex-offenders when they are released into the community. Under the Throughcare Volunteer Framework, volunteers involve them in activities after their release, and connect them to wider communities of support.

Strengthening Our Approach to Combat Drug Abuse: To better protect Singapore from the scourge of drugs, we will strengthen the three pillars of our harm prevention efforts: tough laws and robust enforcement; Preventive Drug Education (PDE); and rehabilitation and aftercare. We also intend to amend the Misuse of Drugs Act to better regulate New Psychoactive Substances, expand PDE efforts to forge a national consensus of zero-tolerance against drugs, and enhance drug supervision to support former abusers in leading drug-free lives. 

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Community Partnership for Crime Prevention: In 2021, SPF launched the Community Watch Scheme (CWS) to build a volunteer network to fight crime. This scheme integrates existing groups such as the Neighbourhood Watch Zone, Vehicles on Watch and Riders on Watch, into one community partnership programme.  

Scams and Cheating Cases: In 2019, SPF set up the Anti-Scam Centre (ASC) as a specialised unit focused on anti-scam interventions and enforcement. We are also working with agencies to develop a framework that will help tackle scams, as well as a broader suite of criminal activity online, such as child pornography, terrorism, and content inciting violence in our communities. 

Anti-Terrorism: Key to Singapore’s counter-terrorism strategy is working closely with global security, intelligence and law enforcement agencies in information sharing, joint operations and capacity building. This has helped us to foil terror threats. For example, in 2016, the Internal Security Department worked closely with our Indonesian counterparts to thwart a plot by a Batam-based pro-ISIS cell that targeted Marina Bay Sands.

The Government also works closely with our community and religious leaders to address the roots of the ideology upstream. We are also ramping up our community response and mobilisation capabilities to terror attacks through the SGSecure movement. 

To continue raising the professionalism of our security industry partners, with effect from 1 July 2023, all security officers must complete the “Recognise Terrorist Threats” training before they can be deployed at any site.

MHA Committee of Supply (COS) Debate 2022
Read the COS 2022 speeches delivered by Minister of State Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and Minister of State Desmond Tan. For more info on MHA COS 2022, visit the MHA COS 2022 webpage.

Written by

Mike Tan


3 March 2022

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