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MHA COS 2020: Combating Drug Abuse, Strengthening Rehabilitation, a Safe and Secure Home
How the Home Team is working to combat the scourge of drugs; enhance rehabilitation and reintegration programmes; and work with the community to keep Singapore safe.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

At this year’s Community of Supply (COS) Debate in Parliament on 2 March 2020, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Mr Amrin Amin affirmed the Home Team’s commitment to fighting drugs and enhancing rehabilitation programmes. Here are two highlights from his speech. 

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

1. We continue to enhance Singapore’s anti-drug approach.
With one in 18 adults in the world having used drugs at least once in a year (according to the 2019 World Drug Report), the international drug situation continues to be of concern. In particular, the abuse of New Psychoactive Substances (NPS) has increased, becoming the third most commonly abused drug in Singapore. To combat this threat, Singapore will review its laws to robustly deal with NPS. 

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PHOTOS: CNB, Home Team News

Preventive Drug Education programmes will also be enhanced in order to correct misinformation about drugs and address changing attitudes towards cannabis. Sixty secondary schools have been offered an after-school anti-drug engagement programme. This effort has borne fruit, with over 160 youths serving as Anti-Drug Advocates.

Community engagement is vital too. The Indian community has done its part to share the anti-drug message by supporting the Bothaiporulai Ethirthu Nirpom (BEN) campaign while the Dadah Itu Haram campaign has engaged over 100,000 members of the Malay-Muslim community. 

2. Rehabilitation and reintegration programmes have been enhanced. 
The Singapore Prison Service (SPS) will strengthen the support offered to inmates and ex-offenders in the following ways.

Family support: As part of trials for SPS’ Family Interventions and Reintegration Support Team (FIRST) programme, family case managers will work with community partners and agencies to support inmates’ families. Over 100 inmates have benefited from FIRST and SPS will be enhancing collaborations with Social Service Agencies.

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PHOTOS: CNB, Home Team News

Throughcare Volunteer Framework: SPS will also expand its Throughcare Volunteer Framework to encourage more volunteers and support inmates pre- and post-release.  

DIRECT: SPS’ Digitisation of Inmate Rehabilitation and Corrections Tool (DIRECT) empowers inmates to take ownership of their rehabilitation. Inmates can use shared tablets to learn and keep in touch with their loved ones via electronic letters.

Employment: The Singapore Corporation of Rehabilitative Enterprises (SCORE) prepares offenders for employment through employer engagement, skills training and employment assistance. Last year, almost 6,000 offenders went for an average of four training courses each. Over 2,600 offenders received employment assistance, with 96% securing jobs before release. SCORE will further support inmates by partnering the Singapore Precision Engineering and Technology Association and MediaCorp to set up precision engineering and media skills training academies. 

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

3. We’re strengthening measures to tackle tech-enabled crimes.
During the COS Debate, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs Ms Sun Xueling shared how the Home Team is keeping Singapore safe and secure. Here are three highlights from her speech. 

Set-up in 2019, the Singapore Police Force’s Anti-Scam Centre mitigates the losses of victims. Additionally, an Inter-Ministry Committee on Scams – which includes representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, the Ministry of Communications and Information and the Ministry of Trade and Industry, among other members – will be established to execute a comprehensive strategy to combat scams. 

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PHOTOS: Home Team News

4. With the community’s support, we remain on guard against the threat of a terrorist attack. 
Ms Sun also noted the importance of not being complacent about threats that can tear society apart. For this reason, the SGSecure national movement will continue to roll out customised programmes for domains such as schools, workplaces, neighbourhoods and community groups. 

5. The Home Team is partnering the community to save lives.
On the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) front, Ms Sun noted that since the Save-A-Life Initiative was launched in 2015 to enhance community first response for cardiac arrest victims, more than 5,200 Automated External Defribillators (AEDs) have been installed across Singapore, and over half a million people have been trained in CPR-AED skills. 

About 75,000 people have also registered with the myResponder app so that they can assist the victims of cardiac arrest prior to the arrival of Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) lifesavers. With the launch of the SCDF EMS Tiered Response Framework in 2017, life-threatening emergencies have also been prioritised and now receive faster, enhanced services.  

MHA COS 2020
Read the COS 2020 speeches delivered by Senior Parliamentary Secretary Amrin Amin and Senior Parliamentary Secretary Sun Xueling. For more on MHA COS 2020, visit the MHA COS 2020 webpage.
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Soo Jun Xiang and Tiffany Tan
  2. 03 March 2020
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