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Rocking the Anti-Drug Message
Music, mobile games and the always important personal touch – how the anti-drug message has expanded to platforms new and old.

While Singapore’s anti-drug policies garner very strong support from Singaporeans, efforts continue apace to share the dangers of drug abuse with those most vulnerable – our youths. Here are three ways that the anti-drug message has been shared with them!

1. Heartland Rock
As a fan of crime dramas like Miami Vice, it felt natural for Imran Salim, Manager of the Central Narcotics Bureau’s (CNB) Community Engagement Unit (CEU), to join the Home Team.

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Keeping our streets drug-free – Imran’s work is all about supporting community partners and volunteers to drive home the anti-drug message. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Since joining CNB, Imran had participated in enforcement operations, managed drug supervisees and conducted investigations. Now, he’s helping to bring the Dadah Itu Haram anti-drug campaign into our heartlands by working with students, community partners, volunteers and religious teachers.

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Hitting the right notes: The Dadah Itu Haram concert at Kampung Admiralty in March 2019. PHOTO: Dadah Itu Haram

These outreach efforts have been a hit. In March 2019, a Dadah Itu Haram concert was held for the first time with the support of the Malay Activity Executive Committees Council and other community partners and volunteers.

“The turnout was satisfying as 4,000 people showed up,” recalled Imran. “It made me happy to see the support shown by the community. We all have to play a part in the fight against drugs!”

2. Game On!
Serious messages transcend communities and platforms, and can take many different forms, even light-hearted ones. Enter “Seal No to Drugs”, a cool new Augmented Reality (AR) mobile game designed by final-year students from the School of Interactive and Digital Media at Nanyang Polytechnic.

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Education through entertainment: Players experience the harmful effects of commonly-abused drugs through the AR game. GRAPHIC: Home Team News

“Seal No to Drugs” takes players on a journey to find a seal pup and, along the way, helps them understand the harmful effects of drugs (such as hallucinations and loss of motor-neuro-coordination).

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A game and more: Hong Sheng is one of the enthusiastic young designers behind "Seal No to Drugs." PHOTO: Natasha Razak

“We wanted to make the game really fun, but also include a strong anti-drug message,” said Lau Hong Sheng, 20, one of the game’s designers. “The gameplay was crafted such that it reflects a person’s life journey and how we may encounter drugs and its ill effects.”

Hong Sheng hopes the game, which will be available via Apple's App Store and Google Play by June 2019, will effectively convey the threat of drugs through its quirky characters and immersive gameplay. “Through our game, youths can learn more about the negative effects of drugs and stay away from them,” he said.

3. A Cut Above
When it comes to sharing the anti-drug message, few things are as effective as the personal touch. That’s one of the reasons that the Dadah Itu Haram campaign has been embraced by the barber community.

One young business owner who’s given the Dadah Itu Haram campaign his support is Nor Muhammad Faiz Ismail, owner of DeepCuts Barber’s.

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A cut above: Dadah Itu Haram’s “Barbers Against Drugs” outreach efforts in Singapore’s heartland. PHOTO: Natasha Razak

Faiz’s love for classic haircuts and rock & roll music first drove him to start his own barber-shop when he was 21-years-old. Now, he’s looking to make a difference within the community, in a more meaningful way.

“I wanted to be a part of the Dadah Itu Haram campaign because I believe that sharing the anti-drug message with just one person can help that same message to be passed to many others,” said Faiz. “I feel that I can relate to youths on a personal level and keep them from being led astray by drugs.”

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45 minutes – that’s how long it takes for Faiz to cut and style a client’s hair, and to share Dadah Itu Haram's anti-drug message. PHOTOS: Natasha Razak

Faiz’s commitment stems from his own experiences as a youth. “Looking back, I’ve also made many decisions that I’d want to change,” he said. “Through the anti-drug message that I share, I want to help our clients find purpose in their lives.”

CNB 2019 Workplan Seminar
Read the speech by Minister for Home Affairs Mr K Shanmugam at the CNB 2019 Workplan Seminar.

Find out more about the Ministry of Home Affairs' 2018 Public Perception Survey on Singapore's Anti-Drug Policies.   

Home Team 2019 Workplan Seminars

Tech Spotlight: Checkpoint Transformation (ICA)
Tech Spotlight: The Future of Emergency Services (SCDF)
Strengthening the Ties that Bind (SPS)
New Jobs, New Lives (SCORE)
Tech Spotlight: The Future of Policing (SPF)
Eyes in the Sky to Guide Boots on the Ground (SPF)
The Future of Training; Training for the Future (HTA)
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Natasha Razak and Janani Sivalingam
  2. 28 May 2019
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