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Together as One: Engaging Hearts and Minds the DIH Way
How our partners and volunteers have helped the anti-drug message take root in the Malay-Muslim community.

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GRAPHIC: Home Team News

Craving your favourite Malay fare? Walk into a Malay eatery and chances are you’ll find a Dadah Itu Haram (DIH) sticker at a corner of your table. 

Fancy a haircut at your friendly neighbourhood Malay barbershop? Don’t be surprised if you spot DIH stickers on the mirror as the barber gives you an expert trim and chats about the DIH campaign. 

At numerous businesses, touchpoints, engagement sessions and public events, partners, advocates and volunteers within the Malay-Muslim community have stepped forward to share the anti-drug message embodied by the DIH (“Drugs are Forbidden”) campaign. Launched in 2017, this ground-up initiative has drawn an array of community partners – from ordinary folks, undergrads and religious teachers to motorcycle enthusiasts, anglers and more. 

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Supporting our community partners and volunteers in the fight against drugs (from left): SSI2 Che Yahya, ASP2 Imran, SUPT1A Saherly and Mr Zulkifli. PHOTO: CNB

Helping to drive these partnerships and engagements is a team of dedicated officers from the Community Engagement Unit of the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB). We spoke to Superintendent (SUPT) 1A Saherly Bin Limat, Assistant Superintendent (ASP) 2 Mohammad Imran Bin Salim, Senior Station Inspector (SSI) 2 Che Yahya Bin Mohd Bujang and Mr Mohamed Zulkifli about how the DIH campaign has raised anti-drug awareness within the Malay-Muslim community. 

What are the goals of the DIH campaign?
SUPT (1A) Saherly: As you know, Islam teaches that drugs are prohibited, and this is an instruction that the Malay-Muslim community identifies with. The DIH campaign takes a focused, community-based approach to sharing this anti-drug message, reaching out to the Malay-Muslim community through touchpoints such as eateries, barbershops, mosques, special interest groups, engagement sessions, public events and so on. 

How have your partners and volunteers helped the DIH campaign to grow since it was launched in 2017?
SUPT (1A) Saherly: What the DIH campaign offers is a collaborative platform that empowers our partners and volunteers to co-create ground-up initiatives that promote a drug-free lifestyle. They help to actively engage their own circles, sharing the anti-drug message in a way that’s natural to them.

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From the ground up: The DIH campaign has drawn partners and volunteers from across the Malay-Muslim community. PHOTOS: DIH FB

We now work with about 250 community partners and 200 volunteers through DIH. Our partners include MUIS, PERGAS, Muhammadiyah Welfare Home, Jamiyah and Pertapis. We’ve also collaborated with special interest groups such as Goodwheelz Bikerz and Broadwalk Anglers, among others. 

What drives you in your work? 
SUPT (1A) Saherly: The gotong royong (mutual assistance) spirit of our partners and volunteers is definitely what drives us on. They say it takes a village to raise a child, and it certainly takes the whole community to effect a positive change in attitudes towards drugs. Their efforts demonstrate the community’s belief in making a stand. 

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Enthusiastic members of the angling community rallying for DIH. PHOTOS: DIH FB

SSI (2) Che Yahya: In the early days of DIH, it took much legwork to engage our partners, going from eatery to eatery, and barbershop to barbershop. But it has been worth it!

Mr Zulkifli: What encourages me is seeing how Malay-Muslim undergrads and young professionals have supported DIH. Their efforts are both stirring and impactful!

What were some of the challenges you faced in supporting the DIH campaign?
SUPT (1A) Saherly: From the start, our partners were very keen to get behind DIH, but didn’t always have the resources to support the campaign. So we started small by incorporating DIH messages into their existing platforms and events. One early example was a collaboration with the arts group Andika Kancana that included anti-drug messages within the programme and video for their dikir barat competition. We’ve since supported about 50 public events.

ASP (2) Imran: Another challenge came during COVID-19 when we had to practise safe distancing measures and couldn’t continue with our usual engagement sessions. Our partners and volunteers are the heart of the DIH campaign and it’s important to engage them meaningfully. So we quickly adapted to the new normal by leveraging online platforms to share anti-drug updates.

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DIH goes online: E-Inspirasi 2020 was a virtual event to share anti-drug messages during Hari Raya. PHOTO: DIH FB 

We also recognised that the community might require assistance during the Circuit Breaker, so we readily shared information on various Government initiatives during our virtual engagements. As online sessions remain our default for the moment, there are several online sharing sessions and forums in the works. 

At this year’s Public Sector Transformation Awards, the DIH campaign received the Citizen Engagement Excellence Award. How do you feel about this recognition? 
SUPT (1A) Saherly: We’re thankful, and wish to share this recognition with our partners and volunteers; the DIH journey wouldn’t have been possible without their invaluable support. Moving forward, we hope to see more ground-up collaborations with the Malay-Muslim community, and that more people will embrace the anti-drug cause, in the same way that they’re committed to achieving educational excellence, economic success or religious enlightenment. 

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Moving on up: Special interest groups (such as cyclists) are among those who have taken up the anti-drug message. PHOTOS: DIH FB 
Beyond creating and sustaining awareness of DIH, we’re also working with our partners to introduce healthier lifestyles and provide further support to those who need it within the community. Together, we can achieve a drug-free future, not just for the Malay-Muslim community, but the entire nation.

Public Sector Transformation Awards 2020
The Public Sector Transformation Awards recognise public officers and agencies for excellence in their work and organisational practices. This year’s Award Reception was held virtually on 21 October, and 80 recipients in various categories were recognised for their contributions and service. 

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CNB received the Citizenship Engagement Excellence Award at this year’s Public Sector Transformation Awards. Congratulations to the team and our other Award recipients from the Home Team!
• Exemplary Innovator Award: Anti-Scam Centre, Singapore Police Force
Star Partner Award (Singapore Police Force): SHINE Children and Youth Services
• Exemplary SkillsFuture @ Public Service Award: SWO1 Mohammad Iskandar Bin Mohamed Ibrahim, Singapore Civil Defence Force
Exemplary Innovator Award: Anti-Scam Centre, Singapore Police Force
Exemplary Service Excellence Award: ASP Kiran Devi, Singapore Police Force
Exemplary Service Excellence Award: CPT Jenks Tan, Singapore Civil Defence Force
© 2019 Ministry of Home Affairs, Singapore. All Rights Reserved.

  1. by Vivian Moh
  2. 05 November 2020
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