Parliamentary Speeches

Reception in Conjunction With Ministerial Statement on Singapore’s National Drug Policy, Parliament House – Opening Remarks by Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs & Ministry of National Development

Published: 08 May 2024


1. A very good afternoon to everyone here. Thank you for setting aside time to be with us this afternoon. 

2. Later today, Minister for Home Affairs and Minister for Law, Mr Shanmugam will be delivering a statement in Parliament on the drug control strategy in Singapore. We are thankful that you have taken the time to attend and witness the delivery of this statement. Your presence here is very important as you symbolise the hope that we, as a society can overcome drug addiction together. I also want to take this opportunity to thank you for being patient and accommodating with some last-minute changes on the date of this event.  

3. Minister will be speaking about the drug situation – what’s happening around the world, the region, and in Singapore. He will also share about Singapore’s approach and why we must continue to stand firm on our approach on drugs and the importance of working together as a community to protect our youths from the harms of drugs. 

4. Minister will make special mention in his statement to celebrate the efforts of those, like you, who have managed to quit drugs and stay drug-free. He will also pay tribute to family members and loved ones, for standing by tirelessly to lend strength and support to those in their recovery journey.

5. The rehabilitation and reintegration journey is one that can be filled with many setbacks and challenges. I have heard many painful accounts from family members as well as ex-abusers about their journey to recovery, and during the time when drugs took over their world. I have also spoken to inmates in Prison during my regular visits, and they always share their stories of regrets with me. 

6. I see some familiar faces here in this room – I’m very happy to see you here. Some of you have shared with me your journey and your struggles. I thank you for being open, for sharing your brave journey, and inspiring me to do more together with the rest of the community. I know the journey is tough and I applaud you for staying steadfast and for persevering through the challenges and setbacks, and for turning your lives around. Some of you have even started to give back to the community so that you can prevent the next generation from falling prey to drug abuse. You are truly amazing. Give yourselves a big round of applause. Your success and your perseverance is an inspiration for us to keep on with our efforts.

On the Drug Victims Remembrance Day 

7. As we continue to work with the community to strengthen the support network for rehabilitation, reintegration, and desistance, it is also important for us to ensure that the young, our next generation, do not get themselves involved in drugs in the first place. 

8. Earlier in February, Minister had announced in Parliament that starting from 2024, Singapore will designate every third Friday of May as Drug Victims Remembrance Day - a day to remember the victims of drugs by creating awareness of how families and our society, apart from abusers themselves, are harmed by drugs. 

9. The Drug Victims Remembrance Day will be commemorated on 17 May this year. 

10. Many partners will join in the event. Among them are the schools whereby students and staff will observe the commemoration by conducting lessons and assembly programmes highlighting the harms of drugs and how drug abuse can affect the people they love.

11. One of the highlights is an observance event at Ngee Ann City Civic Plaza on 17 May with Minister as the Guest of Honour. There will be an immersive exhibition and panel discussion happening from 17 May to 19 May at the same venue. I believe Mr Bruce Mathieu, who is with us here today too, will be one of the panellists. There will also be a series of exhibitions held at different locations around Singapore from May to July. 

12. So I would encourage you to  bring your family to these events and show your support. 


13. I commend everyone who have managed to break free from drug addiction and stay on the path of desistance. I am heartened to know that many of you have also devoted your time to helping others who are still struggling with drug abuse, or lent your voice to speak up against drug abuse. 

14. Family is the strongest bond and they can ground us when everything else is in disarray. They can help us find meaning and direction when we are lost. I am thus very thankful to your family members and loved ones for not giving up and for helping you to get back on track.

15. Thank you once again for taking time to join us today. Let us continue to work together to build our community’s resilience against drugs and secure a drug-free society for our next generation.

16. Thank you.