AMP Micro Business Programme Graduation Ceremony at Singapore Prison Service Institution A4 – Short Remarks by Assoc Prof Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of National Development

Published: 03 March 2021

1.    A very good morning to Ms Shie Yong Lee, Commissioner, Singapore Prison Service (SPS);  Mr Chng Hwee Hong, Chairman, Yellow Ribbon Singapore (YRSG); Ms Zarina Yusof, Executive Director, AMP Singapore; and friends, as well as the 18 participants of the AMP Micro Business Programme.


2.    I want to congratulate all of you. A very meaningful journey, I must say. I want to thank AMP, as well as the SME Centre@Singapore Malay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SMCCI) as we continue this journey with you. This was an opportunity that you have seized, to develop new skills. And this is important because with these skills that you have been harnessing, you will continue to improve and you will become better. So, I want to congratulate all of you for taking this step. Some of you might be thinking about whether to give this a try, but now, you have completed the programme, and proven to yourself that you can. I’m sure that if you continue with it and see this as part of, or an area that you want to embark on, it is something worthwhile.


3.    And Ms Zarina shared about Mdm Sjuffriani[1]. Not only did she take on the course and get accredited in training, she became a trainer. So, this is a potential path that you can take. When you do something, and become good at it, you can in turn, give back to the community. When you do that, you develop and enhance your expertise, and that is something that I hope you will find meaning in and find opportunities to upgrade yourself and give back to society.


4.    Personally, I sincerely feel that this is an opportunity for you to stay focused, as well as do well in your rehabilitation and reintegration journey. My hope is that you find new meaning in life, go through the rehabilitation well, and be well reintegrated with your family. In order to do so, I think we can agree that we must find new meaning, stay away from what you did in the past. No doubt, nobody is perfect, but now, you are achievers. You have a path ahead of you, to use your skills that you have gotten from this programme. And I am confident that once you focus your mind on this effort, not only will you have a good rehabilitation and reintegration journey, I think that you can do well.


5.    COVID-19 has opened up many opportunities, and one of them is the area you have embarked on – that is, home-based businesses. I have engaged quite a number of home-based businesses, especially during the early part of COVID-19, when the Government was giving help to Singaporeans, as part of the Temporary Relief Fund. I’ve realised that many opportunities were created from online platforms which were very important. So, don’t miss this chance. See this as an opportunity, not only for today or next year, but also for many, many more years to come. My view is that home-based businesses will stay and continue. I know that you have children, and some of you worry about your children when you go out to work. This is a valid concern. With this, you will have more flexibility. Even if you have jobs outside, in your free time, you can also do this, and make some money as well.


6.    Secondly, I want you to urge you to involve your children in the process of baking, as it will enhance the bond between you and your children. That is important. When your child not only sees you when you come back, they also see that you have found a new meaning in life – this will bring new meaning to them, and I hope that this will stop the intergenerational cycle of offending in the future. I want better lives for you and your children. So, I hope you not only feel that it is a skill that you take on, but it is also something that you can find ways to, or meaningful to, develop with your family. This, to me is a very important aspect.


7.    So, don’t miss this opportunity. Remain focused. I understand that SME@SMCCI will also journey with you throughout the six months after your release. Take the opportunity. Don’t stay away from them and engage them, learn from them, get their advice on how you can do better. It may be difficult at first, but persevere. Get the advice from them, get connected with them, stay in touch with Ms Zarina and her colleagues. Like Mdm Sufriani, stay in touch. This is what we want to do – to develop pro-social groups, and create a new meaning in your life, so you can continue what you have gotten here and not be distracted by other things.


Key Role of Community Partners in Supporting Offenders’ Rehabilitation and Reintegration

8.    And so, I would sincerely like to thank AMP[2]. AMP has worked with us not only for this programme, they are also helping us on some of the other programmes for our inmates – as well as their families. Thank you for partnering with us. We hope to continue to work with you and also with SME Centre@SMCCI.


9.    If you look at it, this is just one of the areas or partners. We have many other partners, and we will continue to grow this network for you and your family. We know it is very important for you to have this opportunity as part of your rehabilitation and reintegration journey. We will grow this, and we will strengthen this. We want to make sure that we do our best to help you. But I also want you to do your part, I want you to stay focused, and use these skills that you have. Don’t keep your eyes, heart and mind away from what you have just completed. Stay focused, continue this journey, and stay in touch with the people that are working hard to make a difference in your lives.


9.    Rehabilitation and reintegration are not easy, but you must persevere, and have commitment. I sincerely want to thank all my colleagues at SPS, YRSG and all our partners for working very hard to take care of our friends and their families. What is key is that we will continue this journey, and we can become better and better. At the same time, we can make your life and your family’s lives better, in Singapore.


9.    So, thanks for having me. Today is a proud day, not only for you but for all of us, because it is a journey that will have impact on the lives of fellow Singaporeans, and we want that to be a positive one. We hope you will continue this journey, stay on and do it for your families and friends.


9.    Thank you.

[1] Mdm Sjuffriani does not have history of incarceration. She joined the public-run programme which was started in 2005. YRSG saw the potential of AMP Micro Business programme and brought relevant stakeholders together to conceptualize and implement a version of the Programme incare for female inmates with children.

[2] AMP conducts the Development & Reintegration Programme (DRP), which adopts a structured and holistic approach in providing support to the offenders and their families.