Annual Hotel Security Conference 2021 – Opening Remarks by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

Published: 28 October 2021

Mr Kenneth Li, Honorary Treasurer, Singapore Hotel Association

Mr Tan Puay Kern, Vice Chairman, National Crime Prevention Council

Leaders, representatives and members of the hotel industry, and colleagues from the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Singapore Police Force.

1.   A very good afternoon ladies and gentlemen.

2.   I am really very happy to join you at the Annual Hotel Security Conference 2021 although we are doing it differently this year. It is organised by the Singapore Hotel Association, and supported by the Singapore Police Force as part of the ongoing partnership and collaboration under the Hotel industry safety and security watch group, as well as together with the National Crime Prevention Council.

3.   Let me first start off by congratulating all award recipients. This afternoon’s event recognises the tremendous efforts by members of the hotel industry in ensuring the safety and security of our hotel premises. Even as we all have to deal with the disruption and the uncertainties brought about by COVID-19, your efforts have gone a long way to create positive experiences for both local and foreign guests, and a lasting impression of our hospitality industry. Thus, I would like to congratulate all the recipients of the Individual Awards for Bravery, Vigilance and Honesty. Indeed, I was very heartened to read many stories of how lives were being saved, accidents were controlled, tensions diffused, valuable personal belongings returned and injuries prevented as a result of the vigilance, the bravery and honesty of members of the hotel industry. So well done and thank you.

4.   At this juncture, I would also like to commend the following Special Mention recipients [of the Bravery awards], and you can see their names and their designation, organisations on the screen. They are Mr Yahaya Bin Abdul Rahman, Ms Shang Yingzi, Ms Choo Su Qi, Mr Gregory Georges, the team from Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa, and Mr Amitpal Singh s/o Amargid Singh. Now, these individuals have acted swiftly and professionally to unexpected situations, thereby saving lives and preventing the escalation of security incidents. Well done to all of you and thank you to all the Special Mention Recipients today!

5.   Coming back to today’s conference, the theme is aptly Maintaining & Building Resilience in a Crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about great changes to how we live, work and also how we operate in our work. Despite these challenges, I am happy that the hotel industry has risen to the occasion, transformed your operations and stepped up your support for COVID-19 operations. For example, to meet the SMM requirements, you have had to review how guests now enter your premises while they have to comply with SafeEntry requirements, and at the same time, you have to manage guests’ expectations of hygiene and efficiency. Your staff have indeed shown resilience through these operations and continued to remain vigilant to ensure all our guests feel safe and secure within the hotel premises knowing very well that their wellbeing is being taken care of. This truly reflects the high standards set about by our hotels through the efforts of the management and the staff at all levels, and made possible by years of robust contingency planning, extensive training and very rigorous procedures and processes put in place.

6.   So thank you and I would like to in closing thank the Singapore Hotel Association, the National Crime Prevention Council, and the Singapore Police Force for organising this virtual award presentation to recognise the efforts by the hotel staff as well as the hotel security conference to ensure continued learning and training. I hope all of you will gain insights and useful tips from the conference, and will continue to keep our hotels safe and secure for everyone. Let me wish all of you a wonderful day ahead and a fruitful conference. Thank you.