Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA) Education Awards - Remarks by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

Published: 04 January 2022

Mr John Vijayan Vasavan
President, Association of Certified Security Agencies (ACSA)

Mr Robert Wiener
Immediate Past President of ACSA

Mr Jeffrey Chua
Co-chairman of Security Tripartite Cluster (STC)


Recipients of the awards

1.   Good afternoon, and a very Happy New Year to everyone. Let me thank ACSA for inviting me to the first event of 2022, for myself even. And this is especially special because of two reasons. First, we are not doing this over Zoom. We are gathered in a room. We can see each other and greet each other. Second, more importantly, it is a very meaningful event. I did not hesitate at all when I was invited to present the awards to the worthy recipients. Thank you very much.

2.   The past two years since we started fighting the pandemic have been a challenging two years for us. We have faced uncertainties. We had to deal with difficulties. But what is more important is that we came through it, at least up till now. Mainly because we supported each other and kept a lookout for each other. We have to continue to persevere and continue to support each other through these difficult times. 

3.   It is very reassuring for me today, to see that the security industry has never forgotten what is the most important for them, which is the people. I recall attending one of my first events as an MOS in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in December 2020, which was the Compassion Fund Donors Appreciation Event, an initiative by the business community to help all security officers to tide through this difficult period financially. And last year, MHA, as well as our industry partners and Union, also enhanced protections for our security officers against any form of abuse or harassment while they are doing their duties.

4.   This strong community spirit of the industry is once again evident today as we present and acknowledge the hard work of our students and support them in their educational journey. I would like to commend ACSA for your leadership in driving this initiative, and I want to thank all the generous donors for your contributions, without which this award and our presence today would not have been possible. The book prizes that we are presenting today will make a difference, I’m sure, not just in helping our students to deal with their current needs, but also in helping to nurture them for the future. As we move towards better days ahead, we must strive to support one another and make sure that no one gets left behind in our society.

5.   I also want to speak to all the book prize recipients today – my heartiest and warmest congratulations to all of you. I wish you every success and joy in your learning. I hope you will one day grow to emulate this big-hearted community spirit that we witnessed today, and not forget your parents, teachers and your loved ones who are supporting you in your education journey.

6.   Initiatives such as today’s awards play an important role in complementing other industry-wide efforts in improving the livelihoods of our security industry workforce.

7.   One of these initiatives as mentioned by President Vijayan is the Progressive Wage Model (PWM), a tripartite effort that has benefitted more than 40,000 security officers. With the recent review of the PWM, which was announced in November last year, it will continue to benefit our officers on two prongs – better wages and better career progression through skills upgrading. MHA remains committed in its cause to uplift the industry and will continue to work  with all partners, including industry stakeholders such as yourselves, to ensure that the welfare and the interests of our security officers are always at the centre of everything we do.

8.   Transforming the industry into both a progressive and people-centric one must and will continue to be a whole-of-society effort. The Home Team stands ready to walk with all of you on this journey.

9.   So on this note, may I wish 2022 be a successful healthy and joyous year for every one of us.

10.   Thank you.