Published: 21 February 2022
Mr Stas Protassov, Co-Founder & Technology President of Acronis;
Mr. Keith Tan, Vice Chairman of Yellow Ribbon Fund;
Datuk Dr Mohd Hasbi Abu Bakar, President of Jamiyah Singapore;
Dr. Isa Hassan, Chairman of Jamiyah Halfway House & Senior Vice-President III of Jamiyah Singapore;
Ladies & Gentlemen.
1. A very good afternoon to each and every one of you.
2. I’m very happy to be here. It is my privilege and honour to be invited here today to officially open the newly refurbished Computer Classroom of Jamiyah Halfway House.
3. The project I shared earlier is a collaboration between
(a) Jamiyah Singapore, a non-profit organisation that is celebrating its 90th Anniversary this year – congratulations!;
(b) Acronis, a global technology company; and
(c) the Yellow Ribbon Fund, a charitable fund aimed towards supporting offenders, ex-offenders and their families.
4. Employability has always been a huge hurdle for ex-offenders. Jobs that provide financial stability will help ex-offenders rebuild their lives. Given how technology has become part of our daily lives, being computer literate will open doors of opportunities for both our offenders and ex-offenders.
5. I meet our ex-offenders regularly, and they share that employability is very important to them. When I went into the classroom earlier, I saw how ex-offenders receive a chance at employment, and a chance to equip themselves with the relevant skills, to increase their employability. I often remind the ex-offenders that I meet, that we will do our best to take care of them and enhance their employability. However, it is also up to them to play their part, and when all of us play our part, there will be many more opportunities opened up to ex-offenders, enabling them and their families to lead better lives.
6. Today, we can see a glimpse of what all of us here in Singapore is trying our best to do – to provide the best opportunities and pathways for our ex-offenders. I’m glad that the Yellow Ribbon Fund, Acronis, and Jamiyah Halfway House have realised their shared vision to develop a classroom lab that can support regular IT training for residents of the Halfway House. The Computer Classroom will enable the residents to upgrade their IT knowledge and skills, build their confidence in this field, and consequently improve their employability upon their release.
7. I would like to congratulate Jamiyah Halfway House for successfully conducting the ICDL Microsoft Skills Course in 2018 and 2019. The two cohorts passed the examinations and were awarded with Microsoft Certified Certificates. Among the participants were those that had never attended computer training before. This renewed sense of confidence will encourage them to further upgrade their skills. One of the participants told me that previously, he had never been comfortable with laptops, and never had an opportunity to learn how to use them. Now, he feels confident and happy that he is now able to use laptops in a way that enhances his employability.
8. With the newly upgraded computer classroom and with better equipment, I am confident that Jamiyah Halfway House will continue to provide the residents with much-needed training and support essential for their successful reintegration. I thank Acronis, for funding the upgrade of this Computer Classroom under the Acronis Cyber Foundation.
9. This project is testament to how different organisations can come and work together towards a common cause. It is heartening to see that many organisations are willing to help our offenders in their rehabilitation and reintegration journey, and I look forward to seeing more organisations stepping forward to contribute.
10. Before I end, I want to thank Jamiyah Singapore for continuously working hard towards this cause. As it celebrates its 90th anniversary, there is no doubt that Jamiyah Singapore has done well in contributing to society. I wish you all the best in the years ahead.
11. Once again, congratulations to Jamiyah Singapore, Acronis, and the Yellow Ribbon Fund for this wonderful collaboration.
12. Thank you.