Security Tripartite Cluster Briefing - Remarks by Mr Desmond Tan, Minister of State, Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Sustainability and the Environment

Published: 12 November 2021

1.   First of all, I would like to say that MHA welcomes the recommendations by the STC and we thank them for their fine efforts in reviewing the PWM for the security industry.

2.   Now the PWM for the security industry benefits more than 40,000 local security officers as SMS Zaqy has pointed out, and these officers are employed by more than 260 security agencies.

3.   But over the years, through a concerted tripartite effort, PWM sectors have managed to raise wages at a sustainable and meaningful pace, both from the employer’s perspective and without hurting the livelihoods of the workers that we seek to protect. So, the new wage schedule for the security sector will now build on the strong momentum that has been gained since the introduction of the PWM.

4.   In addition to wages, the PWM more importantly, also supports our security officers in their career progression as well as their skills upgrading, so that they have the necessary skills and confidence to carry out their roles and their duties, day in and day out effectively.

5.   Now please allow me to speak a little bit about the Security Industry Transformation Map or ITM. With the support of our tripartite partners, MHA has been leading the security ITM since its launch in 2018. As of now, all major initiatives have been implemented and significant progress has been made across the four pillars of the ITM.

6.   But at the heart of the ITM and even the PWM, is our security officers’ interests and welfare. We have kept consistent effort and focus to continue to uplift our security officers’ careers and wages.

7.   Just last month, MHA passed amendments to the Private Industry Security Act (PSIA), to enhance the protections for security officers against common types of harassment and abuse they may face in the course of their duties and their workplaces.

8.   We are also working on several other initiatives to raise the standards of security agencies in the industry. And this will include for example, implementing the new Security Agencies Competency Evaluation, which will replace the Security Agencies Grading Exercise, and the upcoming review of the paid-up capital requirements for new agency licensees to ensure that only financially sound security agencies enter the industry and they can sustain the progressive wages as well.

9.   Now, the wider community also has a role to play in improving the working conditions of security officers. For example, when service buyers adopt outcome-based contracts such that security officers’ tasks are now integrated with technology, our security officers can benefit from more meaningful job scopes and become more productive. In turn, we can attract newer and younger workers into this sector.

10.   Security officers are vital partners of the Home Team.

11.   In the face of COVID-19, many have also stepped up to support various operations, including the enforcement of safe management measures. We truly thank them for their dedication and their professionalism.

12.   Transforming the industry and raising the wages of security officers require a whole-of-society effort.

13.   The Government will continue to work closely with all our partners to transform the security industry, and uplift our security officers. Thank you.